Important Factors That Influence Weight Gain

Medical Spa & Cosmetic Dermatology Serving Beverly Hills, Lancaster, Cerritos, Santa Ana & Nearby Southern California

Weight Gain Factor #1: Bad Food Selections

The Quantity-Quality Rule:

One of the shortcomings of most commercial or "magazine" diet plans is they focus primarily on the quantity of certain food groups we consume. This is an important factor to monitor but unfortunately, even if you were to dramatically reduce the quantity of food you take in, if the quality is poor (processed foods or foods laced with insecticides and steroids) it will disrupt your hormonal balance (e.g. insulin & estrogen) resulting in unwanted fat/weight gain.

Fast Food Equals Fast Weight Gain:

nutrition facts on hamburgerThey make it taste great. There's a particular chemistry of cheese, meat and bread that creates significant pleasure response on the brain. The sad trade-off is that a single fast food meal with fries and a soda can surpass the number of calories needed for the entire day.

Weight Gain Factor #2: Increased Stress Levels

Likely you’re aware of the many health complications such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease that can result from prolonged levels of stress.

One of the b-products of our stress is a chemical called cortisol, which is secreted by our adrenal glands and is a contributing factor to why we pack on the pounds! In brief, cortisol causes us to gain weight by activating our fat cells to go into survival mode and store fat.

Cortisol causes that stubborn “belly fat” to become even more resistant to our weight loss efforts. Making lifestyle changes that will reduce the stress you live with will affect cortisol levels and enhance weight loss programs.

Weight Gain Factor #3: Lack of Sleep

woman pinching belly fatOur brain releases certain hormones that help our body repair. One such hormone is called human growth hormone (HGH). Among many things, HGH is responsible for tissue repair and growth (it increases our muscle and bone mass). It also helps decrease body fat, particularly around the abdominal area.

Insufficient sleep lowers HGH levels, preventing their beneficial impact in reducing body fat.

Weight Gain Factor #4: Low Basal Metabolic Rate

When you hear someone say they have a slow metabolism, they are actually referring to their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). By definition, your BMR is the number of calories your body burns per day when at rest.

A slow BMR then would result in your body storing fuel as fat, whereas a fast BMR will burn this fuel (or fat) and create energy. Several factors can influence your BMR, ranging from exercise to hormones (the major ones being the thyroid hormones).

So, one way you can increase a slow BMR is through exercise. Another way is by evaluating your thyroid levels, and if they are low, balance them naturally or with medication.

Weight Gain Factor #5: Hormone Disturbances

Hormones stimulate, regulate and control thousands of functions in our body, weight management being one of them. Once the delicate balance between them is disturbed (as in the case of menopause), weight gain often ensues.

For instance, research has proved that low thyroid function and subsequent decreased thyroid hormone levels slows your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), causing you to gain weight and resist weight loss.

hormonal balanceAnother example we also pointed out earlier is that stress and increased cortisol levels (your stress hormone) have been shown to not only cause increased fat storage but also affect serotonin levels. This hormone, known as the "feel good hormone", is released by your brain and plays an important part in managing your weight by signaling when your stomach is full. Without it, your brain thinks your body is still hungry, causing you to eat more. Over time, this leads to weight gain.

Another hormone that is a culprit when out of balance is insulin. Released from the pancreas in response to changes in blood sugar levels, over time, a diet high in sugar and low in protein can disrupt your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and cause the pancreas to release too much insulin, resulting in increased fat storage and subsequent decreased fat breakdown.

Other hormonal changes occur as we age. As men and women age, decreased hormone levels such as growth hormone, testosterone, and in women, estrogen and progesterone, lead to weight gain that is very difficult to shed.

The trick to real weight loss when a hormone imbalance is the cause is to minimize your “fat-storing” hormones and boost the levels of your "fat-burning" hormones.

Weight Gain Factor #6: Genetics

Does obesity run in your family? If so, realize one thing: Just because you may have a genetic predisposition to BEING Overweight doesn’t mean you have to BE overweight.

You may be genetically resistant to Leptin, a hormone that controls appetite and fat storage, or you could inherit a susceptibility to medical conditions that can lead to obesity.

More than likely you’ve just inherited some bad lifestyle habits (like a high-carbohydrate diet and lack of exercise). And that’s good news since you can change your habits, not your genes!

Weight Gain Factor #7: Not Enough or the Wrong Type of Exercise

Are you tired of not getting the results you want with your exercise program? Well the problem might not be you, but actually your exercise program.

Without a doubt, regular exercise is important in any weight loss program. In fact, it’s almost impossible to lose weight or even maintain your current weight (not to mention current health in general) without physical activity.

As far as duration is concerned, although any amount of activity is better than none, it’s best to start slow and work up to 30-60 minutes of activity a day (at least 3 days per week dedicated to cardiovascular work), at increasing levels of intensity. Dr. Sedgh has found that this strategy mobilizes fat better than other workout strategies!

With regards to which type of exercise is best, the key is creating a program that’s right for your body type.

Weight Gain Factor #8: Lack of Proper Monitoring of Your Weight Loss and Exercise Programs

Neglecting to track and monitor daily food intake is one of the main reasons most people cannot lose weight and keep it off, no matter what program they follow?

This fact was proved in a landmark research study carried out by Kaiser Permanente.

In this year-long study on weight loss, 2,037 overweight people were enrolled in a weight loss program. They were advised to eat just 500 fewer calories a day and exercise for 30 minutes.

However, some of the volunteers were also given instructions to count calories, either once a week, 2-3 days a week, 3-4 days a week, or 5 days a week, while another group of volunteers were not instructed to keep track of their food intake at all.

food diaryAt the end of the program, which consisted of a full year of dieting and exercising, the people who didn’t monitor their daily caloric intake at all actually weighed more than they had at the beginning of the study!

As far as the other groups are concerned, those who monitored their calorie consumption only one day a week neither gained weight nor lost weight! Meanwhile, those who counted calories three to four days a week lost, on average, about ten pounds!

Those who counted calories five or more days a week fared the best, dropping an average of 23 pounds.

Pretty amazing! Just imagine if they would have been told to monitor their exercise program as well!

Weight Gain Factor #9: Failure to Stay Involved in the Progress of Your Program

The success of your weight loss program will depend heavily on your active involvement. Dr. Sedgh can supply the start up tools such as medication, hormone balancing if required and a dietary program along with recommended exercise. He can also assist you with your goals by participating in your progress.

older woman using exercise barBy forming a partnership with accountable monitoring, ongoing adjustments to your program and good old fashioned emotional support, it is possible for you to realize a healthier, slimmer body. But this requires your commitment to follow through with your scheduled appointments, your calorie tracking and food selection and taking better care of yourself in all areas of your life.

Please contact Dr. Sedgh by calling 888-333-2515 to learn more about our weight loss and other options for a healthier you.