Why Do I Gain Weight So Easily?

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Do you feel like you gain weight just looking at food? You're not alone. Many struggling dieters wonder, "why do I gain weight so easily?" and "why do I keep gaining weight?"  You may feel like you are doing everything right with your diet and exercise plan, and still, the pounds keep adding up.

First, know that you are not alone. Many dieters deal with this same dilemma. Next, start to ask yourself some questions about your program.

The problem is probably not you. It may be that the diet you chose isn't right, or your calories need to be adjusted, or you're making progress that you don't realize.

I Keep Gaining Weight and It's Not Fair!

It's not uncommon to have friends who can eat anything and stay thin as a rail. Almost anyone with a weight problem knows someone who stays the same size no matter what. You know who I'm talking about—that person who seems to just eat endless amounts of food but never seems to gain a pound. It's so frustrating.  And it's especially hard if that person eats all the foods you love but you know you have to avoid them.

The bottom line is that it makes most of us feel bad. And it makes us want to blame someone. Sound familiar? If so, what do you say to yourself to make it all better? And what do you do when those feelings hit? Many of us eat—and that can be at the root of the problem.

If you struggle with weight loss, don't beat yourself up.

It's the worst thing you can do. Most of us eat when we're depressed and who wants to go exercise when they feel bad about themselves. The truth is that everyone struggles with something. Your struggle is weight loss. Your skinny friend may struggle with budgeting, organization, or academic success (skills that you might be good at!).

Give yourself credit for the things you do well and bring that confidence to your weight loss challenge.

Why Do I Gain Weight Easily?

It's very difficult to know the exact reasons why some people gain weight easily. For most people, weight gain or weight loss will always come down to my own eating choices and exercise habits. So to find a solution, you should double check your calories in (eating choices) and calories out (exercise and physical activity habits).

Ask yourself a few questions.

  • When is the last time I checked my energy balance? Use an online calculator to check the number of calories that you should be eating each day. Then be careful to count calories for a week or so to make sure you're not taking in more than you need. 
  • Do I eat the right portions of healthy foods? Sometimes, it's easy to overeat foods that are advertised as healthy. For example, avocados and nuts provide your body with healthy fat. But you have to be careful about how much you eat because they are foods that are very high in calories.
  • What do I do after I exercise? If you work out hard (which is a good thing!) do you lay on the couch for the rest of the day to recover? Or do you hit the refrigerator with abandon? Many of us do. Make sure you're not making one these most common weight loss workout mistakes.
  • Am I taking a supplement that causes weight gain? Many dieters take protein supplements or other ergonomic aids that are designed to help bodybuilders gain muscle mass. The result can be weight gain. Most of us don't need supplements to lose weight or gain muscle. Talk to your health care provider to see if you need to take extra vitamins, minerals or supplements for your health.
  • Is my body getting smaller? In some cases, the number on the scale goes up, but your body is actually getting smaller and tighter. This is a good problem to have! You might be improving your level of fitness and putting on muscle. Use the fit of your clothes or a tape measure to evaluate progress. You can also use a body fat scale to see if you are making progress without seeing a change in your weight.

    A Word from Verywell

    Remember, metabolism greatly affects a person's tendency to lose or gain weight. Changing your metabolism is harder than changing your eating and exercise habits. You can strive to achieve a skinny person's eating habits or fitness level, but you just can't make their metabolism yours. 

    There are some factors in weight gain that we simply have no control over. But there are others that we can change. There are hormones that affect hunger and metabolism. We can't control those. But you can make the healthiest choices possible when I eat. And you can exercise to feel good about my body, not just to lose weight.  Then if you still gain weight easily, I know that I'm doing the best that I can for my health and well-being.  

    The change in perspective may not change your weight, but then again, it just might. If nothing else, it can make you feel better about your body and my weight...at any size.

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