Sometimes, weight gain results from an underlying health condition such as:
- Cushing’s syndrome
- polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
These conditions may interfere with your body’s ability to regulate hormones or may cause changes in metabolism. If you’re unintentionally and inexplicably gaining weight, it’s essential to see your doctor so they can evaluate you for these or other conditions.
However, more often than not, weight gain happens because of how you eat and live your life.
Too Many Calories
Overeating is likely the most significant contributor to weight gain. You will gain weight if you consistently take in more calories than you use.
This can be due to high-calorie foods, such as fast food, processed snacks, fried foods, pastries, sugary drinks and sodas, desserts, and other unhealthy meals.
Overeating can easily happen if you regularly eat out at restaurants, which tend to serve large portions and cook with lots of saturated fats.
Mindless eating, such as snacking while watching TV or working at your desk, can also easily lead to overeating. You may be eating simply out of habit or boredom rather than because you’re hungry or need nutrition.
Lack of Physical Activity
If you are gaining weight, you are probably eating too much and not moving enough.
The more active you are, the more calories you burn. So, if you live a generally sedentary lifestyle, even a small increase in calorie intake can lead to weight gain.
This doesn’t mean you need to be doing intense exercise at the gym every day. Make an effort to be more active in your everyday life.
Take a brisk walk in your neighborhood, take the stairs instead of the elevator, dance to your favorite music, or try a new active hobby or sport.
You Might Be Stressed or Depressed
Physical health and emotional health are often intertwined.
Stress, anxiety, depression, and other affective disorders can change appetite, how your body metabolizes food, and how much energy you have to be active. They can also affect your sleep quality and trick you into making bad decisions or engaging in unhealthy behaviors.
All of these factors can contribute to weight gain.
If you’ve been struggling with your emotional health, talk to your doctor or mental health professional about how you feel. They can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and treat any underlying conditions.
And when you get help with your emotional health, it can also positively affect your physical health. You will likely find it much easier to make better dietary and lifestyle changes and maintain a healthy weight.