Articles on weight gain

The Most Common Reasons for Weight Gain

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Its frustrating to see your weight going up when you’re doing everything possible to lose weight. You seem to be eating right and exercising, but that clearly isn’t working. Losing weight and staying fit is mostly dependant on a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, but there are a lot of other factors that could slowly be disrupting your weight loss goals:1. Lack of sleepIf you are not getting enough sleep, then that could be making you feel hungrier. Lack of sleep causes an increase in stress in your body which leads to secretion of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin and makes you feel hungrier.2. Distracted eatingSometimes we eat mindlessly and don't even realise we're doing it. You may be watching TV with your hand constantly dipping into a bag of popcorn before soon realising that it's all gone. Even when you eat your meal while you are working on your computer, it leads to mindless eating. You don't savour the food and end up overeating.3. StressStress eating is a form of emotional eating which leads to high levels of cortisol hormone released in the body in response to stress. This hormone triggers psychological cravings for salty, sweet and high fat content food that gives you instant energy and pleasure. More stress makes you more prone to emotional eating.4. Watch what you drinkWhen people are watching their diet, they generally tend to forgot about accounting for their drinking habits. Alcohol, fuzzy drinks and juices can be high in calories. Also, alcohol consumption if often the reason for indulging in unhealthy food. It lowers your defences and willpower so you are more likely to indulge.5. MenopauseWeight gain can be a by-product of menopause. It’s possible that as estrogens levels fall, the metabolic rate in women also falls. It may also be the case that as women reach a certain age they become less physically active and put on weight because of it.6. MedicationA common side effect of some prescription medicines is weight gain. Because some of the drugs contain corticosteroids and anti-psychotic drugs, certain drugs can cause fluid retention which leads to weight gain. If you suspect your medication is affecting your waistline, your doctor may be able to find an alternative treatment that won’t have that particular side effect.7. AgeingAgeing is a condition which is unavoidable. During this stage BMR slows down. So you need more exercise and less food — to keep your metabolism going.8. Poor digestionPoor digestion leads to insufficient absorption of B-vitamins, iron, magnesium or any of the other nutrients required to burn calories. This results in fatigue and deposition of excess body fat. When you are unable to eliminate waste properly due to poor digestion, your body will suffer from toxic build-up. Many toxins cause your body to retain body fat and excess water. This results in sluggishness, puffiness and difficulty in losing weight.So keep a check on the above mentioned points and keep weight gain away.

Weight Gain After Rapid Weight Loss

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Rapid weight loss sounds like the ideal way to lose weight. But with weight rapid weight loss, comes rapid weight gain. Yes, many of us have seen it, that if you’ve lost a ton of weight, then you would’ve had a hard time also keeping the weight down. Read on to know why your body gains weight after drastic weight loss, and how you lose weight without gaining it back.To achieve rapid weight loss, you need to take extreme measures like crash dieting, excessive exercising and others. Weight loss efforts like these can result in nutritional deficiencies in the long run, and other long term health effects. Besides all the detrimental side effects on your health, your body has a strong tendency to gain the weight back. Let’s explain one concept first: Your brain controls a lot of what you feel, including hunger. Hunger is a feeling that is created by the brain because its a signal that the body needs calories. Often our body signals something else (like water, sleep, etc), and our brain assumes its a need for food. Now, assume that you’re weight was X kg for some time. Now, to keep it at X kg, your body was used to eating a certain amount of food (calories), and spending a certain amount of calories through your physical activities, and your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). So, your body was basically used to maintaining X kg of weight.Now, by taking some measures like crash dieting, or excessive exercising, etc, you manage to reduce your weight to Y kg in a couple of weeks. Since this was a crash diet or a crazy exercise plan, you burnt a ton of calories. But since it was extreme, you did it for a short time of a few weeks and got the results. Now, in these few weeks, your body was shocked into burning calories and you lost weight. Your brain assumes it was a traumatic period, and life will come back to normal. So, after these extreme couple of weeks, you return to a normal lifestyle at Y kg. Your brain does not realize that your weight has actually reduced and still operates at a level of X kg. So it still creates hunger for X kg. Since your weight is much less at Y kg, and you eat for X kg (where X is more than Y), your brain makes you overeat, and you land up slowly gaining the weight back. Also, over the past few weeks, your body was deprived of its expected calories.So, it will try to make up, and your brain will direct you to attack high calorie food to make up for the calorie loss (also called binge eating). Your brain is still trying to go back to the X kg weight. Eventually, after returning to your normal lifestyle, you will slowly inch your way back to gaining the weight, and reaching X kg. Maybe even more than X kg. This yo yo process of weight loss and weight gain, besides affecting us at a psychological level, also affects us physically. Can even lead to stretch marks. It stinks, but its true.To really create a sustainable weight loss, you need to follow 2 rules:– Creating a large calorie deficit in your lifestyle is not the way to sustainable weight loss.It needs a gradual lifestyle change for you to slowly improve your eating habits, and your physical activity.Again, drastic measures don’t work!It took you time to gain the weight, so give yourself time to lose the weight. Create a gradual change in lifestyle with small steps towards a healthier body through nutrition and exercise.

