Why Am I Gaining Weight?

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Weight gain is a complex phenomenon. It is caused by many factors, such as caloric intake, nutritional balance, activity level, genetics, and hormone levels. An imbalance of one or all of these factors may be at play in weight loss or gain, and for most people, there are multiple causes. Here are some of the reasons why you might be experiencing weight gain.

Diet

A person’s diet can have the biggest influence on weight loss or gain. If you are gaining weight, try to look at what you have been eating lately. It is easy to not think about how many extra calories you have been consuming. Consider making a food journal to become more aware of what you have been eating. Simply becoming aware of your diet habits can help tell you whether your diet is a problem, or if the weight gain is being caused by other factors.

Exercise

Experts cite lack of movement and exercise as one of the main reasons that people in the modern world are tending to become heavier over time. Lack of exercise causes weight gain because the body cannot burn up as many calories resting as your body tells you that you need to eat every day. Body composition also plays a role–muscles tend to burn more calories during a day than fat or other types of body tissue.

Genetics and Aging

Some people are predisposed to a certain body type, and many people gain weight as their metabolisms slow due to aging. It is possible to override genetics with diet and exercise and other lifestyle choices, though it will always be easier for certain people to gain weight than others. If members of your family and extended family tend to gain weight very easily, you may also be prone to the same thing with age, though there are exceptions.

Hormonal Levels

Certain hormones are linked to weight gain. Hormone levels tend to drop with age, and that is one reason that metabolism tends to slow as people age. Testosterone levels tend to drop in men between age 40 or 50. Studies have shown that men given testosterone therapy lose weight. In one study, over the course of five years, men dropped weight unexpectedly, at a rate of about 13% of original weight. Testosterone therapy can increase activity levels, which also leads to weight loss.

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