Weight is a touchy topic for many people. This is mainly because in society, there are several idealistic standards of what a person should look like and the ideal image is often related to weight. There have been several instances of people trying to lose weight to either fit in with these standards or become fit in general terms. There are many reasons why people put on weight. These reasons range from genetic factors to environmental ones. Contrary to popular belief, even after constantly exercising or cutting down calories can result in weight gain. This could be why you aren’t seeing any results after all those long hours running, dancing, and working out. Read on to know more about fluctuations in weight and the primary causes for weight gain!
It is thought that some people gain weight because they have inherited “fat genes” from their parents. There can be no doubt that people differ in their genetic makeup and are inclined to become tall, or broad-shouldered or short or fat because of genetic reasons. However, this does not mean that those who are genetically prone to becoming fat will stay fat throughout the lifetime. With medical consultation and dietary changes, there is the possibility that individuals can stop gaining weight.
The effect of hormones on weight gain can be linked to multiple things. First, those who suffer from depression are at a higher risk for weight gain than mentally healthy people. With depression, the neuro-endocrine system does not work properly and it sends a hormonal signal which makes one feel hungry. Secondly, as mentioned previously, genetics plays an important role. Some people may be genetically predisposed to secreting hormones that cause one to gain weight.
Mild stress can cause a loss in appetite but sometimes, stress over a period of time can lead to an increase in appetite and weight gain. Studies have shown that a common way to release stress is to indulge in eating. It has been observed that highly stressed individuals eat large amounts of junk food to relieve their stress. This eating often becomes uncontrolled and leads to obesity.
Life events like getting married, divorce, moving to a new city, starting a new college can often lead to gain weight. This is because these events are life changing and incur some amount of stress. As has been mentioned, stress plays a major role in weight gain. Stressful events can also be depressive. In some cases, in depressed people, the endocrine glands send signals to the brain indicating hunger which causes people to overeat. There is also the other side, where life events lead to weight gain because of happiness and not stress. For example, getting married or starting a new job could cause a level of satisfaction that brings in some biological changes in the body, one of which is weight gain.
The diet followed by an individual plays the most important role in determining fluctuations in the weight of that individual. Those who have high calorie diets will gain more weight than those who intake less calories. However, under-eating can also cause weight gain. Under-eating causes a loss of energy which in turn results in lower metabolism rates. Slow rate of metabolism results in the accumulation of fat in the body.
Unhealthy Food Habits
Indulging in junk food as a treat can cause weight gain. For example, while it is true that a certain number of calories are burnt during workouts, eating an equivalent amount of calories will only result in weight gain. Also, unhealthy food habits while growing up also lead to weight gain and obesity over lifetime. These unhealthy food habits include snacking on junk food between meals, eating only junk food as a meal, or indulging excessively in drinking aerated drinks or alcohol.
Lack of Exercise
A complete lack of exercise is one of the primary causes of obesity. Today, the amount of physical activity that people partake in is much lesser than a decade or so ago. A primary reason for this decline in exercise, especially in children, is the development of new technology. This technology ranges from newer models of smart phones and TVs to accessories such as PlayStation and XBox. With newer and newer games being discovered that can be played on everything from a phone or iPad to the TV, children prefer this virtual gaming indoors to physical exercise outdoors. In case of adults too, physical exercise has decreased because of their lifestyle choices. Luxury has encouraged us to take shortcuts in order to save time and to be at comfort. People prefer using elevators to stairs, and driving cars to walking. This drop in physical exercise is quite disturbing and is the primary cause of the average weight of people going up.
Although popular opinion is that poverty leads to malnutrition, this is now changing. Poverty is a cause of weight gain that is directly linked to financial status. Poor people look at the cheapest foods available in the market. Instead of looking at nutrition, they look at food that will provide maximum quantity for more number of people. Food that falls into this category is often unhealthy and rich in calories. These foods contain higher amounts of saturated fats that lead to fat deposits in the body and thus, this leads to weight gain.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest causes of weight gain. Not getting enough sleep makes the body feel tired and fatigued. This sends a signal to the hormones to release cortisol which is a stress hormone. Cortisol increases one’s appetite and makes the individual feel hungry all the time, while in reality, he/she might be just tired. Sleep deprivation also leads to lowering of the rate of metabolism and hence, results in weight gain.
This refers to a general usage of medical drugs that can result in weight gain. An example that is quite common is anti-depressants. One of the side effects of these drugs is weight gain. Another example is birth control pills. These pills are usually taken continuously throughout the month. In some cases, they can cause weight gain as a side-effect. Individuals who smoke marijuana have also been observed to gain weight. This is because smoking weed increases one’s appetite and a desire to eat readily accessible food. As a result, people usually are driven to eating junk food and this leads to an accumulation of fats in the body.
While exercising is good for the body, overdoing it is harmful. Contrary to popular belief, over training does not result in more weight loss. In fact, it leads to the opposite and can be frustrating. Long, extensive workouts take a toll on emotional and psychological well-being of a person, which are the key factors in influencing weight loss. When an individual’s mental well-being is affected, they tend to become stressed. Continuously doing longer workouts places an unnecessary pressure on the body that leads to stress. This stress in turn leads to weight gain.
Not drinking enough water affects the body in several ways, all of which are harmful. Water affects the metabolism rate in the body. When an individual does not drink enough water and becomes dehydrated, the metabolism rate slows down, causes fatigue and digestive problems. Slow metabolism rates causes the accumulation of fat which leads to the gain of weight. Dehydration also encourages a person to excessively indulge in calorie consumption which results in gaining weight.
This list hopefully gave you an insight into what you should and should not do in order to lose that little bit of extra fat. So go on, set up a new exercise regime and diet! De-stress yourself! You will be on your way to a fitter, healthier version of yourself in almost no time at all.