Most people know the obvious reason for weight gain – consuming more calories than you burn. If, however, you are watching what you eat, exercising regularly, and still gaining weight, there could be some other causes. Here are three hidden causes of weight gain that might explain where the extra pounds are coming from.

  1. Lack of Sleep

When you are tired and not getting at least seven hours of sleep per day, your body starts to store fat. Lack of sleep can also affect your hormones. When you don’t get enough sleep, you release hormones that make you hungry, not the hormones that curb your appetite. Try your best to sleep at least seven hours each night. Even better, try for eight hours!

  1. Serious Injuries

Weight gain tends to go hand-in-hand with a serious injury. You might not be able to walk or do physical activities for extended periods of time, but you can still eat regularly, so you consume calories without burning them. Ask your doctor about physical therapy and rehab exercises that can help burn those calories. If you want to snack, consider these low-calorie snacks.

  1. Prescription Medication

Many prescription medications, especially antidepressants and steroids, can lead to weight gain. Because they alter your metabolic rate and hormone levels, they can cause your body to store fat. If you are wondering if a medication is making you gain weight, ask your doctor about it. It is important to never stop taking prescribed medication on your own. Perhaps your doctor can switch you to another medicine without a weight-gain side effect.

The bottom line

If you aren’t sure why you are gaining weight, talk to your doctor. There could be some hidden reason for the extra pounds. Be sure to discuss how much sleep you get, the medications you take, and whether you have suffered any serious injuries recently.

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