20 Reasons for weight gain and tips to manage it effectively

Weight gain can be extremely frustrating, especially when you don’t know what’s causing it. Ahead, is a list of conditions that could be causing your sudden weight gain, and how to tell if it’s time to see a doctor.

Updated on May 18, 2023  |  03:42 PM IST |  562.7K
You may be gaining weight unintentionally
You may be gaining weight unintentionally

Weight gain can occur for a variety of causes. If you are worried about your weight, in particular, you might be wondering how this happened. Several things, including taking drugs, living a sedentary lifestyle, and not getting enough sleep, can cause weight gain. This post is for you if you have already given these things some thought but are still unsure of how you have gained additional weight.

According to the World Health Organization, energy imbalances between the number of calories we consume and the amount we burn typically lead to weight gain. This article provides advice on how to properly handle the issue and outlines 20 causes of weight gain. Continue reading to find a solution to your weight gain issue and restart your life.

Top 20 reasons for weight gain

1. Body Type

Body Type

In terms of gaining weight, body type is crucial. Mesomorphic body types frequently experience rapid weight gain and rapid weight loss. The worst casualties, though, are people who have endomorphic body types. Endomorphs frequently put on weight fast and struggle to shed it. Exercise frequently and consume a lot of leafy green vegetables if your body type is endomorphic.

2. Depression


350 million people worldwide, of all ages, suffer from depression, according to the WHO. Real-world issues like depression can lead to weight increase in many people. Antidepressants can also lead to weight gain. Only when you wish to get better can depression be cured. Encourage yourself to do the things you enjoy and that make you happy. The greatest approach to managing depression without taking medication is to exercise. Take up a sport, enroll in art lessons, and go on vacation. If you lack a confidant, you can write down your emotions in a journal or a book. You'll feel less strain as a result.


3. Stress



Stress triggers emotional eating, and this leads to weight gain. Stress, whether at work or home, causes the hormone cortisol to be secreted, which raises hunger. You'll favor unhealthy foods over comfortable ones as your appetite grows. Try meditation, yoga, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy for stress management. Your doctor might also recommend medication, depending on how serious the condition is.

4. Thyroid Imbalance


Thyroid Imbalance

Growth and metabolism are significantly influenced by the thyroid. T3, T4, and calcitonin are the three hormones that it produces. T3 and T4 are the actual thyroid hormones, and hypothyroidism results when there is insufficient production of these hormones. As the metabolism slows, hypothyroidism is marked by weight gain. Therefore, if you have suddenly put on weight, you should schedule a thyroid test right once. Levothyroxine, an over-the-counter hormone replacement therapy, can be used to treat this disease. You can also attempt straightforward home cures like ingesting less simple carbohydrates, using less salt and taking water infused with fenugreek.


5. Unhealthy Food Choices

Unhealthy Food Choices

Foods that are unhealthy have a lot of sodium, trans fats, and artificial food coloring. Although it tastes nice, it puts your health at risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Another factor in weight gain is eating processed food or eating out nearly every day. At least five days a week, make your meals at home. During the workweek, you can chop the vegetables and store them in zip-top bags. Additionally, you should refrain from purchasing any processed foods, simple carbs, or high-salt food items from the grocery store. Purchase lean meats like fish, ground turkey, and chicken breast. Consume quinoa, celery, broccoli, eggs, multigrain bread, wheat pasta and noodles, herbs, cinnamon, black pepper, citrus fruits, green leafy veggies, almonds, fish oil, tofu, olive oil, fat-free milk, soy milk, lentils, and dark chocolate.

6. Large Portion Sizes

Large Portion Sizes

Even after eating well, my friends frequently complain to me about their weight loss struggles. They cannot regulate portion size, which is the issue. You must manage your portion sizes if you want to reduce weight. When you eat too much and then don't exercise, you create an energy imbalance that leads to weight gain. Take a bite the size of your palm. Vegetables should make up half of your plate, lean protein should make up a third, and the remaining portion of your plate should be made up of complex carbohydrates and fiber-rich items. Every day, you can eat three to four servings of fruits and vegetables. 4-6 almonds should be eaten soaking in the morning. Nuts give you sustained energy throughout the day.


