Unlocking the Scale: 6 Unexpected Factors That Could Be Contributing to Your Weight Gain
Disclaimer: Not medical or professional advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.
It is generally believed that eating habits prevent weight loss. But in fact, there are completely different reasons that make it hard to lose excess weight. Let's talk about them in more detail.
Lack of Sleep
When you're short on sleep, it’s very easy to gain extra pounds. This is a sad fact from somnologists (doctors who specialize in the study and treatment of sleep disorders). They claim that adults need at least 7–8 hours of sleep to be well-rested. And women need more sleep than men!
There is a commonly held view that the duration of sleep affects the production of Hunger Hormones — ghrelin and leptin. At the same time, lack of sleep leads to a decrease in the activity of a certain part of the brain that is responsible for making rational decisions and awareness of consequences. That is, we start eating reflexively without even realizing it. Besides, a lack of sleep results in an increase in the hormone cortisol, which is called the stress hormone. Anxiety and stress are most often compensated by increased appetite. It usually causes cravings for sweets and high-fat foods. Attempts to get in the mood and cheer up lead to the high consumption of coffee and sweets... This is how people exceed the recommended caloric rate without notice.
Breakfast with TV, Lunch with Gadgets
Gadgets are not the best friends of people who are trying to lose weight. If you have news for breakfast, business correspondence during lunch, and social media for dinner, it will be super easy to gain excess weight. We mindlessly eat everything that lies in front of us if we use gadgets. We don’t even feel the taste and smell (which is not about the coronavirus) and don’t get pleasure from food. Thus, we harm not only our figure but also the gastrointestinal tract.
6-year research conducted at Harvard School of Public Health studied the influence of watching TV on physical health conditions (50 thousand volunteers participated in this study). It was found that even two hours a day in front of the TV screen increases the risk of obesity by 23%! It happens because we thoughtlessly take another snack from the fridge. For example, we might be nervous about the news or scared of a thriller. So it is very simple to get fat from such TV sessions. That’s why you need to forget about news, letters, and social networks while eating. Try to eat slowly and derive pleasure from each meal.
Life is a Constant Stress
Unfortunately, stress and deadlines, as well as other nuisances, are a real problem for your weight. Acute stress suppresses appetite, but chronic stress requires constant eating. Scientific research confirms that depressed and anxious people suffer from excess weight more often than others. For that reason, try to look at the bright side of life. And if you can't handle it yourself, visit your doctor and find out how to treat lingering stress with the help of psychotherapy or medication.
Pills and Excess Weight
Some drugs do cause weight gain as a side effect. These are certain types of diuretics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antidepressants, antidiabetic drugs, corticosteroids, and antipsychotics.
What to do? Read the instructions carefully before starting the course of treatment. If weight gain has already started and the drug cannot be replaced or canceled, see your doctor to adjust your diet, water intake, and physical activity. In most cases, weight gain while the medication is not associated with fat accumulation but with water retention in the body (try a bioimpedance test to check it).
Social Circle and Excess Weight
It may sound harsh, but most overweight people choose friends and partners from the same weight class. Subconsciously, they believe that only those who suffer from the same problem can understand them.
And if you have such friends, be prepared that the amount of eaten food automatically increases in the company of overweight people. You start to eat more without noticing it.
Working Out but not Losing Weight
If you run all the time, then do strength training, then sign up for group classes, but the number on the scale doesn't move — stop! It has long been proven that aerobic exercise does not lead to weight loss but only improves endurance. The same applies to excessive loads that do not contribute to weight reduction. They only stimulate your appetite. Also, the weight will stand still as muscles are much heavier than fat. And if you come home and lay down on the sofa after hard training at the gym, consider that the day was wasted. You have hardly been outside.
Oxygen is essential for better combustion of fat (combustion is an oxidation process). In fact, an evening walk will always help you sleep better, which is also a guarantee of a slim body (see point one).