There are many reasons for weight gain in women. Though it can be shocking to begin gaining weight for an unexplained reason, reviewing your lifestyle and diet can often hold the secret as to why you are gaining weight. Here seven of the most common reasons that women gain weight:
Reason #1: What You are Eating
Women that have a high intake of calories that are high in fat, gain weight. To stop gaining weight because of your unhealthy eating, you should try eating a more balanced diet complete with fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
Reason #2: Lack of Activity
Women who are inactive are more likely than those that exercise to carry around excess body fat. Physical exercise can be any activity incorporated into your life, such as climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator, increasing your walking, or learning a new sport. If you are not moving around though, chances are you will continue to gain weight.
Reason #3: Aging
As women age, they lose muscle as it is converted to fat and their metabolism slows down. By practicing strengthening exercises, women can maintain their muscle and help fight the effects of age. Yoga, Pilates, and weight lifting can all be beneficial in maintaining muscle.
Reason #4: Psychological Factors
Many women are emotional eaters, and weight gain in women is often linked to emotional issues. Dealing with periods of stress or depression can often cause women to gain weight, as well as slow down their metabolism. Stress eaters favor foods high in carbohydrates because they trigger an increase in serotonin, which creates a calming effect. These foods also work well to pack on the pounds.
Reason #5: Pregnancy
It is normal and essential to gain weight during pregnancy, though often more difficult to get it off afterwards. Overweight women should gain at least 15 pounds, while average weight women should gain from 25 to 35 pounds.
Reason #6: Stopping Smoking
After quitting smoking, women typically gain at least 8 pounds. Though the health benefits of stopping smoking far outweigh those of weight gain, this weight gain can be troublesome. Keeping healthy snacks available so that you don’t end up munching on higher calorie and fat alternatives can prove very effective when dealing with weight gain while stopping smoking.
Reason #7: Medications
Many medications including antidepressants, birth control pills, and corticosteroids can cause unexplained weight gain in women. This extra weight may be well worth the tradeoff, however, if the medication is working to improve your overall health.