According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. If you aren’t actively taking control of your health by exercising and eating a balanced diet full of whole foods, weight gain can and probably will creep up on you at some point or another. In addition to diet and exercise, many other habits you keep can have an impact on weight gain.
Here are seven scientific reasons why you experience weight gain:
1. You Work The Night Shift
Your body is programmed to eat during the day and sleep at night. Working the night shift can lead to weight gain because it breaks down the body’s natural physiological cycle. The result becomes a decrease in total daily energy expenditure. In other words, you end up burning fewer calories.
2. You Aren’t Sleeping Enough
Research has shown that lack of sleep causes weight gain. Sleep plays a key role in energy metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up eating more. Your body searches for food in order to create more energy to maintain your waking hours.
3. You Are Experiencing Environmental Pollution
Certain environmental pollutants have been shown to increase the risk of obesity. Exposure to these pollutants can cause a build up of contaminants in fatty tissue. These contaminants reach the body through foods that are high in fat, including meat and fatty fish.
4. You Watch Too Much T.V.
Research has shown that spending more than two hours a day sitting in front of the television increases the risk of obesity by 23%. Falling asleep with the television on can also increase your risk of obesity. Studies show that exposure to artificial light during sleep reduces melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that protects the body from metabolic disorders that cause obesity and diabetes.
5. You Have Anxiety
Stress, depression, and anxiety can all lead to weight gain. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are more prone to obesity than those who do not suffer from the condition. When you reduce our levels of stress and anxiety, you can also reduce your chances of obesity.
6. You Eat “Low-fat” Foods
Research has shown that low-fat isn’t the way to go when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, one study that compared a low-fat diet to a low-carb one concluded that eating high-fat is results in weight loss, lower triglycerides, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind).
7. You Eat In Restaurants That Play Classical Music
One study found that people consume more food and coffee in restaurants where classical music is playing in the background. It might sound odd, but avoiding such restaurants might help reduce your chances of weight gain!
Adding these daily habits now will make it easier to keep the weight off throughout your life. If you find yourself gaining that weight in your later years, not all is lost! Check out simply ways to stave off age-related weight gain.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Eat This, Not That
Annals of Internal Medicine
Women’s Health Magazine