Trying everything you can to lose weight just in time to fit into that dreamy lehenga for your best friend’s wedding, but frustrated that even by watching what you eat and exercising every single day of the week, the numbers on the weighing scale are not moving in your favour?! It’s extremely baffling to not actually pinpoint what’s going wrong even after you put in so much effort to melt away love handles and belly fat. You would be astonished to find that a majority of reasons behind increased weight gain have nothing to do with your diet. Surprised? Read on to find the exact reason behind your weight gain.
1. Hormonal Imbalances: Some people, especially women, find it extremely difficult to shed any significant weight despite their sincere efforts in the gym and counting every single calorie. Thyroid, estrogen, insulin, leptin, ghrelin are some hormones that regulate weight and their imbalance can make it extremely difficult to shed extra pounds. It would be prudent enough to get hormonal profiling done and balance out faulty hormones. The good news is that by following a healthy diet (Rati Beauty diet), exercising regularly, and making lifestyle changes can help a great deal in balancing out hormonal imbalances and to bring them to their optimum levels.
2. Insulin Resistance: Insulin, which is a blood sugar regulating hormone, also plays a huge role in fat metabolism, and high insulin levels encourage storage of fat in the body. When we eat high-glycemic foods (sugar, refined carbs, etc), the level of blood glucose rises. When that happens, insulin is released by pancreas to regulate and bring down glucose level. However, when there is a high amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream on a steady basis, after a point, body cells become less responsive to the efforts of insulin. When that happens, all extra circulating glucose is directed to be stored as body fat. If you are insulin resistant, it can prevent weight loss and excessive storage of body fat. In fact, high and frequent insulin secretion will block fat burning (aka lipolysis). Insulin resistance also lowers metabolism, leading to weight gain. To correct insulin resistance, stay away from refined carbs, white sugar, eat veggies, increase protein intake, and also correct magnesium deficiency if any.
3. Sluggish Metabolism: Metabolism is considered as a mechanism which torches up calories inside the body. With wrong dietary choices, sedentary lifestyle, increased stress, lack of sleep, metabolism dips and fewer calories get burnt. To improve metabolism, eat healthy and whole foods, sleep for at least 7 hours, exercise regularly, cut down sugar, and avoid processed food.
4. Sleep deprivation: Sleep deprivation throws all hormones out of whack, especially leptin and ghrelin, increasing the level of hunger hormone ghrelin and dropping satiety hormone leptin. When you sleep well at night, the levels of sleep hormone melatonin increases which in turn lowers hunger and stress hormones (ghrelin and cortisol respectively). Also, a good night’s sleep is extremely essential to reset metabolism and keep the fat-burning process correctly. In fact, sleep deprivation even for one night considerably increases inflammation, which is one of the major reasons for weight gain. So, do sleep for at least 7 hours every night to lose weight successfully.
5. BPA Plastic Overuse: A study done in 2016 revealed that women who cut down plastic use (particularly BPA), over a 3-week period reported considerable weight loss. There has been a lot of research done over the years about the negative effect of BPA on human health. Overuse of BPA plastic has been found to increase the risk of PCOD, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, miscarriage, and obesity. BPA has been found to disrupt hormonal function, particularly estrogen and thyroid hormones, directly leading to weight gain. BPA is a fat-soluble chemical that can be accumulated in your fat cells. By all means, cut down BPA use and see a significant drop in weight.
6. Chronic Stress: When you cannot keep a tab over stress, it can cause a lot of damage to the body, both mental and physical. Increased stress levels also increase the production of hunger hormone “ghrelin”, keeping you always in a state of hunger, and most people tend to overeat when they are stressed out or even just anxious. Stress has also been linked to increase in belly fat. Burn the stress off by working out, listening to music, yoga, pursuing new hobbies, or just taking a stroll with your pet.
7. Impaired Gut Flora: Maintaining a healthy gut is of supreme importance because an unhealthy gut can lower immunity, increase weight, trigger hormonal imbalances, and badly affect mental health. It’s a fact that maintaining a healthy gut microbiome could make weight loss easier by improving metabolism, regulating function of hormones, better breakdown of carbs and fats, reduction in inflammation, etc. Eat fermented food, amp up fiber, include prebiotics and probiotics, and avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics to keep the good bacteria in the gut happy. Also read about “15 Ways to Improve Gut Health” in this post.
8. Loss of Muscle Mass: Do you know where the maximum number of calories get burnt? In the muscles! Amping up protein and working out regularly will help you lose weight without actually losing muscle. Find high-protein weight loss meal plan on the Rati Beauty diet to lose weight successfully and maintain muscle mass as well.
9. Sedentary Lifestyle: You can watch your diet, but leading a sedentary lifestyle or being a couch potato would not help much with getting lean. Lack of physical activity will lead to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Say bye to sedentary lifestyle and try to be on your feet as much as possible.
10. Dehydration: Drinking water is of supreme importance to flush out toxins, prevent dehydration, and imperative to lose weight, along with running physiological processes smoothly. If a person is consuming less than 8 glasses of water per day, he/she may always feel hungry because the body cannot clearly distinguish between hunger and thirst signals, and most often instead of sipping a glass of water, we tend to rip open a bag of potato chips (adding a lot of empty calories). Water also helps to curb appetite and is a zero-calorie drink that boosts metabolism, along with flushing out toxins, helps in absorbing nutrients. However, there’s a lot of confusion whether to drink cold or hot water to burn more calories. Read about “Best Times to Drink Water to Speed Up Weight Loss” in this post.
11. Air Pollution: There is increasing evidence that shows strong links between obesity and air pollution. Studies done on animals show that they gained significant weight after being exposed to polluted air! People with regular exposure to common air pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and PM10 and PM2.5 showed higher body fat percentage! So, apart from bronchitis, asthma, increased risk of cancer, add obesity to the list of harmful effects of air pollution.
12. Certain Medications: Certain birth control pills, steroids, etc., have been found to cause weight gain. If you suspect your prescription medications behind the buildup of extra pounds, talk to your doctor and let the doctor decide what should be done. Also, watching your diet and exercising regularly would help a great deal in any case.