Chances are, if you are struggling to keep from gaining weight or struggling to lose weight, you have been on the internet searching for answers. Likely, you’ve also tried more diets than you care to admit and my guess is you’re sick of the poor results you are getting. For this reason, I am going to list some of the causes of weight gain and retention and hopefully you will be able to address some of these issues and start winning the war against those excess pounds. I have also written follow up articles for many of these reasons, so feel free to read those articles also and check back often for related content.
You eat too much food:
Weight gain or loss is a simple equation: calories in – calories burned = net loss or gain. How many calories you burn is completely dependent on the other factors below. Your body doesn’t count calories in a 24 hour period. It uses what is available when you eat. If there is a nutrient deficit, you will pack on the pounds, if there is a nutrient excess you will get rid of the excess.
You’re not getting enough sleep:
Poor sleep leads to weight gain. This is a fact. If you snore, or have sleep apnea, if you work inconsistent hours and mess up your sleep cycle, you will gain weight.
You don’t eat breakfast:
Many studies have proven that people who eat breakfast tend to be skinnier than people who don’t.
Your metabolism is really messed up:
Science hasn’t given us all of the answers with this one but Elisabeth Schwarzbein MD developed a protocol for people with this problem, and it works if you are disciplined enough to follow through with it.
Your adrenal and sex-hormones levels are abnormal:
Estrogens, Progesterone, Testosterone, and Cortisol and DHEA levels that are out of the normal range can lead to problems associated with stubborn weight retention. Find a practitioner who is willing to run a urine test for all of these hormones and their metabolites and prescribe bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for deficiencies or imbalances.
Your thyroid gland is not working:
Here is another challenge for your doctor. The thyroid gland can prevent you from losing weight despite every other intervention. Make sure your doctor tests TSH, free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3. They also need to check thyroid autoantibodies which indicate you might have Hashimoto Thyroiditis. If they don’t want to run all of these, then find another doctor.
You have food sensitivities:
Food sensitivities may be causing your body to react to foods and create unwanted inflammation. Inflammation leads to water retention, and causes the body to fight what it perceives is an “invader” rather than efficiently fight disease.
You have PCOS:
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS is associated with elevated levels of insulin and abnormal sex-hormone levels. Insulin is responsible for fat storage. Too much of this over time will lead to weight gain.
Your leptin levels are elevated:
High leptin levels are associated with increased appetite. We all know what a big appetite over time can do.
You don’t exercise:
Exercise is a great way to rid yourself of unwanted stress and provides a great emotional release for those who need it. I don’t recommend exercise for weight loss because it doesn’t take care of the underlying problems associated with weight retention. Yes, I know, you can change the caloric equation with exercise but it may mask other underlying problems.
You eat too much of the wrong foods:
Oh, this is a hotly debated topic! For example, consumption of too many grains – especially the ones we eat in America cause problems if eaten too much and High Fructose Corn Syrup causes increased appetite. There are many others that we will discuss in another article.
You don’t listen to your body:
Your body will tell you what it needs – if you will listen. If you don’t pay attention to what it is saying, you will have problems associated with over-indulgence of food.
You are stressed all of the time and emotionally unfit:
It doesn’t matter what you do, your body will always want to put on weight until you get this under control.
You are taking medications that cause weight gain:
This one is simple. Check the side effects of your medications.
Your brain chemistry is not balanced:
An imbalance in the serotonin and dopamine systems can lead to increased food intake and weight retention.
Your gut flora is not optimized:
New research suggests that gut flora plays a huge role in how we metabolize our food. As new information comes in, we may be able to submit and sample and take a probiotic that is tailor-made for us.