No matter who you are there is a slim chance the scale will land on the same number every time you step on it.
A person’s weight can easily fluctuate from 2 to 8 pounds regularly. It is about recognizing what is normal for you.
If you stay within the same 5-pound range, you should be okay.
There are people that do not allow themselves any more than a five-pound weight gain before they actively take measures to lose the pounds.
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They are the smart ones because it is a lot easier to lose 5 pounds than 55 pounds.
Part of the process is identifying the things that may have caused you to gain the extra weight.
If you just went on vacation or you are on the other side of the holidays, you will not have to think hard about where the weight came from.
It is when an extra 10, 20 or even 30 pounds seems to creep on one pound at a time and the reason for this weight gain is not obvious.
Why Am I Gaining Weight?
Maybe you have not been on the scale for a while and after a recent weigh-in, you did not like the number on the scale.
After all, your habits have not changed…right? Your eating habits are the same and you have not made any major changes that should cause weight gain.
But sometimes it only takes one small thing over a period of time to change the number on the scale.
No need to panic…you got this! Here are some of the most likely reasons for unexplained weight gain, and how to stop it before it goes any further.
1.Your Portions Could be Oversized
It is no secret that most restaurants supersize their portions. If you eat the whole meal, you could be eating your calories for the day in one meal.
It is becoming more common for restaurants to list the calorie count for the meal.
This allows you to have more control over the number of calories you are eating.
Have you ever thought you were selecting the lowest calorie meal just to be shocked by the calories in the meal?
When it comes to restaurants, you might be surprised at which meals have the lowest number of calories.
If you still want it, but it is above your calorie allotment for the day, ask to have half of the meal boxed up for a later meal.
Because we are used to seeing such large portions in restaurants, it tends to skew our perspective on what we think we are normal portions when we eat it at home.
You may want to prepare a normal serving and then measure to see what you are really eating.
Or you could do like I do and prepare the serving on a very small plate.
2. Stress and Exhaustion Could be Derailing You?
Stress and exhaustion can have a big impact on weight gain. You can be stressed any number of things that could be keeping you up at night.
There are studies that show that people struggle with insomnia often consume 500 more calories a day than people who sleep through the night.
Being under stress can also change your metabolism.
Stress pumps up the hormones ghrelin and cortisol, which increase your appetite and can make you crave carbs; at the same time, it dials down the hormone leptin, which helps you feel full (1).
On the other hand, the added stress can sometimes be responsible for mindless eating leading to eating for comfort.
Try yoga, positive thinking apps, and turning off electronic devices an hour before bedtime.
3. Allergy Pills Can be the Culprit
Histamines play a role in appetite suppression and when you take antihistamines, it can cause your eating to increase.
Furthermore, some antihistamines cause drowsiness that can cause a person to forego regular exercise.
If you take this medication often, you could find yourself missing out on necessary exercise time.
Research alternative medications that will not increase your appetite as well as trying the following: using a HEPA filter, washing your sheets frequently in hot water and keeping pets out of your bedroom.
It is also important to review all of your medications to be aware of others that can possibly increase your appetite.
4. Your Insulin Levels May be Out of Control
Insulin resistance may be the culprit if you have been trying to manage your weight with no luck.
Prediabetes and hypothyroidism can be to blame. These conditions can cause the body to produce extra insulin.
The high insulin levels keep the body “storing” making it difficult to lose weight.
The end result is insulin resistance that can lead to type-2 diabetes if not treated.
The most effective way to reverse this trend is to eat a diet low in refined carbs and added sugars and to become more physically active.
A fitness tracker is a great way to track exercise.
There are several apps, such as; myfitnesspal.com that will help you track eating, exercise, water intake and weight loss.
5. The Foods are Right, but the Times are Wrong
Are you eating after 8 pm and then heading to bed in a few hours? Maybe you are surfing the web into the night and snacking while surfing?
You can be eating all the right foods, but eating close to bedtime can cause higher percentages of body fat as well as a high body-mass index.
It is best to allow at least 4 hours between your last food intake and going to bed.
6. Healthy Food, but High in Calories
It may be considered the healthiest food in the world, but that does not necessarily mean it is low in calories.
Avocados, nuts and yogurt are some examples of foods that have a lot of nutritional value, but they are also high in calories.
Let’s talk salad…if you are eating greens with fruit or veggies with no dressing, you are in good shape.
You will go into shock when you see how many calories are in a chef or cobb salad.
And then if you add ranch or blue cheese dressing, you at looking a 1,000+ calories and it’s a salad.
Be aware of what is in your food. Read labels and use apps to know exactly what is in what you are eating.
Watch for sugar and carbs in foods. They can hold you back when it comes to getting rid of the excess weight.
7. Your Age is Working Against You
As you age your basal resting metabolism (the rate at which your body at rest burns the energy you take in from food) slows down.
We become less active and lose muscle mass as the years add up, but there are things that can be done to slow this process.
Cut the carbs and replace them with lean protein. Make time for 30 minutes of cardio 3 times each week.
Strength training is a must to keep the lean muscle that burns calories while at rest.
20 minutes a day 3 times a week should be part of your weekly routine.
While this may not offer huge results, it can keep from adding extra pounds.
There are many things that can contribute to weight and we don’t always see the extra pounds coming.
The sooner you notice excess weight the sooner you can change the things that may have contributed to this weight gain.
It was most likely small changes that lead to the extra weight and it is small changes that can reverse the situation.
Look at the above seven items for things you may see in your life and tweak your habits to take regain control of your weight.