Reasons You're Gaining Weight When You're Dieting

So this week, I got an unwelcome surprise when I stepped on the scale – I gained the pound back that I lost last week. Weight gain isn't anything new to me; I'm used to it. And I have a feeling I know why I gained the pound. Still, I wanted to research why people gain weight even when dieting. Here's what I found. 

Food quantity matters.

There are a lot of diets that allow you to eat as much as you want of certain foods, such as celery. Many people often eat more fruit, vegetables, or nuts because they know they're healthy – after all, it's hard not to eat a few almonds. 

But just because a food is considered “healthy” doesn't mean you can eat as much of it as you want. Portion size and food intake are essential considerations. 

Juice also falls into this category. Juice isn't as healthy as eating whole foods – juice removes fiber, and smoothies tend to contain more food than people realize. 

Usually, you wouldn't eat a banana, orange, cup of blueberries, a cup of yogurt, and milk all at once, but that's what a typical smoothie consists of.

Also, your body can better digest liquid calories; any excess calorie intake can add to weight gain, potentially as fat. 

Don't rush or skip meals.

How and when you eat certain foods is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. According to research, people who skip breakfast are more often overweight than those who don't ignore it. 

You might eat more than you intended when you rush through meals. Chew deliberately during your meal and drink water between bites to slow down your usual eating pace. 

Keep your metabolism moving.

According to Deepak Chopra, you need about an hour of exercise a day, even if you have healthy eating habits. It doesn't have to be a heart-pounding cardio workout – a simple walk is an excellent way to start. 

Invest in a standing desk – you can find these online for as little as $70. It's a good investment for your bottom line. You can alternate between standing and sitting every hour or so at work. The more physical activity and active muscle you have, the more you'll increase your metabolism. 

Strive for hormonal balance.

Despite our best efforts, our bodies can sometimes work against us. If you have a family history of endocrine problems or going through menopause, andropause, or perimenopause, have your doctor check your hormone levels. Hormonal imbalances make it difficult to lose weight and in some cases, can cause you to gain weight. 

Observe your gut feeling.

There are many organisms in our bodies that can help or harm us. Our gut bacteria, which can impact our weight, can be affected by various factors, including how we were born (c-section vs. vaginal birth), antibiotic use, and what we eat. 

Ensure you're consuming good pre and probiotics, especially after taking antibiotics, to boost your metabolism and keep the good bacteria in your gut. 

Get enough sleep

Your sleep quality and quantity are just as important as your food choices. You may want a doctor to check your sleep quality if you wake up with a headache or dry mouth after a seven or 8-hour rest. 

Studies have shown that those who don't feel well-rested after sleep have more cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods and altered hormones that can increase blood pressure, glucose, and weight. 

Ensure your bedroom is suitable for sleep – dark, quiet, no pets allowed or snoring bed partners. These are reasonable first steps to ensure you're getting good quality sleep every night. 

Check your prescriptions.

You can also gain weight when you take certain medications. Talk to your doctor about whether the medications you're taking make it difficult for you to stay healthy and adjust them if necessary. If you can't reduce or change them, you'll have to be more diligent about your diet and exercise to counteract their effects.

Examples of medications that contribute to weight loss include:

Keep stress levels low.

In our fast-paced world, it's easy to lose track of your internal state. Constantly pumping out cortisol and other stress hormones can take a toll on your health; they can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose and create more visceral fat over the long term. The work deadline you're stressed about could kill you if you let stress get to you. 

Exercise, sleep, and meditation are all excellent ways to help control your stress. Try to breathe slowly and mindfully during the day, especially when you feel your stress levels rising. 

Meditation reduces blood pressure and heart rate, improves immune function, reduces inflammation, and improves overall health and wellness. Your body, mind, and spirit will be grateful to you for bringing life back into them one breath at a time. 

That's what you need to know about why you could be gaining weight even when dieting. As I go through my week next week, I will do what I can to keep my exercise moderate, eat within my calorie range, drink my water, and look at the other things on this list. Next week, I hope to have lost the pound I gained this week, plus some.