No matter how hard you try to lose weight, sometimes it just doesn’t work! Maybe you’re not eating right, you’re eating too much, or you’re not getting enough exercise. Heck, it may be something as small as a lack of sleep or metabolism issues. But if you’re trying to lose weight and you end up packing on the pounds instead, it could be a sign something’s wrong. Here are a few causes of unexplained weight gain:
If you have a healthy digestive tract, you will usually be able to maintain or even lose weight on a healthy diet. But people with digestive issues will typically struggle with their weight as well. Dehydration, medications, IBS, Crohn’s disease, and a host of other digestive problems can reduce the efficiency of your digestive tract, which means your body will require more effort to process and absorb the food you eat. Probiotics can be a useful treatment to help improve gut function and restore proper efficiency to your intestines.
Did you know that anti-depressants are one of the most common causes of unexplained weight gain? The medications to fight depression can lead to an increase in weight anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds, a number that may keep rising the longer you take the medications. If you’re not on medications, be aware that depression can lead to stress eating—loading up on high-fat, high-calorie, and high-carb comfort foods is a surefire recipe for weight gain!
Lack of Fiber
This isn’t so much a health thing as a diet thing! When you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, your digestive system has to work harder to eliminate the wastes, which are usually filled with extra fats and proteins that take longer to digest. A lack of fiber also means there is a lot of waste matter clogging your intestinal tract and slowing down the elimination process, so less junk gets flushed from your body. Getting more fiber in your diet can help to speed up your metabolism and make you regular, meaning all that heavy waste matter will get flushed out rather than accumulating in your intestinal tract.
This goes hand in hand with the lack of fiber—a lack of nutrients may be impairing your healthy digestive function. A lack of magnesium and iron can both reduce energy levels and slow your metabolism, both of which make it significantly harder to lose weight. A lack of Vitamin D may compromise your immune system, but it will also impair energy production. You’re much more likely to eat junk food or sweets to try and compensate for low energy, which in turn increases your chances of weight gain. To avoid nutrient deficiencies, make sure to eat healthy, balanced meals that are rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and proteins. Consider mineral supplements if you want to be certain you’re getting enough of the good micronutrients your body needs.
Yep, with age comes wisdom, but there’s probably a bit of weight gain to expect as well. As you age, your metabolism and digestive tract function slow down, so your body has a harder time digesting and using the food you eat. If you’re eating like a 20-year old in your 40s and 50s, you can expect to see some serious weight gain. As you age, it becomes more and more important to eat foods that are rich in nutrients and low in both empty carbs and sugar. Focus on the quality of your diet now, and leave quantity for the young ones.