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5 Causes of unexplained weight gain

February 1, 2024
5 min 27
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Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt completely confused as to why you had gained weight, even though you’ve been watching what you eat? 

It’s frustrating when you make a conscious effort to lose weight and it just does not seem to be having any effect. 

Today we will dive into four main causes of unexplained weight gain:

  • Not eating the right foods
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Increased stress levels

Understanding the cause of your weight gain is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so read on and start taking your wellness journey today!

Unbalanced diet - not eating the right foods

The food we eat plays a vital role in keeping us healthy and strong. Having a balanced diet allows your body to receive all the nutrients and minerals it needs to get up in the morning. 

“But I’ve been watching what I eat!” 

Many dieters confuse a balanced diet with eating little, or eating only low-caloric foods. If you only munch on cucumber all day, you might lose weight in the short term, but your body will not be receiving the nutrients it needs, which will affect your ability to exercise properly. 

Also, depriving yourself from healthy, appealing meals can increase your stress levels and trigger more cravings, leading to failure in the long term. Many dieters who go the ultra-low calorie route end up doubling down on nasty food on the weekends because “I’ve been good all week, I deserve this”. 

To avoid this, it's crucial to know what healthy foods are part of a balanced diet and include them in your meal plan. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats are all examples of foods that can provide the necessary nutrients needed to maintain good health. 

Self-hypnosis helps you choose the right food for your body by rewiring your brain and deleting the bad nutritional habits you’ve built over the years. Read more about foods to enhance the effect of self-hypnosis here.

Learn more about weight loss with self-hypnosis

Lack of physical activity

Eating nutritious foods does not necessarily mean eating low caloric foods. Hummus, for example, is very nutritious but fairly caloric. So is whole wheat bread, cheese or walnuts. 

Which means that although you might feel like you’ve been doing well with your nutritional choices (and you’d be right) it’s not enough to actually lose weight if you don’t get off the sofa once in a while. 

In today's world, it's all too easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Our jobs often require us to sit at a desk for hours on end, and by the time we get home, we're often too tired to get up and move. 

Post-pandemic work conditions have made that even more true, with working from home deleting even the little exercise you might get from the commute to the office. 

Read our 8 tips on how to lose weight while working from home

It sounds silly but the physical symptoms of sitting too much can be serious. A lack of physical activity can not only lead to unexpected weight gain, it also causes poor circulation, and in some cases even heart disease.

So let's make a conscious effort to get up and move around more often. It might not seem like a big deal, but in the long run, it can make a world of difference.

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Not sleeping enough 

Sleep is the most forgotten-about factor of unexplained weight loss. Very few diets mention sleep as a part of the weight loss process, but it definitely is. 

Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Sleep is linked to weight gain due to its influence on various physiological and hormonal processes in the body:

  • Hormonal imbalance: lack of sleep can disrupt the balance of key hormones involved in appetite regulation. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger, and a decrease in leptin, the hormone that signals fullness. This imbalance can result in increased appetite and cravings, leading to overeating and weight gain.
  • Increased caloric intake: sleep deprivation is associated with higher calorie consumption, particularly from high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods. When you're sleep-deprived, you may be more inclined to seek out comfort foods for quick energy or to cope with fatigue, leading to an overall increase in calorie intake.
  • Impaired metabolism: lack of sleep can negatively affect your metabolism. Sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, reduced glucose tolerance, and impaired regulation of blood sugar levels. These metabolic disturbances can be the cause of unexplained weight gain (and increase the risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes).
  • Low energy: not sleeping can leave you feeling tired (obviously) and low on energy, which can impact your motivation to get up off the sofa, like we mentioned above.
  • Emotional factors: sleep deprivation can influence your mood and emotional well-being. It may increase stress levels and trigger emotional eating as a coping mechanism. 

To lose weight, it's important to make a good night’s sleep a priority and aim for at least 8 hours of shut-eye each night. 

Self-hypnosis can help you establish a consistent sleep routine and create a sleep-friendly environment that can help sleep like a baby and avoid unexplained weight gain.

Stress eating 

We’ve mentioned it several times, stress can be a big factor in unexplained weight gain. 

Stress eating is a common coping mechanism when feeling overwhelmed. During stressful times you feel like gravitating towards comfort foods such as ice cream, chocolate, or fast food. 

This is because these foods trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. As a result, you feel temporarily better after eating that slice of pizza. 

Self-hypnosis has been found to help with stress by working on neurotransmitters and brain activity. When practicing self-hypnosis, the brain releases endorphins, which are natural mood-enhancing and stress-reducing chemicals. Also, self-hypnosis can stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked with feeling relaxed and happy. During self-hypnosis, the body produces lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This makes you feel calm and reduces anxiety. 

Regular self-hypnosis practice can help rewire the brain's response to stress and cultivate a more balanced and resilient mindset.

Reduce stress with self-hypnosis.

Drinking too much alcohol - the most common cause of unexplained weight gain

Since drinking isn’t actually eating, we tend to forget about alcohol when trying to lose weight. 

So you might think you’ve been eating right and working out enough, and still see yourself inexplicably gaining weight, just because of that extra glass of wine after work.

Unfortunately, consuming alcohol can derail even the most disciplined of weight loss plans. Alcohol contains empty calories, meaning they provide no nutritional value to your body. These empty calories can add up quickly, especially when enjoyed often or mixed in a cocktail. 

It can be tempting to indulge in a few drinks on the weekends or after a stressful day, but it's important to keep in mind the impact it can have on your diet goals. It's not to say you can't indulge in a drink or two, just be aware of the consequences and drink in moderation.

We've reviewed the causes of weight gain (or lack of weight loss) that could be the cause of your unexplained weight gain

Fortunately, they can all be resolved fairly easily with a little effort. Also, most of these issues can be helped with self-hypnosis. You can try our 7-day trial to get started and see if it’s the right path for you. 

Start losing weight with self-hypnosis.

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