Some Causes of Weight Gain
Even though we think we're doing everything right, we may still hit a wall when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes, even though we're on a diet, we end up gaining weight. It can certainly be a cause of much consternation and we're left wondering why it is happening to us.
We've Said It Before
One thing that profoundly affects weight loss is dieting. We've discussed this in another article on this site, so suffice to say that dieting throws your body into starvation mode and it reacts by slowing the metabolism and storing fat in order to protect you and keep you alive during the famine (diet).
The most obvious reason for weight gain is consuming more calories than you are burning. If you are eating more than you are utilizing, then you will definitely gain weight. Calorie restrictive diets operate on the principle of reducing calories below what are used in order to instigate weight loss. We know that restricting calories and increasing exercise are effective for weight loss. It is also important to know what kind of calories you are consuming and where they come from - fat, carbohydrates or protein. The type of calories you do eat can have as profound an effect upon weight control as cutting calories out of your diet.
The Danger of Low-Fat and No-Fat Diets
As odd as this may sound, fat is essential to weight loss. Of course, large amounts of saturated fats in the diet are unhealthy and cause weight gain. However, our bodies need essential fatty acids in order for our organs to function properly and for our bodies to regulate weight. The latest diet battle cry is "cut out fat". Eating low-fat and no-fat foods (which tend to be higher in sugar and salt) has become an unbalanced and, at times, dangerous method of dieting. This is the very sort of thing that can make you fat.
Sugar and other types of "fast-releasing" foods increase blood sugar levels quickly, meaning your body must secrete more insulin in order to control the spike. When you eat, your body determines whether it will burn the food as energy or store it as fat. High insulin levels that result from a spike in blood sugars not only convert your food into fat, but previously stored fat is prevented from breaking down. Foods that contain simple sugar and refined flour (cakes, cookies, pastries and other sugary items) are fast-releasing foods. Craving sugary foods, feeling tired during the day, feeling light-headed and dizzy or shaky if you miss a meal are all indications your blood sugar levels could be out of balance.
Other Possible Culprits of Weight Gain
An underactive thyroid can cause weight gain. Women should have their thyroid levels checked by their doctors when they have their regular yearly checkups. Prescription drugs, hormone replacement therapy, contraceptive pills and steroids all cause weight gain as well.
In order for your body to burn fuel properly, enzymes are produced that break food down into energy. If you are suffering from a nutritional deficiency of vitamins or minerals, these enzymes may be affected. There are some simple tests to check for deficiencies which could be affecting your weight.