7. Inactive Lifestyle

Inactive Lifestyle

We're all sluggish now because of technology. If a computer or TV is in front of us, we rarely get off the couch or bed. Even young children prefer playing on the Xbox or PlayStation over outside games. This is presumably the cause of the high number of young people developing lifestyle diseases. You will acquire weight if you don't let your body use the energy you eat, and it will be very difficult to shed the fat. Play outdoor games, enroll in a dance class like Zumba or another dance style, take an hour-long break from your work to go for a walk, bike, or walk to the workplace, and go on hikes.

8. Medicines


Many of the medications have adverse effects. One of them is gaining weight. Depression, migraine, steroids, allergy, Type II Diabetes, blood pressure, birth control, and seizure medications all have the potential to induce unexpected weight gain. Ask your doctor if there are any other medications available that won't have as much of an impact on your weight as the one you are now taking. Join a gym, use a steam room, eat well, and get enough sleep.

9. Menopause


Your body's estrogen levels decrease throughout menopause. The metabolic rate is slowed down by reduced estrogen levels. Starch and sugar are not utilized by the body for energy. And this is turned into fat and stored throughout the body, particularly around the midsection.


You can exercise, consume green tea, and take estrogen tablets as directed by your doctor. Eat black-eyed peas and kidney beans, add cinnamon and black pepper for flavor, and get seven hours or more of sleep each night.

10. Digestive Problems

Digestive Problems

Many illnesses have a digestive system-based treatment. You will put on weight if you have stomach issues. It may be brought on by eating unhealthily, overeating, not getting enough water, consuming a lot of alcohol, or not having enough good gut bacteria. Embrace probiotic beverages, ginger, high-fiber foods, fresh fruit juices, yogurt, buttermilk, and other digestive aids. As soon as you wake up each morning, make it a habit to drink at least 1 cup of warm water. Additionally, consume 3–4 liters of water daily. This will promote healthy bowel movements.

11. Pregnancy


Women typically experience many hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy. It's challenging to resist the desires. In addition, it is suggested that women eat as much as they can because they are feeding two people! Additionally, women typically put on more weight in the third (and last) trimester. While breastfeeding, some women experience weight loss while others do not. Gaining that much weight so quickly can complicate pregnancy. Additionally, these women struggle to reduce weight after giving a baby.


To find out exactly how much food you should eat, speak with your doctor. You can also enroll in prenatal yoga classes. To prevent weight gain, adhere to the following recommendations.

12. Genes And Environment

Genes And Environment

Numerous genes have been associated with weight gain. According to scientists, having a family history of obesity is a significant risk factor for persons who have gained weight suddenly or who are in danger of doing so. But the environment also has a big impact. The following generation would likely adopt the same lifestyle choices if a family practices bad eating and is inactive. And that might account for the weight gain.

Avoid eating junk food at all costs because it is fried, oily, rich in sodium, and has trans fat. Also, start exercising. Weigh yourself once or twice a year to monitor your weight. Every week, one cheat day is permitted.

13. Age


Soon after turning 30, women begin to lose muscle mass. Loss of muscle slows metabolism. Thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels all drop along with them. As we get older, there is less activity and increased stress, which also leads to weight gain.

Do not stop exercising. Join a gym now and combine resistance and cardio exercises. It will support maintaining hormonal balance and muscle growth. Using meditation and music to reduce stress. Add fat-free milk, spinach, lean protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates to your diet as well.

14. Consuming Excess Alcohol

Consuming Excess Alcohol

Another significant factor in extra fat is alcohol. In the body, alcohol is converted to sugar molecules. This sugar is turned into fat in the absence of exercise and is then stored throughout our bodies. Binge drinking promotes fatty liver by causing fat to accumulate in the liver.

Reduce your alcohol consumption. Stay away from persons who habitually consume alcohol or those who promote excessive alcohol use. You must put your health first, however how harsh it may sound. Of course, you can still go to parties, but you can only have two drinks in total. Drink it slowly to limit your intake.

15. Less Sleep

Less Sleep

Researchers have shown that lack of sleep might result in a weight increase. Lack of sleep lowers insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance because sleep regulates neuroendocrine and glucose metabolism. Additionally, it lowers leptin, which increases appetite and hunger (8).

