Things That Make You Gain Weight

Things That Make You Gain Weight

Weight gain is very prevalent in our society today and there are a lot of people who are depressed about their weight. It’s important to be educated on the things that make you gain weight so you then know what steps to take to live a healthy lifestyle both physically, mentally, and socially.

Lets dig in and discuss some of the reasons today and I won’t leave you until I give you some ways to deal with weight gain as well.

Chronic Stress

Things That Make You Gain WeightStress triggers cortisol production, and cortisol stimulates your body to hang on to energy, because you might need it to fight or to run from whatever is threatening you.

This is fine when the threat can be immediately taken care of so that your body can go back to a calm, non-threatened state.

 

But when the threat is vague or constant, like a chaotic home environment or a stressful workplace or bullying at school—or simply the million and one demands of a busy modern lifestyle—then your brain can’t ever shut down because the threats never really go away.

Your brain and body are in constant high-alert, cortisol levels are always high, and hanging on to energy (in the form of fat stored in cells) becomes normal.

Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life by removing triggers and saying no to stressful things. Explore stress reduction tactics like deep breathing, prayer, meditation, journaling, taking things over with friends, or being in nature.

Fat to Muscle Conversion

After a several year break from working out, I hit the gym again. I worked out every day for a week, and when I stepped on the scale, I had gained three pounds.

I was shocked and I felt betrayed. All this hard work and I GAIN weight?! Then I remembered something I should have remembered before. Muscle weighs a lot more than the same mass of fat.

I didn’t measure my waist size before and after that first week of working out, but if I had I’m sure that it would have been smaller. This kind of weight gain is especially common in those who used to be fit and got a little flabby.

When you start working out again, that flab converts back to muscle, the muscle tissue weighs more than the fat did, and just at first you may gain weight instead of losing.

Remember that the number on the scale is not the measurement that really matters so keep going. In another few weeks, assuming you are also eating nutritiously and not getting too many calories, you should see some progress on the scale too. Meanwhile, enjoy the increased muscle and the increased energy.

Drinking Calories

Things That Make You Gain WeightAre you eating the recommended 2,000 calories (for women) to 2,500 calories (for men) and getting two to three hours of vigorous activity per week.

Well if you are and you are still slowly gaining weight, the culprit may be in your drinks.

 

 

It’s easy to overlook the number of calories in soda, chocolate milk, sports drinks, fruit juices, and other drinks. A single 12 oz can of regular coke contains 150 calories, mostly from sugar.

That’s nearly a tenth of the calories you need in a day. Even one high carbohydrate drink per day can easily tip your caloric intake higher than what you need for maintenance.

In addition, the blood sugar spike that comes from drinking sugary drinks predisposes your body to become insulin resistant and to store more fat.

Replace sugary drinks with pure water, and if plain water is too boring for you, add some fresh fruit to your water bottle to create a delicious and nearly sugar free fruit infused water.

The Renin Angiotensin Activating System (RAAS)

This system works in conjunction with your kidneys. When those systems detect high levels of sodium in your blood, that gets interpreted as dehydration.

The kidneys begin to hold on to water to try to dilute the salt content back down to a normal level. This works just fine if you really are dehydrated.

But if you simply had a very salty meal, suddenly your body not only has more salt than it really needs, it also has more water sloshing around than what is needed.

A salty meal every now and then will just make you feel bloated afterward, and then your RAAS and kidneys will flush out the extra salt and restore normal balance.

The real problems begin when you get a sodium overload every day. Then bloating becomes a way of life, blood pressure rises, blood vessels get stressed, the kidneys and heart need to work harder than normal, and you gain weight.

Many quick weight loss schemes take advantage of this mechanism and include a diuretic in their products. Diuretics stimulate your kidneys to dump more water into the urine, so you pee out some of the extra weight.

For as long as you continue to take the diuretic, your weight will stay down a little bit and you’ll stay dehydrated and the sensitive regulatory system that includes the RAAS and the kidneys will stay out of balance.

When Is The Last Time You Had A Liver and Kidney Function Blood Test

Use Discount Code “NTPCKOFF”

A much better approach is to cut down the salt content of your food by eating naturally low sodium diet. With a bit of time—as little as few days can make a big difference—the sodium levels in your blood will drop to normal and your kidneys will get the go ahead to release that extra fluid.

Reading labels for sodium content is important, but watch out for sodium substitutes, which have many of the same negative effects on your body.

An even better way is to choose a whole foods diet with small amount of sea salt used in cooking. Eating whole fresh foods is more flavorful and the side effects are all good!

Weight Loss Shakes

Things That Make You Gain WeightOkay, not all the time they won’t make you gain weight. But do some label reading and make sure you know how much sugar and calories you are drinking.

It’s frustrating to be on a liquid diet, hungry all the time, and then you realize that you are actually getting way more calories than you thought you were. Weight loss and protein shakes don’t have to be healthy, and some of them certainly are not!

A second problem with using shakes for weight loss is that your body may not register the shake as a meal, which means relentless cravings and hunger pangs.

And even if it fills you up, replacing meals with shakes doesn’t help you learn to regulate food. For many people, that means that when you eventually start eating again it’s easy to gain back the weight you lost, and then some.

If you choose to use weight loss shakes or protein shakes, make sure they don’t have lots of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or other junk. Don’t use shakes as meal replacements unless there is no other option.

Instead, choose high quality protein shakes as pre or post-workout fuel or use part of a shake over ice as an alternative dessert.

Limiting Calorie Intake

Things That Make You Gain WeightTo folks who have been on the limited-calorie kick for a long time, this may come as a shock—or maybe as a relief. Thing is, calorie restriction is a key part of successful weight loss.

