To tell you the truth, gaining weight can’t be dissolved down to one single reason. In fact, for most people putting on excess weight comes down to a combination of causes. Those factors usually build and come together over time, and wind up affecting their diet, exercise routines, and lifestyle. Here are just a few reasons I am aware of that influences your weight.
We all deal with an abnormal amount of stress these days, don’t we? And those elevated stress levels cause the release of huge quantities of cortisol along with other stress related hormones.
Even though these hormones are originally intended for responding to threats and danger, they wind up triggering a host of food cravings and hunger. Most of the symptoms of stress related hormones manifest as overeating, so that’s a real reason for gaining weight.
As if the hormones related to stress weren’t enough, there are other chemical messengers that tell us we’re hungry, thirsty, and are craving specific foods to eat.
These hormones can fluctuate and turn up in highly elevated levels. When they do, they produce sensations that you really need something to eat, when in fact, you’re not hungry at all.
There are actually a lot of medical conditions that play havoc with your metabolism and your body’s capicity to burn fat, absorb and utilize nutrients, and more that directly influence your weight. And then, there are some medicines that simply directly induce weight gain.
Even though I’m calling this genetics, I’m not sure about real genetics that produce how much we weigh. However, there is a direct correlation between a family history of obesity and your own likelihood of being obese.
Face it, learning poor nutritional habits as a young child is something that’s incredibly difficult to overcome and learn new ways and foods to eat.
Mental Health Issues
People with ongoing depression and anxiety issues are much more likely to be overweight than most people. These two conditions alone raise stress levels, result in overeating and disordered eating habits. And to make the problem worse is the fact that most medicines for the problems either promote increased appetite or leave you with no way to know when you are full.
Don’t think struggling with alcohol and drugs are the only addictions. If the truth were known, I am sure there are far more people addicted to food for the sole purpose of soothing emotions.
Food addictions are far more prevalent than most people realize and they are direct contributors to behaviors that lead to gaining weight.
Food Availability and Advertising
The types of food readily available in your area and home, as well as the ads we all drown in play a key role in your own weight.
I can bet you rarely (I want to say never have) seen an advertisement for fresh vegetables, meat, fruit, and nuts. No, what is readily available and advertised highly is heavily processed foods high in sugar. And advertised foods are always lacking in real nutrients, and they all lead to more pounds.
It may be hard to swallow, but you can’t get around the fact, that with age comes a slower metabolism. Here’s what so many people don’t “get” about that:
As you age and your metabolism slows, it simply takes less food to fuel your needs. However, we keep eating the same amount of food we were eating years ago. That leads to a steady progression of weight gain over the years.
Cultural and Family Traditions
The way you learn to eat in your family as you grow up becomes your attitude about your eating habits. For most of us, family gatherings, holidays, and rituals is a significant part of how we view eating. Usually the foods we eat and the way we eat are direct reflections one way or the other on how we were raised.
I am always amazed at the people I know personally who complain about gaining weight, and adamantly refuse to exercise?
I’m saying if you don’t believe exercise, good health, strong joints, maintaining a desirable weight, and staying mobile throughout your life all go together, you need to get your head out of your “?”.
And I’m saying that if you know that’s true, and you still don’t exercise a few times a week, then adding to your waistline is just the prize you get.
As you can see, why you are gaining weight could be the result of a variety of reasons, and not just one single thing. In some cases, just changing one thing in your life won’t stop it. It could take a more comprehensive solution than merely adressing one piece of the puzzle.
However, I can assure you that you can’t possibly waste your efforts or time by adding a regular exercise routine to the mix. Exercise will not only burn of some the excess calories you are eating, it will help convert some of the existing body fat to energy, along with actually decreasing the appetite for food that creates weight gain.