Most of us are familiar with the yo-yo of the scale going up and down. Nearly a third of US adults are overweight, and 61 percent of us picked up yet more weight during the first year of the pandemic.
Keeping our weight under control can get frustrating, especially if you’re pretty sure diet and lack of exercise aren’t making the number rise. Determining the true cause is the first step in developing a good weight management plan. Let’s look at common reasons for unexpected weight gain and what you can do about it.
Causes of Weight Gain
Eating too much and getting stuck in a sedentary lifestyle account for most people’s weight gain, but they aren’t the only causes. Medications, health conditions, and hormonal imbalances are often sneaky reasons the scale goes up.
Many drugs alter the function of your body and brain, which explains how they can contribute to weight gain. They can reduce your metabolic rate, increase your appetite, and make you retain water. The more common culprits here include:
- Diabetes medication
- Birth control pills
Some underlying health problems can contribute to weight gain, which might be unexplainable if the condition is undiagnosed. It’s important to deal with the condition before you can focus on dealing with the excess weight. Common conditions that impact weight include:
- Sleep apnea
- Metabolic syndrome
- Binge eating disorder
- Cushing’s syndrome
Occasionally, the body begins to struggle to regulate the balance of certain hormones. Too much of some or not enough of others can account for some weight gain. Among the hormones that tend to be at issue here include:
Your treatment plan will depend on the reason identified for your weight gain. It could be as simple as changing your diet and getting more daily movement. But until you explore all the possibilities, your plan could be incomplete and less effective.
If the issue is a medication, your options could be to change to a different type or to take a lower dose. An underlying health condition can be identified and treated so it becomes less of a factor.
Hormone levels can be checked to see if they’re high or low. Replacement therapy or blockers work to get your hormones back in balance.
Finding the right approach to weight management starts with a look back, reviewing your medical history and previous weight-loss attempts. Combined with your current eating and exercise habits, they can point us toward the right questions to ask as we look for any physical or mental causes.
From there, we run tests to rule out hormone imbalances or other health problems impacting your weight, along with a mental health review. We’ll log your height and current weight to set a benchmark to check your progress.
Regular follow-ups allow us to fine-tune your plan to ensure we address any underlying issues and continue to assess your overall health. The follow-up sessions include ongoing mental health checks and tracking your current weight.
A Better Path to Weight Management
Managing your weight might require more than eating well and getting exercise. Poor sleep, medications, and hormone imbalances can all play a role in unintentional weight gain, requiring a more proactive and medical approach to the problem. Once any underlying issues have been identified, you have a better chance of success with a management plan.
Looking for help with your weight? Contact us to get started on a more holistic path toward weight management.