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The New Year has come and gone and by now most of our resolutions, including those to lose weight, have done the same.
But, even if you’re still watching what you eat, getting regular exercise, and doing everything that’s supposed to work, instead of dropping a few pounds, you might have even noticed your scale going up.
So, what’s with that?
Well, the truth is that there are a number of factors that can lead to weight gain that you would never even think of… And, a few that could actually be caused by your weight loss plan.
1. Eating too little
Most of us have to cut back on our food intake in order to lose the extra weight around our hips, thighs, and buttocks. But, if you cut back too far, you could cause end up gaining instead.
That’s because when your body thinks it’s starving and doesn’t have access to the food it needs to keep you healthy, it will put on pounds to protect itself.
This means that while cutting back is important, you still need to get plenty of good, nutritious foods in your daily diet.
2. Eating after your workout
There’s no doubt that exercising can make you hungry. After all, you’ve just burned a lot of calories, right?
Well, it’s probably not as many as you think.
Yup, too often when we eat following a workout, we tend to indulge ourselves as a reward for all of our hard work. But, guess what…
According to Julie Mancuso, a weight loss specialist, even a single piece of cheesecake would take many miles of running to burn off!
So, if you hit the pizza joint for a carb-heavy meal after your workout, your scale is likely to go up tomorrow.
3. Making dinner your largest meal
If you’re a dinner person and like to make it your largest meal of the day, you could be in for some big gains, and not the good kind.
Eating a big meal late in the day leaves your body little time to burn off all of those added calories which can be turned to fat as you sleep.
So, try switching your big mealtime to breakfast or lunch instead.
And, the same goes for late-night snacking, which can also result in unburned calories.
4. Going too far
The diet you’ve chosen can even be responsible for weight gain, especially if you’ve gone too restrictive.
In fact, feeling deprived can lead you to reach for anything and everything in sight once you come off the diet and make you put back on the pounds you’ve lost, plus!
5. Not flossing
If you’ve been skipping out on your yearly dental visit and teeth cleaning, think again. Poor gum health and the inflammation it causes can actually make you gain weight.
That inflammation can spread like wildfire to the rest of your body, resulting in increased fat storage.
So, brush, floss, and see your dentist.
6. Stressing out
Living with too much stress can also make you pack on the pounds due to the stress hormone, cortisol.
Cortisol causes the glycogen that’s stored in your liver to be converted to glucose (sugar), which your body then stores as fat.
Yup, you don’t have to eat too much sugar to gain weight…
When you’re stressed, your body makes the sugar that causes weight gain all by itself.
To de-stress, live longer, healthier, and yes – thinner – check out these five tips.
7. Taking prescription drugs
Do you know that medication your doctor gave you that’s supposed to make you feel better?
Well, it could be working, but it could also be causing your weight gain.
Yup, from lowered metabolism to increased appetite, prescription drugs have numerous weight-inducing side effects.
So, if you think your medications could be playing into your weight problem, be sure to talk to your doctor.
8. Not getting good sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep or have poor quality sleep, your body will be swimming in the hunger hormone, ghrelin, making you hungry all the time.
At the same time, this lack of sleep lowers your levels of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full.
This is a perfect storm for higher weight gain.
If sleep is an issue for you, check out these Tips from A to Zzzzz on getting better sleep from Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a renowned integrative medical doctor.
Remember, losing or gaining weight is about both what you do and what you don’t do. Use this list above to see if these factors could be playing into the extra pounds that have snuck on and take steps to change your habits and your weight for the better.