Before you start to create your next weight loss strategy, it’s a good idea to learn about the most common obesity causes. This way, you’ll be able to better design your efforts to overcome the problems that are most likely behind your weight gain in the first place.
After all, as much as it’s easy to simply say that you need to “eat better” or “exercise more,” true obesity causes go much deeper than that. Yes, what you eat and how active you are can play an integral role in your weight, but the body is a complex web of interdependent systems. Sometimes being overweight is only a symptom of a different problem altogether.
Among the most common obesity causes identified among patients can include genetic predisposition, energy imbalances, endocrine medical conditions, and even side effects to certain common medications that may have been prescribed.
• Genetic predisposition
While there doesn’t appear to be a specific “obesity gene,” many health issues linked with a heightened obesity risk can be hereditary. If you have family members – particularly family members – who struggle with their weight, you may also find yourself battling with the same challenges.
• Energy imbalances
This refers to the imbalance in the amount of energy you’re taking in (in the form of calories from food) compared to the amount of energy you’re burning from regular body functions and exercise. While it sounds as though this should be a simple calculation, it can be difficult to know exactly how much a body is burning and how quickly food calories are being burned. The reason is that not all calories are created equal. The body treats calories in carbohydrates, proteins and fats quite differently, so it’s not just a matter of how many calories you’re eating, but also the form they take when you eat them.
• Medical conditions
Certain mental and physical health conditions can make you predisposed to being overweight or obese. This is particularly true of endocrine disorders that cause hormonal imbalances.
Some prescription medications – and even certain supplements – can increase a person’s risk of gaining weight. These most commonly include antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics and antihyperglycemics, but there are many other categories of drugs that can also contribute to this risk. If you believe your medication is causing you to gain weight, do not stop taking it without first consulting with your doctor.
Overcoming many of these issues can take certain lifestyle changes, including those involving healthy eating strategies, fitness improvements, a better focus on sleep, over the counter diet pills and even stress management.