It is puzzling to experience sudden weight gain when you have been eating right and working out. There are certain factors that result in unwanted pounds that you may not be aware of, so you should consult with a health practitioner to set your mind at ease and address the problem.
1. Health Concerns and Medications
Medical conditions, the ones you may not know you are suffering from, can lead to weight gain even if you try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Hypothyroidism is the most common disease that can affect your weight. When you are unable to produce enough thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism, your ability to burn fats and calories is affected, leading to weight gain. With a decrease in thyroid hormones, you tend to lose your appetite, but still add on pounds. You likely have hypothyroidism if you often feel fatigued or lethargic, sleep too much, are unable to tolerate cold conditions and experience swelling, headaches or hoarseness of voice.
A more rare condition is a disorder known as Cushing's syndrome, caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol, which tends to store fats rather than convert them to energy, thereby resulting in weight gain. Edema also leads to rapid weight gain because of your body's tendency to retain too much fluid that leads to swelling. Edema usually occurs because of more serious health problems like heart failure or kidney disease.
If you are a woman going through menopause, you produce less estrogen and you become less active because of age. These hormonal changes will make you experience hunger, depression and poor sleep that you might address by eating more. At the same time, loss of estrogen causes your body to change shape, with more fats being deposited in the middle part of your body.
Medications, in particular steroids used to treat asthma or arthritis, also cause sudden weight gain. Beta-blockers make you want to exercise less, so you pack on unwanted pounds. Insulin and other diabetic medications also lead to weight gain, as do antidepressants or mood stabilizers.
2. Lack of Sleep
Surprisingly, lack of restful sleep will make you gain weight. The more refreshed your body is during the night, the better you are able to utilize energy when you are awake. If you do not sleep enough, your body will be physiologically stressed. The result: fat is stored more efficiently.
It has been said many times that stress makes your body go out of whack, and when it does, you are most likely to keep the weight instead of shedding it. You will eat to compensate, and you will choose comfort foods that are usually packed with more calories than you can burn. Stress leads to the production of excess cortisol, the hormone that stores fat.
4. Quitting Smoking
When you quit smoking, chances are you again turn to food when you have the nicotine craving. Snacking curbs your desire for cigarettes, but it may lead to stuffing yourself with more calories. Your objective should therefore be a healthier lifestyle. Kick the smoking habit, but don't go on a binge.