The frustration of seeing extra pounds on the scale is understandable, but your weight gain problem may be anything from a hormonal imbalance to vitamin deficiencies to the prescription meds. Here are some health issues that could be standing between you and your ideal weight—and how to fix them.
Depression: There is evidence that feelings of depression can correlate to weight gain. People who feel sad and lonely gain weight more quickly than those who report fewer depression-related symptoms. They may be eating more high-fat, high-calorie comfort foods or they may have cut back on their physical activity.
If your meds are not to blame, seek out some workout buddies or a support group. Attending meetings, or working out with a group of friends is a great way to increase social support, which can help depression."
Slow gut: Digestive issues, including slow bowel movements, may also account for excess pounds. Ideally, you eat, and then, an hour or so later, you have a bowel movement, but once or twice a day is still in the healthy range. If you’re not so regular, dehydration, medications, low fiber, or even a lack of good flora in your gut could be to blame.
If constipation is your only symptom, then probiotics can help your digestive tract work properly. Staying hydrated and enjoying a diet chock-full of fiber-rich foods are your best options to tackle constipation. If you’re still having trouble, check with your doctor to rule out a range of disorders, including hypothyroidism or a neurological issue.
Your body's missing certain nutrients: Being low in vitamin D, magnesium, or iron can compromise your immune system, sap your energy levels, or alter your metabolism in ways that make it harder to take healthy-lifestyle steps. You may compensate for low energy with caffeine, sweets, and simple carbs, or find that you feel too run down or weak to exercise. You can try to boost your iron levels by eating red meat and spinach and increase magnesium by adding Brazil nuts or almonds to your diet.
Getting older: As you get older, you don’t burn as many calories at 40 or 50 as you used to burn at 20. So you need more exercise—and less food—to keep metabolism going. Some studies show that exercise might be even more important than the diet for long-term weight maintenance. One way is to choose low-fat proteins and reduce carbs to help avoid unnecessary pounds.
Plantar fasciitis: Many musculoskeletal conditions, including plantar fasciitis, but also osteoarthritis and knee or hip pain, can result in unintentional weight gain. Plantar fasciitis certainly can force you to cut back on your activity enough to cause weight gain. Modify your exercise program to swap biking or swimming in place of weight-bearing exercise. Seek out a physical therapist who can design an appropriate program for your specific needs—ask your doctor or check out websites for help.