But if you eat so little that your body thinks you’re starving, your metabolism will kick into starvation mode.

 

When a person is starving, the body will hang on to every available speck of fat and energy. That’s great if you are in a famine, or in a concentration camp, or being held captive by evil people who aren’t feeding you.

But if you are simply trying to lose weight, holding on the fat is exactly what you don’t want to have happen.

It seems counterintuitive, but if you think about it for a bit, a starving body is not wanting to lose weight. Men usually need around 2,000 calories a day for sustained weight loss, women around 1,500. Women shouldn’t drop below 1,200 calories a day, men not below 1,500 calories a day.

There you have it. Half a dozen unexpected ways to sabotage your weight loss journey. The good news is, now you won’t waste your valuable time with counter-productive weight loss attempts, and you’ll be able to avoid the traps that may have been keeping you stuck.

I’m sure there are other ways to NOT lose weight. What have you tried that made you gain weight? Or maybe been warned about by a friend or family member who tried it? Let us know in the comments, so others can keep from making the same mistakes!

26 Comments

  1. Great write up, but there is a school of thought that says a bottle of coke daily is normal because we need a specific amount of sugar in our body to prevent being hypoglycemic.

    • Hi Comfort,

      Love the name. Thanks for visiting today. I am glad you enjoyed the information I provided in this article. I would have to disagree with you reference the bottle of coke a day. I am going to send you some details on your statement and alternatives you can try. Thanks for visiting and providing your input. Be Well!

    • I totally agree with Nate. Coke is full of sugar and you want to have that much level of sugar daily? No way!

      • Hi Lisa,

        Thank you for visiting. I am glad you can see how sugar can affect your weight and especially the sugars you find in soft drinks. I am glad you got something from this article. Be Well!

  2. Oh my God, this is great. Don’t know stress can make a man or woman gain weight, have always under stress will be lean/thin because of their unsettled mind.

    • Hi Huth,

      Thank you for visiting. I really appreciate the fact you enjoyed the article. Most important, I am glad you learned something new today. I hope to see you visit again. Be Well!

  3. This is wonderful, reading through this article is cool. Don’t know before now that there is a correlation between our salt consumption level and gaining weight. This is educative.

    • Hi James,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you enjoyed the article. I appreciate your kind words. Salt consumption is one of those things that can sneak up on you as most use salt probably more than they should.

      I am glad I was able to show you a bit of correlation between the two so that you can be aware of what to watch out for. Thanks for providing value on this topic. Hope to see you again soon. Be Well!

  4. I have gone through this article and I found it great. No time wasted in reading through. But I can’t understand what you mean by ‘weight loss shakes’, can you please give examples of such shakes.

    • Hi Juliet,

      Thank you for visiting. Glad you enjoyed the article. A weight loss shake can be a smoothie filled with protein. An example would be a peanut butter and jelly protein smoothie. Thanks for your question and valuable input on this topic. Be Well!

  5. I have taken time reading this article over and over again because I found it interesting and enlightening. You have always been coming up with a good article. Keep bursting my brain with brilliant articles.

    • Hi Faith,

      I am very glad that you found this interesting and enlightening. My hope is for you to learn new strategies and ways to keep the pounds off as well as to educate yourself on what puts on the pounds that you may not be aware of.

      I hope to see you back here again and thank you so much for visiting. Be Well!

  6. Ummmmm, a great lesson learned, losing weight and starving one’s self. Many are observing starvation thinking they are dieting, that is a big problem to one’s health.

    • Hi Kate,

      Thank you for visiting. There is definitely a huge difference between starving yourself and having a healthy diet that is sustainable and part of the process of healthy living. I am glad you also can see the difference. I hope to see you back again. Be Well!

  7. love this article and I will love to share my experience with weight loss. I have been looking for ways to lose weight and this has been disturbing for me. From reading this, I feel relieved and happy as I have been able to discover a way out.

    • Hello Angelie,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you found this article useful. Weight loss is a problem for millions of people and educating yourself and finding what works for you is vital. I look forward to providing you with more articles on this topic. Be Well!

  8. Nate, you have done well with this article. Weight gain problem is everywhere and everyman’s headache. People are constantly looking for ways of shading off their weight because of the problem associated with it.

    • Hi Juliet,

      Thank you for visiting and your kind words. I have to agree with you that weight gain is very prevalent today. It is one of the main causes of so many health problems and in some cases undue mental stress/depression as well.

      Many are definitely looking for ways to shed pounds but unfortunately more times than not they are taken advantage of by others selling products and services that are not of use to them. Its so important they learn to educate themselves on what is effective and what will work for their bodies and lifestyle. Thanks for providing your input on this topic today. Be Well!

  9. Fat to muscle conversion part is the most interesting. I never knew about this before. Thank you for the great information.

    • Hi Rayan,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad I was able to bring some light about this subject that you were not aware of. I hope to see you again soon. Be Well!

  10. You have done a great job, Nate. Thanks for highlighting this common problem and the exact reasons for the same!

    • Hi Amey,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you enjoyed the article. I hope to see you visit again. Be Well!

  11. RAAS system was an eye opener for me. Thank you for sharing the working mechanism in detail. Please write something about the weight lose pills and their dangers.

    • Hi Griffin,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you found this article helpful. I can surely write some content about weight loss pills as well. I need to research and make sure I am comfortable recommending. Be Well!

  12. Thanks a lot Nate for the great information. Before reading this article, I did not know about Cortisol; which seems an important factor in this regard!

    • Hi Peter,

      Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your kind words. I am glad I was able to provide you some information that you were not aware of. I hope to see you back here again very soon. Be Well!

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