Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 8:00:00 AM UTC
Weight gain can be a frustrating and complex issue that affects many people. While overeating and lack of physical activity are commonly known causes, there are also lesser-known culprits that can contribute to stubborn weight gain. These factors can include hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and chronic stress. In addition, other potential causes may be less well-known but still play a role in weight gain. By understanding these underlying factors, individuals can take a more holistic approach to weight management and work towards achieving a healthier body weight.
Digging deeper beyond the surface, below are less-known factors that sabotage weight loss:
1- Damaged metabolism:
Chronic or excessive use of specific diets and exercise routines can harm the metabolism, leading to the breakdown of cell structures, organ tissue, bone, and muscle and resulting in weight loss from vital proteins and fats. This can cause exhaustion and a plateau effect where the body conserves resources, leading to weight gain rather than loss.
2- Food sensitivities and inflammation:
Undiagnosed food sensitivities can lead to weight gain, fluid retention, increased appetite, and inflammation, making it harder to lose weight. Food intolerances produce IgG antibodies, which activate the immune system, leading to inflammation in the body and raising specific inflammatory markers, such as TNF-a and CRP, impairing the brain's ability to receive leptin's appetite-suppressing communications.
3- Poor liver function and toxic chemical exposure:
The liver is the body's primary fat metabolizer, and poor liver function can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance. The liver is also responsible for processing and eliminating toxins, such as pesticides, fungicides, and heavy metals. If the liver's ability to remove toxins is compromised, the body stores fat to protect vital organs from exposure.
4- High stress:
Stress can make it harder to lose weight, as cortisol, the primary stress hormone, shuts down digestion and slows metabolism. High cortisol levels can also lead to high blood sugar, increased belly fat, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
5- Lack of sleep:
Lack of sleep can disrupt the hormones responsible for regulating appetite, leading to increased hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods. Poor sleep can also lead to increased levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol.
6- Thyroid dysfunction:
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone, resulting in unexplained weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism and how efficiently the body burns food for energy.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism. It can cause unexplained weight gain.
7- Estrogen imbalance:
Excess estrogen can cause weight gain, while low estrogen levels lead to decreased metabolism and increased fat storage. Xenoestrogens, found in animal products, parabens, plastics, and BPAs, can also influence weight gain and the inability to lose weight.
8- Insulin imbalance and PCOS:
Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain and type 2 diabetes and can be an underlying driver of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can lead to irregular periods, male pattern hair growth, acne, and weight gain.
9- Low testosterone:
Low testosterone levels can cause declining muscle mass, leading to weight gain and stubborn fat. Several factors can cause low testosterone levels, including aging, obesity, chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease, certain medications like opioids and glucocorticoids, and damage to the testicles or pituitary gland. Lifestyle factors like lack of exercise, poor sleep, and high-stress levels can also contribute to low testosterone. Additionally, certain genetic conditions and infections can lead to low testosterone production.
10- Leptin resistance:
Leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger and metabolism. When your body becomes resistant to leptin, it can cause you to overeat and store more fat, making it harder to lose weight.
Causes include high levels of inflammation, high intake of processed and high-fat foods, chronic stress, lack of sleep, and genetics. Leptin resistance is also commonly associated with obesity, as excess body fat can lead to an overproduction of leptin, which can eventually cause the body to become resistant to its effects.
11- Adrenal fatigue:
Chronic stress can cause your adrenal glands to fatigue, leading to hormone imbalances such as cortisol. High cortisol levels can increase appetite and cause the body to store more fat, particularly around the belly.
Contributing factors include chronic stress, poor diet and nutrition, lack of sleep, and chronic infections. It's important to note that adrenal insufficiency, a medical condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, is a separate and recognized condition with specific known causes such as autoimmune disease, infection, and certain medications.
12- Gut imbalances:
An unhealthy gut can lead to inflammation, interfering with hormone signaling and weight gain. Additionally, an overgrowth of harmful gut bacteria can affect how your body processes food and nutrients.
13- Prescription medications:
Certain prescription medications can make it difficult to lose weight. Examples of these drugs are:
•Medications for diabetes, such as sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and insulin
•Antipsychotic drugs like clozapine, haloperidol, and lithium
•Antidepressants like amitriptyline, sertraline, and paroxetine
•Drugs used for treating epilepsy, such as valproate and carbamazepine
•Hormonal drugs like birth control pills or prednisone
•Blood pressure-lowering medications such as beta-blockers
14- Mindset and limiting beliefs:
Past failure in dieting and negative beliefs about eating healthy can create a negative cycle that makes it harder to stick to healthy eating habits. A positive mindset and self-talk can help break this cycle and create lasting change.