5 Common Reasons for Weight Gain

Weight gain catches many of us off guard (few people can recall the exact moment their jeans became too tight), but it does not “just happen.” Here are 5 common reasons unwanted pounds start appearing—and why you should pay attention.

  1. Lifestyle—Living in today's fast-paced world does not always make it easy to find the time to eat right and exercise regularly.
  2. EmotionsMany people eat when they are bored, sad, angry, or stressed—even though they are not hungry.
  3. Family history—Being overweight or obese tends to run in families. For example, if one or both parents have a weight concern, your chances may increase also.
  4. Age—As people age, muscle mass tends to decrease. Lowered muscle mass can lead to a slower metabolism—meaning that the body does not burn calories as rapidly. This can make it harder to keep off excess weight. Other factors related to aging, such as hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle, also may play a role.
  5. Medicines—Some medicines can cause weight gain. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist about the side effects of any medicines you are taking. If weight gain is one of them, talk about ways you can offset or minimize the extra pounds.

Why Weight Gain Matters

Being overweight or obese affects more than just appearance. It might affect your health by increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain types of cancer. By eating right and becoming more active, you might be able to help lower any increased risks and manage your current health.

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