9 non-obvious reasons for being overweight

Why are we gaining extra pounds? Lack of physical activity, overeating and abuse of unhealthy foods are the first things that come to mind. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Apart from the most obvious factors, there are many other causes of being overweight. Let’s tell you more about them.

Unmet needs

Unmet needs increase the craving for food, which acts as a kind of universal remedy for everything.

Very often needs that have nothing to do with food are satisfied with food.

For example, eating for company, even when you’re not hungry, is nothing more than an indicator of belonging to a particular group. A person can satisfy the need for novelty by trying new dishes, and the need for a high social status – by visiting expensive restaurants.

Thus, over time, a conditioned reflex is formed, and a person begins to act automatically, without thinking about his true motives.

What are your unmet needs that lead to overeating? Maybe a love deficit? Or the need for rest? Or the need to feel part of a group (family, coworkers, friends)?


Stress has been shown to increase the level of cortisol, a hormone that contributes to the accumulation of excess adipose tissue and the development of abdominal obesity (when fat accumulates in the abdominal cavity around internal organs).

This, in turn, has a negative effect on health: it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension and other diseases.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that many people use food to combat stress and tension.

When and in what situations does excessive stress (physical and emotional) push you to binge eating? Try a different strategy: Instead of seizing stress, identify and address its causes.

Sleep deficit

Scientists from Boston University conducted a six-week experiment involving several dozen volunteers. At first, the “test subjects” were allowed to sleep for 10 hours, but then their night rest time was reduced by 4.5 hours.

As a result, by the end of the sixth week, the participants literally fell asleep on the go, in addition, their metabolism slowed down by 12%. Based on the data obtained, the researchers concluded that constant lack of sleep disrupts metabolism. Therefore, even if a person’s nutrition and physical activity do not change, he begins to gain weight.

Boston experts have calculated: if you spend less than 5.5 hours a day in the arms of Morpheus, then you can gain more than 6 kg in a year.

If you want to succeed in the fight against extra pounds – get enough sleep! A source

It is also known that due to lack of sleep, the level of hormones increases, which activate the hunger center in our brain and, as a result, provoke overeating.

Are you getting enough sleep and getting enough sleep? Or do you need a weekend to make up for a week’s lack of sleep?

Failure to distinguish between physical and emotional states

When experiencing an emotion, overweight people often interpret it as hunger. For example, a person feels disappointment, a frustration of hopes, and it seems to him that he is hungry.

Boredom, irritation, sadness can be perceived as a feeling of hunger. According to research, women are especially susceptible to this.

Overweight people often solve emotional problems with food. A source

Some people who are overweight are characterized by a symptom such as alexithymia – an inability to recognize and describe emotions. They do not really understand how anxiety differs from fear, and sadness from anger.

Instead of living emotions, such people simply seize them.

How are you doing with this? How fine are you at understanding your emotions? Can you describe them? Do you eat more when sad or irritated?

Sexual problems

During physical contact (during massage, sexual arousal and orgasm), the “calm hormone” oxytocin is produced. It is also released when a person eats fatty foods. Therefore, it is not uncommon for sexual dissatisfaction to be compensated by the consumption of high-fat foods.

Unfortunately, in our country people are very often subjected to sexual violence. It happens that a person who has gone through this traumatic experience completely unconsciously gains weight in order to hide his sexuality and eliminate the risk of a repetition of such a situation.

What do you think about yourself? How satisfied are you with your sex life? Can you overeat fatty foods and / or gain weight to protect yourself or balance this area of ​​life?

Social environment

Another reason for being overweight is a person’s desire to meet the expectations of their social group.

Food is an important part of the communication process, a kind of cement that holds relationships together. A source

Each group (family, company of friends, work collective) has its own “gastronomic” traditions. And if one of the participants decides to retreat from them, then he will certainly encounter resistance from all the others.

After all, if one person changes his eating behavior, then the rest of the group will also have to correct it in one way or another, which is clearly not part of their plans. This resistance from others can make it harder or stop weight loss altogether.

Is unhealthy eating habits in your family, at work, or with friends that cause you to be overweight? When and in what situations do you overeat in a group?

Endocrine Disorders

Among the endocrine diseases associated with overweight, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome are most common.

Hypothyroidism – a disease that causes a decrease in the function of the thyroid gland. This is the very “slow metabolism”, which is attributed to all the difficulties in losing weight, most overweight people.

In addition to moderate weight gain, this condition is manifested by poor tolerance to cold (a person is constantly freezing), dry skin, hair loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, low mood up to the development of depression.

In a state of hypothyroidism, the body temperature becomes slightly lower, the heart beats a little less often, breathing slows down slightly. Due to all these changes, a person spends fewer calories to maintain life. Because of this, weight can slowly but surely increase.

For Cushing’s syndrome characteristic is the accumulation of adipose tissue in the central part of the body – in the abdomen and buttocks. Here are some of the symptoms of this condition:

  • high blood pressure
  • increased hair growth,
  • increased blood sugar levels,
  • purple stretch marks on the skin
  • atrophy of the skin,
  • low levels of potassium in the blood.

If you have the slightest suspicion, be sure to consult an endocrinologist!

Taking medications

The reason for gaining weight (which many people do not even know about!) Can be the intake of certain medications. These include:

– hypoglycemic drugs (thiazolidinediones);

– antipsychotics (atypical antipsychotics, olanzapine, clozapine, quetiapine, risperidone);

– antidepressants (tricyclic, especially amitriptyline, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, lithium treatment);

– anticonvulsants (valproate and carbamazepine, topiramate, zonisamide);

– steroids (glucocorticoids);

– beta-blockers (non-selective, for example, anaprilin).

If you find medications that you are taking on this list, do not under any circumstances cancel them yourself! See your doctor to replace them with drugs of a different group that will treat your condition, but will not lead to the accumulation of body fat.

Examine your first aid kit. A source

Antibiotic abuse can also be a cause of obesity. This was shown by an experiment on mice, which was conducted by researchers from New York University.

One group of rodents received antibiotics, and the second did not, and as a result, the first group gained more weight faster. According to the project manager, the same thing happens with a person.

It’s no secret that antibacterial drugs fight not only pathogenic microbes, but also natural microflora. In particular, bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract die under their onslaught.

As overseas scientists have found out, due to the disappearance of these bacteria in the body, the production of leptin, the “satiety hormone”, decreases. As a result, a person ceases to gorge on the usual amount of food.

Can taking medication contribute to your overweight? If so, what drugs are they? When do you plan to see your doctor to adjust your intake?

Genetic predisposition

Scientists from year to year find new genes responsible for the development of obesity. After the discovery of the first of them, the researchers hoped that soon the main “culprit” would be found, influencing which it would be possible to save mankind from this scourge. However, the hope has not yet been justified.

All currently known “obesity genes” are implicated in only four cases out of a hundred. The remaining 96% are due to other reasons.

Nevertheless, heredity can play an important role in the development of the disease. For example, it has been proven that if both parents are obese, then the probability of this disease in children reaches 66%.

Do you have a genetic predisposition to being overweight? Which of your ancestors and close relatives were overweight?

As a rule, unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle lead to overweight. But there are other reasons to consider in the fight against extra pounds. And although you cannot do anything with some factors (for example, with a genetic predisposition), you can “eliminate” most of them if you want!

Based on the book “Healthy Habits”
Post cover from here

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