The hidden causes of weight gain
If you’ve ditched your sedentary lifestyle, cut back on fried foods, cut out sugary or alcoholic drinks, but the needle on your weighing scales is still creeping upward or refusing to budge – then maybe you need to check out these hidden causes of weight gain…
Lack of sleep
The sleep-diet connection is regular fodder for diet books and magazine articles. Researchers have found that lack of sleep can cause changes in the hormones which increases hunger and appetite.
While the immediate response to acute stress can be a temporary loss of appetite, more and more we are coming to recognise that for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite, and stress-induced weight gain. Studies have also linked increased levels of cortisol – a hormone that’s released in response to stress – to excess belly fat in women.
The most common cause is an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) which can mess with your metabolism. It can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and controlled with a daily pill.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can also cause weight gain because there is excess glucose floating around in your bloodstream. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned.
You’re just getting older!
It’s the one condition that’s unavoidable, but it’s a fact that we don’t burn as many calories at 40 or 50 as we used to burn at 20. So we need more exercise—and less food—to keep our metabolism going.
While we’re watching TV or surfing away on our computers, we tend to not pay attention to what or how much we are eating. Researchers who study eating behaviour call this “food inattentiveness” and found people who watched television while eating ate 40% more food!