It’s no secret that our bodies change as we grow older. It’s a gradual change, but it can be pretty fast for some people, especially the younger ones. Weight gain is normal, there’s still an ideal weight for every age group, and it shouldn’t be a cause for concern until it affects your quality of life.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should let weight gain slide. Unintentional weight gain is caused by many factors, including unhealthy eating habits and bad lifestyle choices. It can also affect a person mentally because weight gain can cause body image issues and make them feel distressed. Fortunately, it’s possible to lose weight. However, one must be aware of the many factors that can cause unintentional weight gain, such as:
#1 – Overeating Processed Food
Processed foods are often high in sodium and sugar. They also have many artificial ingredients that disrupt the body’s processes. As a result, they pack a lot of calories. When you eat these foods, your body has to work harder to digest them, which means it will use more energy. However, this additional energy is not converted into fat but deposited as body fat, causing weight gain.
#2 – High Sugar Intake
Excessive sugar intake causes spikes in blood sugar levels, which triggers the body to release insulin. This hormone helps liver cells store glucose as glycogen, which gives the same feeling of fullness as eating food. This can cause the body to stay in a state of eating, which leads to weight gain.
#3 – Not Eating Enough Whole Foods
Whole foods are ideal for weight loss because the body absorbs nutrients and energy but doesn’t store its energy as fat. However, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens are often considered “empty calories” because of their low energy density. This means you need to eat more of them to fill your stomach and feel full.
As you age, your body requires more energy to function, meaning you have less reserve energy to eat a large meal. It’s important to avoid eating too little because this could lead to malnutrition. This is why it’s highly advisable to eat a balanced diet high in whole, natural foods.
#4 – Having an Undiagnosed Medical Issue
In some cases, medical issues may lead to weight gain, and it’s important to rule these out. For example, hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland, can cause weight gain and other symptoms like excessive fatigue and constipation.
Diabetes is another medical condition that can cause weight gain. In addition to carbohydrate intolerance, diabetic patients have high cholesterol even if they’re not overweight and often have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
#5 – Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for our body’s recovery process. It’s a time to heal and replenish the energy we’ve used during the day. Sleep deprivation reduces the body’s ability to flush away waste products and lowers metabolism, increasing the risk of weight gain.
#6 – Living a Sedentary Lifestyle
Sitting all day can lead to weight gain. Sitting for long periods makes our muscles unused, and they start to atrophy. Our bodies store energy and fat in response to this sedentary lifestyle, leading to weight gain.
The best way to address this is by engaging in physical activities, such as exercising. This helps the body burn fat and stay healthy. The goal is to find activities you enjoy that don’t make you uncomfortable. Whether dancing, taking walks, or playing games, engaging in activities that help you stay fit is essential.
#7 – Stress
Stress is a significant factor in weight gain. When we’re stressed out, we tend to eat more as a coping mechanism. This is because our brains release a hormone called cortisol, which sends signals to the body to store energy and fat in preparation for an upcoming fight or flight response.
When stressed out, it’s best to engage in stress-relieving activities, such as yoga and meditation. These activities promote relaxation, which helps the mind and body function at optimal levels, preventing stress and weight gain.
The thought of unintentional weight gain is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Educating yourself about them is vital so you can avoid or eliminate them from your life. All that matters is making changes to ensure your body maintains a healthy weight.
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