Avoid Travel Weight Gain

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Travel can literally wreak havoc on your health and fitness levels, if you don’t take care. When we say fitness, we mean even your efforts to lose weight. The erratic sleep and eating patterns, lack of exercise and stress all make it worse.So, to help you stick to your plan, here are some tips to avoid weight gain when you travel.- Eat Before: Don't leave from your place hungry, or you'll be much more likely to make poor food choices (read: unhealthy) … partly because healthy choices are limited, and secondly because unhealthy choices look more appetizing. Your mom was right ‘Never leave home empty stomach’.- Traveling dehydrates. Drinking plenty of water will also help fill you up and keep you from feeling fatigued. If you hit the bar when you travel, make a habit of making every other or every third drink order a water or sparkling water with citrus. This will both slow you down (on the liquid calorie intake) and keep you hydrated.- Here the key is unsweetened beverage like water, fresh fruit juice, green tea, iced tea.- Liquidate before a meal: Drink a fair amount of water or other unsweetened beverage before each meal, as well as during and between them. The liquid will help trick your mind into not feeling as hungry, which reduces the tendency to gorge on potentially fattening foods.- Carry some ‘Easy-to Carry’ snack options like raw nuts (but keep the portions to about 1/4 cup) , an apple or other easy to carry snacks like that.- Fill your plate with healthy options: Eat with an 80/20 rule in mind. Fill your plate with mostly (80%) vegetables, whole wheat crackers, fruit, protein, and nuts.  The remaining 20% can be indulgences.- Cut calories wherever you can. Order a small salad before your main meal. Have your dressing on the side.- Exercise whenever you can, wherever you can. Whatever you do, don’t completely skip it. Any exercise is good- Walk, jump rope, use water bottles as weights, or do push-ups, lunges or sit-ups. These are all exercises you can do anywhere.Use these travel tips and you might even make progress on your fitness while you travel!

Lack of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
You are too busy to eat and yet you are putting on weight. Are you getting enough sleep? Maybe this is what really sabotaging your weight and not your diet. Lack of sleep makes us crave more cups of coffee/tea or high sugar food like biscuits to perk us up. All this result in added calories. Besides if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. Getting little or disturbed sleep causes hormonal imbalance which leads to weight gain. Sleep is very important. Here are some facts about how sleep might be affecting your health -Lead you to Overeating: Many studies have shown that your diet and your sleep patterns are related. Lack of sleep can lead to disturbed physiology of your body. So, when you do not get enough sleep it may lead to cravings and over-consumption of calories because when you are craving for food it is so easy to get tempted to reach for a cup of coffee and a doughnut for a quick shot of energy. But this will only adds up to your weight so sleeping at least eight hours each night helps you in managing your weight.Hormonal imbalance: Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep increases the chances of getting obese. Many studies have shown that when you do not sleep enough it disturbs your hormonal balance by increasing the level of ghrelin hormone. Ghrelin is a hormone known for its affect on appetite and disturbed level of ghrelin hormone leads to increased appetite. Disturbed hormones level also lead to irritation or frustration feeling without any specific reason.Effects your metabolism: When your body is deprived of sleep your metabolism slows down and will not function properly. It directly affects your weight loss as your body is not working effectively in burning the calories. That slowdown triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which increases appetite. Your body thinks it needs more energy and that’s why you feel hungry.For better health and to manage your weight it is important to get 8 hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble sleeping try to have a routine of at least 30 minutes exercise during the day and keep pre-bedtime activities relaxing.

