Weight gain can be frustrating, especially when you can’t seem to find a reason for it. Unexplained weight gain can be the result of a variety of factors, from hormone imbalances to stress and sleep issues. To shed some light on this common problem, we spoke with Sara Banta, a health and wellness coach, about the top reasons for unexplained weight gain and how to fix it.
One of the top reasons for unexplained weight gain is hormone imbalance. According to Banta, “Hormones play a crucial role in our body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight.” Many women struggle with weight gain due to hormonal changes, such as thyroid issues, insulin resistance, and imbalanced estrogen levels. Banta suggests working with a healthcare provider to get hormone levels tested and address any imbalances through hormone replacement therapy, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Stress and Cortisol
Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, leading to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Banta explains, “When we are stressed, our bodies produce higher levels of cortisol, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings for high-calorie, high-sugar foods.” To combat this, Banta recommends incorporating stress-reducing activities into your daily routine, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Additionally, getting proper sleep is crucial in managing stress and cortisol levels, as lack of sleep can disrupt hormone balance and lead to weight gain.
Our diet plays a significant role in our weight, and unexplained weight gain may be the result of poor dietary choices. Banta cautions, “Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to inflammation and weight gain.” To address this, Banta advises focusing on a whole foods-based diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Additionally, she suggests working with a nutritionist or health coach to create a personalized meal plan that supports weight loss and overall health.
Lack of Physical Activity
If you’re not moving enough throughout the day, you may see the numbers on the scale creep up. Banta emphasizes the importance of incorporating regular physical activity into your routine, stating, “Exercise not only helps with weight management but also plays a crucial role in reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting overall health.” She recommends finding activities that you enjoy, whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, or dancing, and aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
In some cases, unexplained weight gain may be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), insulin resistance, or hypothyroidism. Banta advises seeking medical evaluation and testing if you suspect that a medical condition may be contributing to your weight gain. “Identifying and addressing any underlying health issues is crucial in effectively managing weight gain and promoting overall well-being,” she says.
In conclusion, unexplained weight gain can be a frustrating and complex issue, but it’s not insurmountable. By addressing hormone imbalances, managing stress, improving diet and exercise habits, and addressing any potential medical conditions, you can take control of your weight and overall health. With the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider and support from a health and wellness coach like Sara Banta, you can tackle unexplained weight gain and take steps toward a healthier, happier you.