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There’s nothing more frustrating than piling on the pounds, despite watching what you eat and hitting the gym. Although there are lots of obvious reasons for putting on weight, here are five ones you might not have considered before.
- Lack of sleep
Adults need around 7-9 hours of sleep every night to function well and allow the body to heal and restore itself. Failure to get adequate shuteye can disrupt hormone levels, making your metabolism sluggish. This encourages fat to be stored in the body, and may also increase your appetite. When you’re sleep deprived, there’s also a higher risk of making unhealthy food choices – you’re more likely to grab a calorie-laden snack to achieve a quick energy rush, for example. Plus, lack of sleep can reduce motivation to exercise, further preventing weight loss.
What can you do? Get into a regular routine each night so that you get adequate sleep. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine prior to bedtime, and avoid browsing on your phone or tablet late at night as light from the screen stimulates hormones that keep you alert and awake.
When stress levels get too high, you could put on weight. Although stress is unavoidable at times, it’s how you deal with it that matters. Many people reach for junk food when feeling under pressure, as this temporarily alleviates worrying feelings. However, in the long term, fat and sugar-rich foods won’t make you feel any better, and will negatively impact your waistline. Stress also releases the chemical cortisol, which upsets the balance of your hormones and may interfere with normal metabolism functioning.
To combat stress, engage in exercise or outdoor activities. This releases feel-good hormones and will shift any stubborn, excess pounds.
- Medical conditions
In some cases, certain medical conditions can cause you to put on weight, such as thyroid problems, Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and depression. The side effects of some medications can also contribute to weight gain.
If you can’t pinpoint why you’ve been putting on weight lately, speak to your doctor, especially if you’ve also been experiencing other symptoms.
- Increased portion sizes
If your diet hasn’t changed but the weight is still creeping on, consider whether your portion sizes have been expanding of late. Perhaps you’ve bought a new set of bigger plates or you’ve been going back for seconds without thinking about it. Either way, more food equals more calories, which means an increase in body weight.
Be mindful about how much you eat at meal times and for snacks. Take photos of meals to get an idea of portion sizes, or, for more accuracy, measure or weigh food. Consider switching to smaller plates too.
- Food intolerances
Some people are sensitive or intolerant to certain foods, with dairy and gluten being common culprits. Symptoms can include bloating, indigestion, fatigue and low mood. The inflammatory immune response from food intolerances can even lead to weight gain, so if you’ve been putting on the pounds and can’t work out why, think about whether food sensitivities may be to blame.
Talk to your GP if you suspect you’ve got a food intolerance. They’ll be able to run blood tests, which could identify the culprit. You might also wish to try eliminating certain foods over a period of time to see if you notice any difference.
By identifying these sneaky weight-inducing culprits you can achieve your ideal body goals. With a little help from the wide range of products at Steroids & Muscle, you may also be able to achieve the body you desire.