causes of weight gain

What Are the Common Causes of Weight Gain?

Erin Schnittker

In the United States, 36.5% of adults are considered obese, with another 32.5% being considered overweight. Therefore, altogether, around 2/3 of the American adult population could stand to lose at least some weight. 

Are you one of these adults? Are you curious as to the causes of weight gain? You're reading the right article. 

Below, we're going to tell you everything there is to know about gaining weight, thoroughly answering the question of "why do people gain weight?". Let's go! 

A Lack of Exercise

Perhaps the most common cause of weight gain is a lack of exercise. If you're not exercising on a regular basis, you're almost certainly going to be taking more calories in than you're burning off. This is how weight gain occurs. 

You're advised to do 30 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week. That is unless your cardio is on the intense side, in which case, you can get by with 15 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. 

Now, what is cardio? It includes everything from brisk walking to jogging to riding a bike to playing basketball and more. It's any form of exercise that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time. 

Intense forms of cardio include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), rowing, swimming, and bicycling. Mild forms of cardio include walking and jogging. 

Note that weightlifting can also help to stave off weight gain, as muscle growth simultaneously burns off fat. As such, you should consider adding resistance training to your exercise routine at least 3 days a week. 

Poor Diet

Just as big a factor in weight gain as a lack of exercise is poor diet. Whether it's eating too many calories a day, eating the wrong types of foods, missing out on specific foods, or otherwise, a poor diet can very easily lead to weight gain both in the short term and in the long run. 

First, you need to determine what your maintenance caloric intake is. This is the number of calories that you can consume in a day without gaining or losing any weight. To find this, you'll have to experiment a bit; that said, there are calculators that can give you a ballpark estimate. 

Then, you'll need to assess what types of foods you most typically put into your body. If they're high in carbs, they're most likely contributing to weight gain, as excess carbs come to be stored as fat. Try to establish a macronutrient split of 45% protein, 30% carbs, and 25% fat. 

You'll also want to abide by the food pyramid, at least as much as reasonably possible. A well-balanced diet will keep your metabolism firing, and ensure that you're shedding as many calories as possible on a daily basis. 

It's also important, of course, to minimize your intake of sugary, starchy, and alcohol-laden foods and beverages. Soda consumption, in particular, tends to contribute to weight gain quite rapidly. 

Genetics

Genetics are a common cause of weight gain as well. Whereas some peoples' weight is highly affected by genetics, other peoples' weight is only mildly affected. 

That said, just because your family is prone to weight gain doesn't mean that you can't take action to burn calories. Yes, you might have more trouble losing weight than some other people but you can still achieve reasonable weight loss, even with genetics working against you. 

Medication Use

Do you take any medications? If so, they could be causing you to gain weight. There are a handful of medications that cause weight gain, either directly or indirectly. 

Whereas some of these medications increase appetite, leading to increased food consumption, others of these medications slow down the metabolism, making it harder for the body to burn additional calories. 

Now, what types of medications cause these problems? They run the gamut from antidepressants to birth control to antihistamines and more.

If you take any of these medications, you need to go the extra mile in keeping your weight off. Count your calories diligently, be religious about your exercise, and make sure your diet is in tip-top shape. 

Aging

Another factor that commonly results in weight gain is aging. In other words, as you get older, you're going to have more and more trouble keeping off extra weight. 

Why does aging result in increased weight? It's because, as you age, you lose muscle mass and replace it with fat mass. Because fat mass doesn't require as many calories to thrive as does muscle mass, more calories tend to get stored in the body. This results in weight gain. 

There are also hormonal changes that occur as we age. These changes can result in weight gain as well. For instance, menopause often results in weight gain for women. In addition, reduced testosterone levels often result in weight gain for men. 

Hormonal Changes

We just mentioned hormonal changes as they relate to aging. However, it's not just age-related hormonal changes that result in weight gain. All hormonal changes can result in weight gain. 

From low testosterone to hormonal changes during pregnancy to hormonal changes due to a thyroid disorder and more, all sorts of hormone-fluctuating conditions can cause you to pack on the pounds. 

This is why, if you gain substantial amounts of weight out of nowhere, you should see a doctor. 

The Causes of Weight Gain Are Many

In truth, the causes of weight gain are many. It's not just too many calories or not enough exercise. It's every negative aspect of one's lifestyle, from poor sleep to bad diet and more. 

Fortunately, there are products available to aid in weight loss, setting your body on the right track to shed some calories. Interested in purchasing any of these products? Check them out now! 

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get rid of stubborn belly fat

What Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat?

Erin Schnittker

If left unattended belly fat can increase mortality risk by as much as 32%.

Nobody loves love handles. But the dangers of belly fat are deeper than their appearance. Abdominal fat, especially deep abdominal fat otherwise known as visceral fat, is incredibly hazardous to health.

Visceral fat in the abdomen surrounds your most important organs like your lungs, gastrointestinal system, and heart. Fat is a storage space for toxins, so the more fat buildup in your abdomen, the more toxins.

This increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, endocrine disorders, and many other problematic diseases. 

Most people worry about how to get abs for appearance. But it's a signifier of health too. Whether your goal is a six-pack or improved overall health these five steps will tell you how to get rid of stubborn belly fat.

1. Aerobic Exercise Strategically

Aerobic exercise, cardio, is the most effective exercise to lose belly fat. Cardio burns calories and calories burned equals fat loss. It's a simple equation, but there are certain considerations when it comes to cardio for stubborn fat removal.

One of the best ways to promote the body's fat-burning abilities is to perform fasting cardio. This means exercising on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Some excellent aerobic activities for fat loss include long walks, running, sports like tennis or soccer, swimming, and rowing. 

The caveat is that if you do your fasting cardio too late in the day, you run the risk of boosting your adrenaline and cortisol levels. These hormones increase stress which is counterintuitive to weight loss. 

Make sure your aerobic sessions follow these guidelines:

  • Happen consistently for about five days a week
  • Break out a sweat to remove toxins
  • Increase heart rate
  • Menstruating women are recommended to do light cardio
  • Eat within a half-hour of completing your workout
  • Leave you energized not fatigued

This last bullet note is important as feeling exhausted after a workout could mean you are overexerting yourself and damaging your gut lining while promoting stress. Two things that increase abdominal fat storage.

2. Eat Intuitively

There is no such thing as a perfect diet. You don't need to cut out a whole food category to get rid of stubborn belly fat. Eating intuitively is the best thing for fat loss. The more balanced your hormones and blood sugar levels are, the more you will crave healthy whole foods.

If your hormones and blood sugar are all over the place, you will crave junk. That is not the time to go on a strict diet, but it is the time to find a practitioner who can help you rebalance your body. 

It's most important to get a balance of macronutrients, which are carbs, proteins, and fat. When you increase your activity you need more protein. 

Try to follow these suggestions when it comes to knowing how to eat for stubborn fat removal:

  • Check for any food intolerances, these can increase inflammation-related fat storage
  • Also, check for nutrient deficiencies, certain deficiencies such as Iron can cause sluggish liver and induce fat storage
  • Lastly, check your hormones and make sure they are balanced, unbalanced hormones can cause intense cravings that sabotage your weight loss goals

When it comes to the actual foods to eat, the foundation of your diet should consist of whole foods. Avoid processed junk at all costs. 

Get creative with fruits and vegetables. Then at wild-caught seafood or grass-fed animal protein. Include lots of fiber-rich carbs like amaranth and quinoa too. 

3. Reduce Stress

Stress can increase fat storage in the abdomen. This happens when the adrenal glands are in constant fight-or-flight mode due to too much adrenaline roaming freely in the blood. 

This adrenaline triggers the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Higher levels of cortisol increase appetite and promote specifically abdominal fat storage. Minimizing stress should not be an afterthought for your health goals.

Make minimizing stress a priority and beat the belly fat with these stress-reducing techniques:

  • Prayer or meditation
  • Getting adequate and restful sleep
  • Therapy or other behavioral relief
  • Avoiding intense exercise when you are not up for it
  • Engaging in pleasurable activities that make you feel happier

Whatever kicks the stress for you, consider it a step towards a slimmer waistline.

4. Strength Train

Cardio is not the only exercise to lose belly fat. A combination of cardio and strength training is the perfect recipe.

Strength training has advantages that cardio doesn't provide. 

  • Strength training increases muscle mass which increases resting metabolism, meaning you burn more calories while doing nothing
  • It's also a great way to tone your abdominal region so when you do lose  belly fat you have a nice toned six-pack underneath

Make sure to take one to two days off between lifting sessions to reduce physical stress and provide your body with ample recovery time. 

5. Enhance

This blog is a guide on how to get rid of stubborn fat, so maybe you've already tried steps 1-4 with no luck. If that's the case, it's important to stay persistent. But the three suggestions below will help accelerate your stubborn fat removal.

Supplements

Inability to lose weight could be a sign that something is wrong with your body. You should get checked with your doctor. They might advise you to try an Omega-3 supplement or carb blocker which both support weight loss. 

Carb blockers are super popular for weight loss as they inhibit the enzymes that turn carbs into fat. 

Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage is a massage that moves stagnant lymph out of the body and through the urine. Stagnant lymph holds toxins that can deter all of your body's functions, including fat loss. Stagnant lymph may also cause bloating that worsens the appearance of abdominal fat.

Cryotherapy

Cryo, aka "cold" therapy is an ancient treatment with an updated trendy twist. It involves standing in a -285 degree Fahrenheit chamber. You can burn 500 to 800 calories in one three-minute session!

Five Steps to Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat

It's hard to get rid of stubborn belly fat, but it's not impossible! Sometimes you just need a new mindset, a change of strategy, and some supplementation for existing deficiencies. 

Check out our selection of weight loss supplement suggestions to support your abdominal fat loss goals.

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