Make sure there is at least a two to three-hour window between dinner and bedtime. Read a book or listen to music to unwind. Put your anxieties to rest and enjoy a comfortable night's sleep in a well-made bed. For your body to get the rest it needs, get at least 7 hours of sleep. Get up early so you have time to exercise and have a hearty breakfast before you go.


16. Crash Diet

Crash Diet

Most women find that crash diets don't work. In turn, extremely low-calorie diets cause weight growth. This occurs because the body enters an epidemic mode and begins to store the calories consumed as fat. In other words, you won't lose weight; you'll gain it.

Stop spending too much time on crash diets. It not only makes you gain weight but also causes a lot of health issues. To reduce weight, eat healthily and work out frequently.

17. Ignoring Healthy Fats

Ignoring Healthy Fats

All fats are not harmful. Good fats can reduce inflammation. Due to a reduction in leptin secretion, this may result in weight gain. Leptin levels fall, which increases hunger and food cravings and contributes to weight gain.

Consume fish, fish oil supplements, peanut butter, avocado, almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.

18. Using Too Much Salt

Using Too Much Salt

Using too much salt causes the body to retain water, which causes weight gain. Bloating and water retention can result from eating too many processed meals, eating out, and eating potato wafers, fries, and pickles.

Cut out any junk food and avoid eating out. Use less salt when cooking at home as well to avoid water retention. To shed water weight, incorporate a flexible exercise and eating schedule.

19. Late Night Snacking

Late Night Snacking

When you stay up late, your appetite starts to grow after about two to three hours. You choose to indulge in ice cream or a sizable bag of potato wafers rather than choosing a nutritious snack. The high sugar, high sodium, and trans fat foods cause water retention and fat storage.

1-2 hours after dinner, go to bed. After eating, brush your teeth right away. How does that assist? Well, the majority of people tend to refrain from eating after brushing their teeth. Additionally, you feel too lethargic to brush once more, which ought to be enough to deter you from eating!

20. Lack Of Commitment To Weight Loss

Lack Of Commitment To Weight Loss

The most important reason for you not losing weight is last on the list, but it's also the most important one. It is hard to lose weight, no matter how badly you want to, unless you are dedicated to working toward your weight loss objectives. If you are not committed enough, you cannot attribute your weight gain to your diet or your surroundings. Work hard if you want to lose weight.

Write down your goals, work out at home or with a personal trainer, talk to a dietician or use free diet software, download a health app for advice, ask your friends who exercise frequently, play a sport, and stay active.


Not all cases of weight increase are the result of overeating and insufficient exercise. It might also be the result of certain medical problems that interfere with hormone balance, energy expenditure, metabolism, or body fat distribution.

There are a variety of causes for weight gain, some of which may indicate physical imbalances. Knowing the underlying cause of any unexpected weight gain is crucial, whether it is due to hormonal changes, thyroid issues, water retention, sleep disorders, or pharmaceutical side effects.

Fast weight gain can also result from stress and emotional eating. Any inconsistencies would be resolved more quickly if one maintained a regular schedule for sleep, work, nutrition, and exercise. Age, gender, menopause, or pregnancy can all cause some degree of weight increase; nonetheless, it is crucial to discuss the specifics with your doctor and have the cause determined.

 Also read: Here’s everything you need to know about 16:8 Intermittent Fasting


What are the 4 main causes of weight gain?
Several factors can play a role in gaining and retaining excess weight. These include diet, lack of exercise, environmental factors, and genetics.

What causes rapid weight gain in females?
Weight gain and fluctuations in weight can happen for a variety of reasons. Many people progressively 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.

What is weight gain a symptom of?
Endocrine system or hormonal causes of weight gain

How can I stop gaining weight?
You can avoid adding extra pounds by making some simple changes to your lifestyle. To avoid weight gain, experts recommend adding 2,000 steps a day to your routine, doing strength training two to three times a week, and shaving 100 calories from your diet each day.

What does hormonal weight gain look like?
Hormonal weight gain looks like any type of excess weight. Factors such as age, sex, body type, and cause of weight gain may make you gain weight differently. However, it's not possible to know that hormones are causing your weight gain by the way it looks.

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