Weight gain is one concern that never seems to go away. Even when you manage to shed a few pounds, you’ll still catch yourself constantly thinking about health and fitness in order to maintain your new weight.
But sometimes, weight gain occurs unexpectedly and you’re not sure why. Losing weight is much easier when you know what’s been preventing you from doing so.
If you’re still trying to figure out where your excess weight could be coming from, here are some of the most likely sources.
Quality Sleep Is a Daydream
Lack of sleep can cause a host of problems that lead to weight gain. To begin with, your energy levels are considerably lower, which affects your self-control and can cause you to overeat.
You’re also less likely to exercise when you’re tired. Snoring can lead to weight gain because it keeps you from achieving REM sleep. You wake up feeling exhausted, and you’re more likely to turn to sugary and fatty foods to keep you going during the day.
Depression Adds Pounds
People diagnosed with depression can experience weight gain from a variety of factors. For many of them, depression creates a loss of appetite; but for others, it results in intense cravings as a coping mechanism for these difficult emotions. Some anti-depressants can also produce hormones that limit your ability to lose weight.
Genetics Slows Your Metabolism
Unfortunately, some people are predisposed to be skinnier than others. Their metabolisms work faster for longer. If you’re not one of those types, there’s little you can do about it but establish a routine of diet and exercise.
You’re Eating the Wrong Things
Many people who are trying to lose weight will count calories, which is a good practice if you’re eating the right things. However, the wrong foods can result in weight gain.
Not all calories are created equal, and if you fill your body with empty calories and omit certain nutrients, you’ll find yourself gaining weight even when you manage to stay below your calorie goals.
Age Is Slowing You Down
One of the unfortunate effects of aging is a slower metabolism and increased weight gain. As you age, you burn fewer calories, and your metabolism can’t keep things going as well as it used to. Individuals who establish a healthy lifestyle of exercising and eating right early on can help boost their metabolism, but it will nearly always slow to some extent with age.
You’re Drinking All Your Calories
Sodas, coffee, alcohol, and other sugary drinks have more calories than many people realize. If you’re drinking a can of soda (or its equivalent) per day or more, you should cut back if you’re serious about weight loss.
Your Exercise Routine Is Inefficient
Some people gain weight even when they’re on a regular exercise routine, but that could be because your workouts aren’t properly geared toward weight loss. Cardio workouts are considered to be the most effective for shedding fat, but resistance training and HIIT workouts can also help. If you’re focusing on the wrong workouts, results will be slower.
Medical Conditions Come with Excess Baggage
Certain medical conditions can lead to weight gain, particularly those that affect the thyroid. Cushing’s syndrome, a disease that limits your body’s ability to process nutrients, is also a major cause.
In addition, certain medications can cause weight gain. If you’ve been battling a long-term illness and/or have been taking medication on a regular basis, talk to your doctor about why you’re gaining weight and what you can do to counteract the effects.