Is the Office Making You Gain Weight?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Stressful work, long hours and shifting times do little good for our bodies. If anything at all, it just makes you sluggish, confused and hungry!No seriously! Office snacks are major culprits for falling health graphs.Why snacks only?By definition, snacks can be had anytime and anywhere. Feasting on snacks doesn’t require elaborate planning or pre-designated time and spot; which makes them the most popular go-to choice for a quick bite.Snacks are often consumed when one is hungry and looking for a quick bite. In theory it sounds pretty simple, however, snack appetite generally leads to unnecessary calories and unhealthy food.Boredom is the biggest culprit for unnecessary snacking. Usually, people eat snacks out of habit. In daily practice, a particular time is fixed, which becomes the default eating time irrespective of whether one is hungry or not.How not to succumb to unhealthy snacking?Are you really hungry?Regular snackers have fixed times for chai, samosa or pani puri, which is okay if one is truly hungry. Usually, such schedules evolve into habits and people eat because it is snacking time and not because they are really hungry.TimingsThis applies to all the creatures of the night, who love to work late into the night and help themselves to intermittent snacks while they are at it. Late night snacking is tempting but extremely counter-productive if you have been trying to lose weight. This is because body’s metabolism slows down drastically at night. As a result, most of whatever you eat converts into fat and not energy.PortionControlling one’s portions is way more challenging than it sounds. The best and least preachy way to avoid this is to eat slow. Eating too fast will either fill you up too fast or make you eat too much. Latter happens especially when the appetite is too strong. People usually end up ordering more than what they can eat. And thus, weight increases.Healthy snacks are obvious exceptionsSnacking is not a crime. It can definitely aid you in your journey in weight loss if you make the right decisions. Snacks don’t always have to be samosas and chips. Try replacing them with granola bars, oatmeal snacks, salads, fruits or their juices.Remember that light and occasional snacking is okay. However, the alarm should start sounding if you find yourself indulging too much and too often.

How to Gain Weight

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
How to gain weight or gain muscle? .. is a very common question. More specifically, men ask how to gain muscle & weight, and women ask just how to gain weight. To gain weight the healthy way, you need to get on a weight gain plan – that helps you gain some muscle also- this applies for both men and women.Honestly, gaining muscle or gaining weight is not magic. But gaining muscle a science, and you’ve got to know how to gain weight or how to gain muscle correctly. So, to make gaining muscle weight simple for you, we have our top tips to gain muscle weight. These are the main cornerstones to gaining muscle weight. So, pay attention and follow them for weight gain results: Nutrition: Eat more, eat right. Basically, to gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your metabolic rate, i.e. the number of calories your body currently consumes on a normal basis. Key: Eat well and eat often :)Exercise: Yes, you must exercise. By just eating more calories, you will gain weight, but most of it will be fat, which is unhealthy weight. To gain healthy weight, i.e. muscle weight, you need to exercise. But exercise can be used to lose weight and to gain weight. To gain weight, try this list of exercises- they will help you gain muscle, gain healthy weight and overall give your body a better shape: Push ups, Squats. Supplements: With just food and exercise, weight gain can take its time. To gain weight fast, weight gain supplements are very helpful. They contain a combination of supplements that increase your calorie intake and help you gain weight effectively. These are two effective weight gain supplements: Massive Weight Gain, Jumbo Weight Gainer. Sleep: We told you about nutrition to gain weight, exercises that will help you gain weight, and weight gain supplements. Last but not the least, sleep is extremely important to gaining weight and for your health. Sleep let’s your body and muscles rest. When they get rest, muscles grow. So, make sure you are well rested.

