Don’t Miss a Single Update or New Release! Sign up Today

6 possible reasons why you are gaining weight

6 possible reasons why you are gaining weight
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

Why You're Gaining Weight

Sometimes it doesn't matter what lifestyle choices we make, we still gain weight. Seeing that innocuous little number slowly go up on our scale can be detrimental to both your health and your self-esteem. No matter how healthy you try to live your body might have other plans. So what happens when you start gaining weight? If you're struggling with this issue then you should make sure you cross out a few common issues before you start giving up hope entirely.

Below are some of the top potential reasons why you're gaining weight:

1. Your diet has nutritional gaps

Missing out on certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can make a huge impact on your body" and that includes playing a role in unintentional weight gain. Vitamin D, magnesium, and iron are the top three vitamins that can slow your metabolism, reduce your energy levels, and compromise your immune system.

There are a few ways to make sure you're getting enough vitamins"The first is to add certain foods into your diet that are rich in what you're lacking. Iron can be found in red meat, beans, and dark leafy beans. Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens, almonds, nuts, and seeds. When it comes to vitamin D you may have to break out the big guns" buying a vitamin supplement. When you're low in that particular nutrient then it can be nearly impossible to eat enough foods that contain it to fix the problem

2. You may be experiencing stressful situations

If you're on antidepressants, or simply taking less of an interest in things that used to make you happy then you might be feeling your weight gain as a side effect of the medication, or the depression itself. People who are on antidepressants usually see a gradual amount of weight gain every year (between 5-15lbs) which can continue to accumulate throughout the years. Actually being depressed can cause you to gain weight through lack of physical activity and comfort eating.

If you're on medication and the only side effect is weight gain, then consider how much of an impact it's actually making on your life. If your meds are working for you in most other ways, then it may be worth it to talk to your doctor about a drug called Wellbutrin, another antidepressant that can be prescribed to take along with your current meds (or by itself) which actually helps with weight loss.

If you find yourself depressed and unmediated then it's definitely worth it to seek help, through a doctor, therapist or a support group. As much as you might not feel like doing it, exercise is actually a really beneficial activity for someone with anxiety, and you might find it useful to take up jogging, or joining a fitness group.

3. You are losing muscle

After you hit your 30's you start losing muscle mass"and that can really change your body in undesirable ways. A condition that many people call "skinny fat' can come from not enough strength training and too much cardio. So, whether you are on top of your exercising game and simply finding your body a lot less responsive, or you're forgoing any physical activity at all, you should think about adding weights into your life.

If you're looking for a way to ease yourself in then try practices that use bodyweight, such as pilates, yoga or the unfortunately named "prison workout'.

4. You are experiencing sleep deprivation

You might be eating clean and working out like a champion, but if you're not keeping an adequate sleeping schedule then you're going to find your efforts greatly limited. When you're exhausted you actually are more likely to reach for less healthy and more comforting food" which is only one of the many reasons you should really focus on getting enough shut eye.

If you're having a tough time getting to sleep then you should work on improving your "sleep hygiene'. Go to bed at the same time every night, avoid late night caffeine and alcohol and try relaxation techniques for letting go of any stress and anxiety you're holding. Another great tip for our technology obsessed generation is to ditch the phone and tablet when you're in bed.

If you are still struggling to sleep at night you should consider talking to a doctor to get to the root of your problems.

5. You are getting older

Although you may not want to admit it, it's something that is unavoidable in all living things"and that's getting older. Along with wrinkles, grey hair and a compulsion to stay in on Saturday nights it can actually make a huge impact on your body and how quickly you burn calories and retain muscle.

So what can you do to update your diet and exercise routine when you're dealing with age-related weight gain? Remember, what you eat is the cornerstone of your health. Adding lean protein into your diet will help your body burn calories more efficiently. Adding a weight training routine is also a great way to combat any muscle loss that you also may be dealing with.

6. You may have a medical condition

Hypothyroidism, diabetes, Cushing syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome" these are all medical conditions that can lead to weight gain. If you are finding that nothing you do is making an impact on your weight loss efforts, or you have gained a large amount of weight in a short amount of time then you should consider seeing your doctor about possible medical causes.

The good news is that once you're diagnosed there are many options when it comes to dealing with these conditions, and you may find that your quality of life takes a turn for the better once you figure out what you've been suffering from.

It may be scary going in for tests, and being unsure whether or not something is wrong with your body" but leaving these medical issues undiagnosed is going to do a lot more damage in the long run. If this is something that concerns you then please don't hesitate in making an appointment with your doctor or talk to a medical provider at Nu Image Medical today about the options available to you.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.