There are many reasons why a person gains weight. Exceeding your calorie intake is just one of them. Other factors that can lead to this situation include:
There's a reason why people tend to prefer bingeing on crisps and other high-carb snacks when they're swimming in deadlines. These foods trigger an increase in the body's production of serotonin, a hormone that creates a calming effect.
Take a break and go for a walk in the park? Studies have shown that being in green spaces reduce stress levels and anxiety. You'll return feeling fresher and with a renewed sense of optimism to tackle the tasks at hand.
Lack of sleep
Doctors say that when you're tired, your body experiences physiological stress and stores fat more easily. For some, the temptation to binge on late-night snacks becomes even greater when they're short on sleep, leading you to – you guessed it – piling on the extra pounds.
Establish a pre-sleep routine? If you have trouble dozing off, do something relaxing, like taking a bath or reading a book an hour before you go to sleep. Did you also know that exercising between 5-9pm helps you fall asleep? The post-exercise cool down period coincides with bedtime and acts a trigger to help you sleep.
Side effects of certain medications
Some drugs such as antidepressants and steroids have been known to cause weight gain in patients.
Overhaul your diet to include more foods such as veggies, fruit and beans? They'll boost the production of serotonin, which will help limit your appetite and reduce your cravings.
Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism
If you find yourself gaining weight despite a loss of appetite, and exhibiting other symptoms such as fatigue, swelling and constant headaches, it might be due to a thyroid deficiency, and you should consult a doctor immediately.
Eat more foods that are high in lean protein? Edamame beans and salmon are great choices. Doing this will help burn calories and keep you full longer.
Menopause Hormonal changes, coupled with a slowing down of physical activity, can lead to weight gain.
Why not eat smaller meals (remember to opt for veggies, fruit and whole grains) at frequent intervals instead of three regular ones a day. This is one way you can keep your blood sugar levels under control, burn calories and melt fat.
A weighty issue in Asia
In the last few years, obesity has been a growing issue in Singapore and Malaysia. According to research by the India Diabetes Research Foundation, Malaysia and Singapore are ranked first and third in Southeast Asia with regards to the number of obesity cases. Medical experts point to changing diets as well as unhealthy lifestyle habits as reasons for obesity and some predicting obesity might overtake smoking as the number one preventable disease.
Happily, this problem has a silver lining. Being overweight is a reversible condition and you can turn the situation around as long as you put your mind to it. Too busy to go to the gym? Burn calories in the office instead! Here are four everyday exercises to help you get started:
Three (more) reasons to shed those pounds
Looking to step up your exercise and halt weight gain? Why not take to the road with our handy list of running routes?