Weird Reasons You May Be Gaining Weight

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Most doctors and weight management professionals will tell you that losing weight in a body that is functioning normally is a simple matter of math. Calories out must be less than calories in. That’s it! Now, re-read that. Weight loss for “a body that is functioning normally” is simple. What about bodies that aren’t functioning normally?

If you’re having trouble losing weight but you can’t quite figure out why, take a look at this short list of possible reasons:

  1. You’re not eating enough: This may sound counterintuitive, but your body will only allow for so many lost calories before it starts to worry that you’re trying to starve it. Once it goes into starvation mode, it’s going to hold on to every calorie it can – putting the brakes on your weight loss.
  2. Prescription problems: It’s important to let your doctors know about every prescription you are taking and whether or not a prescription is having a side effect you don’t like. Some medications can react with one another and cause weight gain; some just have weight gain as a side effect. Reviewing your prescriptions with your practitioners may uncover something that can be adjusted to help you release those extra pounds.
  3. You have a sluggish stomach: We’re going to talk about bowel movements for a moment here. In a perfect world, you eat and then have a bowel movement an hour or two later. Once or twice a day is still considered to be healthy. If your body is moving things more slowly than that, there may be a problem. Simple things like dehydration (you should be drinking at least 64 oz of water per day – every day. More if you can manage it.), lack of fiber, or not having the correct bacteria in your gut can all cause bowels that are slow to digest and empty. Food that is just sitting in your system can not only be reflected on the scale, it can cause damage to your system over time.
  4. You have musculoskeletal problems: Arthritis, bursitis, damaged ligaments and tendons, bone spurs, etc. all make physical activity uncomfortable. Obviously if something hurts, you’re going to do less of it. In some cases, rest is the right choice, but it can also mean you’re not expending the calories you used to and over time the scale may start to show it. Try swimming as opposed to jogging or other weight-bearing activities. You still burn the calories but you don’t hurt yourself in the process.
  5. You’re a former athlete: I deal with this in the office a lot. “But I was an athlete! I know how to eat healthy!” Sure, former athletes understand the importance of a balanced diet, but they are accustomed to portions large enough to sustain them through intense physical activity. Once you stop playing your chosen sport regularly, it’s important to adjust your diet accordingly since you’re no longer burning those calories off.
  6. Your hormones are out of balance: The human body is surprisingly delicate in its balance. This is especially true when it comes to hormones. Hormone imbalances can show up as a part of problems such as depression, thyroid conditions, diabetes and issues with reproductive health.  One of the most common reproductive health issues we see associated with weight gain is polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. This disorder can cause irregular periods (some women rarely get them, other women may bleed for weeks or even months at a time.), actual cysts on the ovaries, and – the major culprit in weight issues – excess hormones. In women with PCOS, the androgen hormone may be elevated, which can cause weight gain, acne,  excess facial hair and even hair loss similar to what is seen in male pattern baldness.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs, please call to make an appointment to see us. Testing for hormone levels is simple and quick and treatment can be easy and life-changing!

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