6 Conditions That Can Speed Up Weight Gain & Explain Why Your Diet Isn't working
Weight management programs and the start of a new year go hand in hand. We all know that losing weight is not as easy as it sounds. After the first couple of kilos drop, many of us seem to stagnate, or worse, start gaining weight again.
For most of us, it's likely because we simply lose the drive to keep up the regime. But, sometimes, there are other factors influencing our outcomes.
Today we look at some of the underlying causes of the scale moving in the opposite direction to what we had planned.
Once we realize that we are all unique and adapt our approach accordingly, many things fall into place. One of the challenges that we can face with the food we eat is that we tend to repeat the meals we like, or those that are easy to prepare.
This can cause the body to start building up resistance to our favourite foods and trigger a food intolerance reaction. We spoke about these in a previous article.
By finding out which foods we are intolerant to, we can minimize their effects and reduce the risk of inflammation which can lead to weight gain, even whilst eating healthy food.
Weight and genetics
Although many people would see bringing in genetic influences as an excuse, there is actually good science to back this up. Epigenetics is, in a word, the study of how your behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.
We inherit genetic variants from our parents which is why one sees that, in some family lines, certain foods affect weight differently than in others. Many of these gene expressions can be changed through lifestyle and detoxification depending on the specific genetic challenge.
How hormones affect our weight
As we age our hormonal profiles experience some interesting changes. Of course, things such as menopause are much more pronounced in their symptoms. Other than just estrogen, there are four other hormones that affect our ability to lose weight:
- DHEA declines
- Cortisol goes up
- Leptin resistance can ensue
- Insulin resistance can ensue
Toxins and weight gain
“The solution to pollution is dilution”. In addition to being fun to say, this concept is one that our bodies wholeheartedly embrace.
When we have many toxins in our system, our body will try to protect itself. Our bodies use detoxification organs to do this job. Up to just a couple of decades ago, this has been sufficient. Today we are so bombarded with toxins, some bodies struggle to keep up with the demand for detoxification.
Luckily, we come with a failover system. In brief, the body envelopes the toxins in fat cells and increases the size of these fat cells in order to mitigate the risk of the toxin to itself.
Stress affects your weight
Some stress is good for us, in some cases even necessary. But if stress is a constant, the body starts to rebel. One of the ways that excess stress negatively impacts us is through the production of excess cortisol. This has been discussed in the article on how to take control of stress by restoring balance.
Of course, if the body is not in the fight or flight mode, we can decrease the need for cortisol production and stand a better chance of losing weight
Stress can trigger comfort eating for many of us. Emotional eating is another cause of weight gain and is especially common during times of fear or stress like we are living in today. Confronting the cause of emotional eating instead of going on the rollercoaster of blame and guilt can really help. It is ok to ask for help!
Sleep is critical
Detoxification happens mostly while we sleep. In order to help our body rid itself of toxins rather than re-absorbing them and wrapping them in fat cells, we need to allow our bodies to do their job. Getting adequate sleep is one of the most underrated tools for weight loss.
It’s not always simple
To many, weight management seems like an easy process of controlling your food, exercising, and then watching the fat drop. We have seen clearly that there are sometimes underlying challenges such as those seen above that need to be addressed in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Remember that the process of health is unique to you and that you need to incorporate elements that work for you - there is no silver bullet to weight loss but, being aware of some of the key factors and how to fix them will help you on your way.
Please listen to our podcast discussion for more insights!