Reasons Why You Gain Weight Easily

It can be very frustrating when you’re trying to lose weight and end up gaining weight instead. I remember sweating it out at Anytime Fitness 2-3x a week for 3 months and never lost any weight at all! There may be a few reasons why some people struggle with weight loss. Fortunately, many of these reasons can be addressed by making a few changes.

1. Lack of sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, your appetite increases and your body stores excess calories into fat. When you’re sleep deprived, it slows down your metabolism. But not only that, when you’re only sleeping for 5-6 hours a day, your body will produce more ghrelin (hunger hormone) and less of leptin (satiety hormone).

2. You’re always stressed.

Getting stressed every once in a while is normal, and for some people, necessary. It boosts energy and improves focus to help you get out of the situation that is causing you stress. However, chronic stress is different and it’s bad for your weight and overall health. When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol, a hormone that increases fat accumulation and reduces muscle mass.

3. You’ve set unrealistic goals.

When you begin a weight-loss program, it’s normal to aim to lose as much weight in the shortest possible time. So you choose a restrictive diet plan or an intensive exercise program that may have worked for you for a couple of weeks until you realize that it’s impossible to stick to in the long run. Setting unrealistic fitness or weight loss goals will only cause frustration, failure and worse, you end up gaining more weight than what you initially lost. Sure, some people do succeed at it but these success stories are very few and far in between.

4. Your portion sizes are incorrect.

Portion sizes today are no longer what they once were. What is considered normal portion of food today is often significantly larger than the standard size. People are eating more of low-nutrient high-calorie foods, causing weight gain. But even if you are eating the right foods such as lean protein, good fats, fruits and veggies, if your portion sizes are large, then you could still end up gaining weight.

5. You’re making the poor food choices.

Aside from portion sizes, it’s also important to be careful about your food choices. Consuming ultra-processed foods (high in sugar, salt and fat) can cause weight gain as these types of food increases your appetite and feelings of hunger.

6. You’re not moving enough.

Even if you work out a few times a week, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to do any other physical activity. You’re sitting at your desk 8 hours a day hunched over your computer with barely any movement. Not only will this cause long-term health issues, but will also make it difficult for you to lose weight. Make sure you have some sort of physical activity every 30 minutes or so. Even walking around your office, doing 2 minutes of jumping jacks or 5 minutes of stretching during your breaks can make a big difference.

7. You may have an underlying health condition.

Certain illnesses or medications can cause unwanted weight gain. People who are taking medications for their thyroid, birth control or mental health conditions are more prone to weight gain. Talk to your doctor about how you can manage your weight while under medication or while being treated for certain health issues.

When it comes to weight loss, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Work with a personal trainer, a dietician or a health care provider so you can make the necessary changes to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Learn the correct portion size using your hands in this video:

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