It can be frustrating when you step on the scale and see that the number has gone up, especially if you have been working hard to lose weight. But why does this happen? Many factors can contribute to the scale going up, even if you are following a healthy diet and exercise routine. In this blog, we will explore some of the reasons why the scale might be going up, and what you can do about it.
Unhealthy Diet Choices
The most obvious reason for weight gain is consuming more calories than your body burns. Eating more than your body needs regularly can lead to excess fat storage, which will result in weight gain. The best way to prevent overeating is to pay attention to portion sizes, eat slowly, and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
Even if you are eating healthy foods, it’s still possible to consume too many calories if you are not tracking your portions or snacking too much. Keep a food journal or use a tracking app to help you stay on track with your calories. Remember that even healthy foods have calories, and it’s important to be mindful of your intake.
Your Activity Levels May Be Too Low
A sedentary lifestyle, which involves little to no physical activity, can also lead to weight gain. We are seeing more and more of this lifestyle due to the bittersweetness of working from home. When you are not using up the calories you consume, they get stored as fat. A lack of physical activity also slows down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to burn calories. To combat this, it’s important to exercise regularly, even if it’s just a brisk walk or a short workout at home.
On the contrary, if you are exercising regularly – you are most likely gaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you are gaining muscle while losing fat, the scale may go up even though you are getting leaner. This is why it’s important to track progress using other methods, such as body measurements or how your clothes fit, in addition to the scale. If you are strength training, don’t let the number on the scale discourage you – focus on how you feel and the positive changes you are seeing in your body
Hormonal imbalances can also cause weight gain, particularly in women. For example, an underactive thyroid gland can slow down metabolism, leading to weight gain. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another common hormonal disorder that can cause weight gain due to insulin resistance. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Stress can also be a contributing factor to weight gain. When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can increase your appetite and lead to overeating. Chronic stress can also interfere with sleep and exercise, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight. To reduce stress, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Several medical conditions can also cause weight gains, such as Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, and insulin resistance. These conditions require medical treatment to manage, and weight loss may be a side effect of the treatment. If you suspect a medical condition, it’s important to seek medical advice and get an accurate diagnosis.
Certain medications can also cause weight gain as a side effect. For example, antidepressants and antipsychotics can lead to weight gain due to changes in appetite and metabolism. If you suspect that your medication is causing weight gain, speak to your healthcare provider about possible alternatives.
Genetics can also play a role in weight gain. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to weight gain, making it harder to lose weight. However, genetics does not have to be a determining factor, and weight loss is still achievable with the right lifestyle changes.
As well, some people retain water more easily than others. Your body can retain water for a variety of reasons, including eating too much salt, hormonal changes, or even changes in the weather. This can cause the number on the scale to go up even if you haven’t gained any actual body fat. To reduce water retention, try drinking more water and reducing your salt intake. You can also try natural diuretics, such as dandelion tea or cranberry juice.
How to Combat Weight Gain
If you are concerned about weight gain, there are several steps you can take to address it:
- Keep a food diary: Tracking what you eat can help you identify areas where you may be overeating or consuming too many calories.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help you burn calories and boost your metabolism. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Practice portion control: Use smaller plates and measure your food to ensure you eat appropriate portions.
- Eat a balanced diet: Focus on eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Manage stress: Practice relaxation techniques and make time for activities that help you unwind.
- Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, as lack of sleep can lead to overeating and weight gain.
- Seek medical advice: If you suspect a medical condition or hormonal imbalance, seek medical advice.
In conclusion, many factors can contribute to the scale going up, and it’s important to remember that weight loss is not always a linear process. If you are experiencing a plateau or an increase in weight, don’t get discouraged – instead, focus on the positive changes you are making to your health and well-being. By staying consistent with your healthy habits, you will eventually see the results you are looking for.