Most times, we know exactly why our clothes might start feeling a little snug, but I wanted to tell you about some of the more weird reasons you’re gaining weight. Weight gain isn’t always just about counting calories. Our lifestyle can contribute to weight gain, but we’d never guess that it’d be the culprit! If you’ve noticed that you’ve gained some pounds but aren’t quite sure why, check and see if it’s due to any of these common but weird reasons you’re gaining weight.
1. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP
Did you ever think that all of those late nights and early morning could contribute to weight gain? One of the weird reasons you’re gaining weight could be due to the fact that your body is lacking sleep. When we’re sleep deprived, there are biochemical changes in our body that increases hunger, stores fat or even causes us to feel not as full after eating. There’s also the chance that if you’re up later, you’re also snacking later. We might not always be able to get a full night’s sleep, but we can do our best to try to hit the sack at a decent hour whenever we can!
2. YOU’RE STRESSED
Everyone experiences stress and in small amounts, it’s actually good for us. However, when we’re under constant stress, our bodies secrete cortisol, known as the stress hormone, which can increase our appetite. WebMD notes that in addition to increasing appetite, cortisol, leptin and other hormones which are released when we’re stressed, stress can slow down our metabolism and cause weight gain in the abdominal area.
3. YOU’RE ALWAYS MULTITASKING
In today’s fast paced world, multitasking seems like the best way to maximize your time but it can have some negative side effects. Health.com notes that when we multitask, we’re not being as efficient as we think we are. It can slow us down, we make mistakes and it can stress us out. A study by Emory University found that task switching actually ruins your ability to control yourself around food. The reason being is that our brains have to allocate resources to handle all of the things we do in a day and if your day consists of a series of task switching, we won’t be able to make good decisions when it comes time to eat.
4. YOU’RE OBSESSED WITH THIN
Having a healthy role model or an ideal weight can be great for weight loss motivation, but studies from Tilsburg University in the Netherlands found that surrounding yourself with photos of super fit celebrities can actually deter you from achieving your health and fitness goals. The more you admire a model’s super thin waist, the less attainable it will seem and the more likely you are to eat unhealthy foods.
5. YOUR MEDICATION
We’re usually acutely aware of side effects of medications we take, but some things like weight gain aren’t so obvious. If you take certain medications like anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, migraine medication, anti-psychotics, beta blockers, diabetes medications, antihistamines, hormones, cancer-fighting agents and cholesterol drugs, they might be to blame for your recent weight gain.
6. YOU TRAVEL A LOT FOR WORK
Traveling for work can be fun but when you’re constantly on the road, it can lead to weight gain in the long run. A study done by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that those who travel more than 20 nights per month are 92% more likely to gain weight. This doesn’t mean that being a frequent flyer means you’re destined to gain weight. Plan ahead and look for hotels that have gyms, look for healthy eateries or cook healthy foods yourself and always keep healthy snacks on hand.
7. You’re Low on Certain Nutrients
If your body is low on certain nutrients such as Vitamin D, magnesium or iron, it can affect your body in a number of ways including slowing down the metabolism. Dr. Robert J. Hedaya of Georgetown University Medical Center says that we often compensate for our low energy with sugar, caffeine or other simple carbs than can result in gaining weight. Make certain that you’re eating well-rounded meals to help supplement your iron and magnesium levels. If you’re low on Vitamin D, it’s not as simple to supplement so it’s best to consult your doctor to get the right dosage.