What’s your BMI (Body Mass Index) value? Don’t know, no worries! Calculate with the formula.
The CDC says that adults with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are overweight while adults with a BMI value of more than 30 are obese.
There’s no doubt that obesity can cause a wide range of conditions. These include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, hypertension, stroke, lipid disorders, liver and gallbladder disease, gynecological problems, and sleep apnea.
Over the past years, medical studies have been focused on what causes obesity and how to reduce weight fast. Weight gain and obesity are usually caused by eating habits and lifestyle. Read on to learn more.
Some studies show that obesity runs in families. Children of obese parents are more likely to become obese. However, this isn’t true in all cases. What you eat daily has a significant impact on which genes are expressed.
Research shows that in some individuals, genes account for 70-80 percent of the predisposition to be overweight while others have just 25 percent. Thus, learning the role of genes in weight gain can help you find relevant solutions for weight-related issues.
The environment and signals sent to the genes may play a role in weight gain. That’s why dietary changes can make non-industrialized societies obese rapidly.
Lack of physical activity is another major contributor to weight gain and other chronic illnesses. Watching TV, driving, using a laptop, etc. come under sedentary activities.
A study conducted on 464 obese people reported that the average daily sitting time on working days was 6.2 hours while it was 6 hours on non-working days.
Regular exercise can help you burn fat, thus making you fit and active. Additionally, medical studies have found that exercising is effective in managing mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, etc. The inside story is—when you exercise, your body releases more endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the body.
Certain medications can cause weight gain as a side-effect. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, taking some medications can make patients put on several pounds every month.
Some of the common medications that can lead to obesity are-
- Medicines for diabetes—sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones
- Antidepressants—amitriptyline, paroxetine, and imipramine
- Epilepsy medicines—carbamazepine and valproate
- Blood pressure-reducing medicines—metoprolol and propranolol
It’s important to note that not all these drugs cause weight gain. Some may help you lose weight instead, such as topiramate.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop taking medicines. Talk to the best online doctors to seek professional advice.
Medical studies show that lack of sleep can be a reason for weight gain. Changes in sleep cycles affect mood and eating patterns, thus making people consume more and put on extra weight.
According to a study published in 2013, insufficient sleep is linked to obesity. Researchers found that participants who didn’t get enough sleep ate more carbohydrates than what they needed, thus leading to obesity.
Sleep duration affects hunger hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin. So, you will feel not full after eating, thus eating more and resulting in weight gain. Another explanation is that lack of sleep causes fatigue, thus reducing your physical activity.
Stress is a common mental illness among Americans. According to a recent study, high levels of cortisol increase hunger and desire to eat calorie-rich foods, thus resulting in weight gain. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Also, some studies show that people who are obese have higher levels of cortisol than fit individuals.
Stress eating or emotional eating plays a role in gaining weight. Many patients dealing with stressful situations often turn to foods for stress relief. For instance, you might order a pizza when alone, feeling bored, or after having a stressful day. It’s important to note that stress eating doesn’t treat emotional problems, but causes health issues such as obesity instead. So, managing stress can help you lose those extra pounds, thus promoting overall wellness.
Smoking causes lung problems and a lot of health issues. So, quitting smoking is one of the healthiest ways to improve health. But, it can lead to weight gain in some cases. Why does this happen? Well, some experts believe that after stopping smoking tobacco products, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as stress, which promote overeating. Moreover, nicotine can suppress appetite.
On average, individuals who quit smoking gain less than 10 pounds. However, changes in appetite after quitting smoking may vary from one person to another.
The best ways to control weight gain after you quit smoking are—regular exercise, eating mindfully, coping with emotions with using cigarettes and controlling your appetite.
The American Heart Association says that individuals who gain over 2-3 pounds over 24 hours or 5 pounds in a week could experience heart failure. Other symptoms of heart failure are frequent coughing, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and loss of appetite.
It’s important to note that a person’s weight fluctuates throughout the day. But, that often happens due to fluid retention and bloating. If the weight returns to normal, there are no risks of any health issues.
Low blood pressure can affect the functioning of major organs, thus resulting in obesity and swelling. Swelling in the stomach, ankles, legs, etc. can increase the risks of weight gain.
Quick Tips to Lose Weight
- Cut back on foods rich in sugars and carbohydrates
- Eat protein, healthy fats, and vegetables
- Exercise at least 3 times a week to burn calories
- Prefer using a small plate, aiming at portion control
- Drink water at least half an hour before eating meals
- Eat slowly to boost weight-reducing hormones
- Get enough sleep. Adults age 26 to 64 need 7-9 hours of sleep
- Practice stress management techniques
- Replace medications with natural alternatives
Talk to a Professional Doctor
If you are overweight or obese, regular exercise and eating a healthy diet can help. However, everyone’s condition is different, thus requires a customized weight loss program. So, it’s important to determine your condition, what are the causes of weight gain, and then make the right treatment plan. Talk to a licensed doctor for professional advice for what’s right for you.
Using telemedicine, you can see the best online doctors and design a perfect treatment plan for your condition. Here’s the complete process-
- Sign up an account
- Talk to a board-certified doctor online
- Receive PDF prescription letter via email
Weight gain or obesity is a common health problem affecting millions of Americans. There are many causes of obesity. Some studies show that children of obese parents are likely to become obese. Certain medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure-reducing medicines, etc. can lead to weight gain. Other causes of obesity are stress, lack of sleep, heart failure, and quitting smoking.
So, before you look for treatment options, it’s important to learn what are the causes of weight gain. Check if it is due to a medical condition such as stress, anxiety, etc. or some other factors? Seek professional help for the right techniques to lose weight and promote wellness.
See the best online doctors to make a customized weight loss program today.