Weight Gain and Obesity

Obesity or being overweight is one of the biggest health problems in the world. Weight gain is an increase in body weight. Also can be explained as, Increase in your body weight over existing weight. 

Weight gain happens when you routinely eat more calories than you burn through normal bodily functions and physical activity. But the lifestyle habits causing your weight gain aren\’t always obvious. Whereas, Obesity occurs by excessive generalized deposition and storage of fat.

There is a major medical difference between being overweight and obese which is related to Body Mass Index (BMI). A person is considered overweight when their BMI is between 25 and 29.9 and A person is considered obese when BMI is over 30.

India stands at the 5th position in terms of overweight and obese people. Our busy schedules, see many of us eating more calories than we need and not doing enough physical activity.

 

Weight gain: How do you put some extra kilos

Weight gain happens when you take in more than you waste, and weight loss happens when you use more than you consume. How much weight a person gains or loses also connected with the individual\’s metabolism. The process by which the body\’s cells transform the calories from food into energy for bodily functions such as breathing.

What happens in your body?

The body\’s metabolism is responsible for the majority of the calories a person uses. However, metabolism happens at different levels from person to person. It tends to lower with age, due to the wearing down of cells in the body. As metabolism slows, people who continue to eat the same number of calories will gain weight because the energy is not used as quickly. As many people age, their quantity of physical activity also tends to reduce, and weight gain becomes even more likely.

By dieting, individuals restrict the calories they take in and can avoid that weight gain. 

Reasons for weight gain

Weight gain

Weight gain can result from an increase in fat deposits, muscle mass, or excess fluids such as water.

  • An increase in body fluids comes from medications, fluid, or salt retention. An increase in muscle mass comes with exercising majorly.
  • Also, An increase in body fat is commonly seen as a result of diet or lack of exercise as the body converts muscle to fat. Excessive weight gain is referred to as obesity. 
  • Other symptoms can be bloating, fatigue, increase in appetite, constipation, irregular period cycles, hormonal changes, pregnancy.

 

Major Causes of Weight Gain/Obesity- 

Weight gain can have causes that aren\’t due to any disease. Example overeating,  physical activity, age or medication effects.

Weight gain
Causes of weight gain
  1. Stress, depression, anxiety
  2. Not getting enough sleep
  3. Television
  4. Medical conditions like PCOS and hypothyroidism, menopause.
  5. Medications
  6. Not eating right
  7.  Being less physically active
  8. Genetics
  9. Insulin Resistance 
  10. Sugar

 

  • Lack of Sleep– If you\’re not sleeping, you have more chances to indulge in late-night snacking. This is obvious. However, there\’s another cause of lack of sleep might be adding kilos: biochemical changes in your body resulting from sleep deprivation can make you hungrier and leave you feeling less full after eating. So Get enough sleep of 6-8hours in a day. 
  •  Stress – Cortisol, the so-called \”stress hormone,\” rises in our body when we\’re stressed out. This hormone, in turn, increases our appetite. Add to that the tendency to reach for comfort foods at times of stress, and you have a perfect opportunity for weight gain.
  • Medications– Taking a few medications like antidepressants, drugs for blood pressure, seizures, diabetes, and psychiatric disorders, taking steroids,  birth control pills cause weight gain. People gain weight as a side effect of the medicines.  While you should never finish taking any medications on your own, you can consult a doctor about changing your treatment plan if weight gain is troubling you. 

 

  • Medical conditions like PCOS and hypothyroidism, menopause

    – Most of the women suffer from underlying conditions. Hypothyroidism occurs when we have too low levels of thyroid hormone slows your metabolism and increases the chance you\’ll gain weight.  Symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland include fatigue, feeling cold, and gaining weight. 

  •  Menopause – Most women gain weight during menopause due to various reasons. It slows down the metabolism so weight gain is likely if your dietary habits remain the same. Changes in lifestyle, like exercising less, can also play a role. Menopause can also hamper the location of fat deposits in the body, increasing the likelihood of accumulating fat around the waist.
  • Whereas, PCOS- Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition in women that occurs when the production of male hormone levels increases in their body. Women with PCOS generally have many small cysts within the ovaries. PCOS  originates hormonal imbalances that can lead to excess body hair, acne, and insulin resistance, which can cause weight gain. In PCOS, weight gain tends to occur in the abdominal area, increasing the risk of heart disease. Hypothyroidism and PCOS can be treated with medicines.

 

  • TelevisionWatching a lot of television can contribute to an inactive lifestyle, and many of us consume calories we don\’t need while watching TV. People often find that while sitting in front of the TV, they snack on energy-dense foods such as crisps and chocolate. Try walking to school, office or the shops and spend less time in front of the TV.
    • Poor Eating Habits, Eating junk foods, More Intake of Sugars– Lack of a healthy diet, and poor nutrition leads to weight gain. Nowadays teenagers and adults, focus more on eating junk foods which are highly processed foods that are hard to resist and promote overeating. Some people experience strong food cravings or addiction. This especially applies to sugary, high-fat junk foods that stimulate the reward centers in the brain.
    • Lack of Physical Activity-  Lack of body movement and sitting for an hour a day lead to weight gain. So, It is advisable to at least go for a walk for 20-30minutes or perform some exercises. Make time for yourself and your body. Staying healthy leads to a long life.
    • Genetics- Obesity is a genetic component. Children of obese parents are more likely to be obese than children of lean parents. It’s not always the reason. What you eat can have a drastic effect on which genes are expressed and which are not. Opting for a western diet might make you obese but won’t change your genes, but the environment changes, and the signals they sent to their genes did. 

 

  • Insulin Resistance- Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. It allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar level from getting too high or too low. High insulin levels and insulin resistance are associated with the development of obesity. Reduce your intake of refined carbs and eat more fiber to lower your insulin levels.
  • Sugar- Excessiveness of sugar in your diet is the worst element. Sugar swap the hormones and biochemistry of your body when consumed in excess. This, in turn, contributes to weight gain. 

Weight gain and weight fluctuations can happen for a variety of reasons. Many individuals gradually gain weight as they age or make changes to their lifestyle.

However, fast weight gain can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a problem with the thyroid, kidneys, or heart, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers.

The point of this article is to unlock people\’s minds to the fact that something other than individual responsibility plays a role in the obesity epidemic. The fact is that modern food culture and eating habits must be swapped to be able to reverse this problem on a global scale. We have to eat right, choose the right lifestyle, and control our minds and have some willpower to make a change.

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