Is Water Retention Causing Your Weight Gain?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you are trying to lose weight and not seeing results on the weighing scale, then the reason might be water retention. Water retention causes temporary weight gain and could depend on factors such as what you have eaten a day earlier or how your hormones levels are fluctuating. Reasons for water retention are:- 1. Sodium intakeConsuming too much sodium from salty and highly processed foods causes water retention. Because to dilute that sodium, the body retains fluid that you see the next morning in the form of puffed face and hands.2. Sweets and starch intakeIf you had a meal comprising mainly of sugar and starchy foods like pasta, white rice etc, it will lead to a quick rise in your blood sugar, which signals your body to release insulin (a hormone that signals the cell to take up the sugar from the bloodstream).High insulin levels can also make your body retain sodium and fluid.3. Hormonal shiftOther hormones can come into play as well. For women, hormonal shifts that occur with monthly cycles can also lead to water weight gain – often in the range of a kilogram or two that can stick around for a week or more. While you can’t avoid the fluctuations in hormone levels, dietary changes may help.Tips for reducing temporary water weight gain:-1. Reduce salt intakeTry to have food in its natural state, since more processed a food, the more sodium it’s likely to have.2. Cut back on refined starchy foods and sweetsSwitch from refined starches to whole grain varieties because whole grains take longer to digest and don’t cause a sudden rise in the blood sugar level. Also, switch from sugary drinks to water or tea.3. Drink plenty of waterDrink plenty of water because it will help you to eliminate salt and toxin build up. Drink 10-12 glasses of water.4. Push potassiumPotassium plays a critical role in maintaining fluid balance in the body, and needs to be in proper balance with sodium. Potassium is found in abundance in fruits and vegetables. Try to have a fruit or vegetable at every meal or snack.

Ways to Gain Weight Most Naturally

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most people these days want to lose weight in order to look slim, and as a result they often miss out on essential nutrients and starve themselves, deteriorating their health. On the other hand some people want to  put on a few pounds to look good and feel healthier or simply to bulk up. Gaining weight is not strenuous and can be achieved simply by reversing some essential dieting principles. Certain basic calculations and lifestyle changes can garner impressive result.Here are ways to gain weight in a healthy manner :Eating 5 to 6 meals a day: In order to gain weight start eating 5-6 meals a day by breaking them into parts. Eating a lot at one time may cause indigestion if the body fails to absorb all nutrients. Eat in small amounts even if you are not hungry and there will be an increase in appetite from day to day. The aim should be to have a generously portioned breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as two to three snacks in between.Load up on protein:  Eating a meal heavy in protein shortly after finishing exercise can be highly effective in adding extra pounds to your body. However, a diet focused only on lean protein is not helpful. It is important to make sure that your diet has plenty of fat in it. Eat foods like cheese, meat, eggs,etc. to gain weight in a healthy manner.Drink your calories: To reach the calorie requirement only by eating may be tough. Drinking milk, milkshakes or protein shakes with little or no sugar can be an effective way to load up on the calorie requirements.Balance your diet: include all food groups that is pulses,cereals, milk and milk products, fruits and veggies in balanced amount in your daily diet. consult a dietitian for a nutritious and well balanced diet.Caution:Junk food and fried foods must be avoided although have a tendency to add more fat to your body but  are very low in vitamins and minerals which are essentially required to keep you really fit.

Effective Weight Loss Tips & Techniques for Women

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Every now and then, we all want to lose some weight. It would be easier to lose weight, if we understood our bodies better. Women and men’s bodies are physiologically different. So, we have different fat storage patterns, hormones, psychology and a lot more. All of these affect the way women gain weight and so understanding them, would help you lose weight too. Besides weight loss, it will also be helpful in improving your overall health & overall fitness. Fat Storage Patterns among WomenTo start with, let’s understand how women put on weight and their common fat storage patterns. There are 2 most common body shapes among women – apple and pear. Typically, most women range between apple and pear shapes based on how their body stores fat. Apple shape refers to those, who primarily store fat on torsos and bellies. Pear shape refers to those people women primarily store fat on their lower half. Implication of your body shape: Research has shown that people who store weight around their bellies are at higher risk of heart disease. This puts ‘apple’ shaped women at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases.Myth of body shape: But there is a myth that people with certain body shapes should follow a particular lifestyle pattern of diet and exercise to lose weight. Your body shape is your body’s pattern of storing fat. If your body stores fat around hips and thighs, then those are what you could call your ‘problem areas’. And this is primarily dependent on the physiology of your body. Regardless of where the fat is being stored, the point is that, to lose the fat around your problem area, you need to burn it.Doing a particular exercise or eating a certain kind of diet will not change your body’s physiology (by tracy). But if you lose weight and burn fat, your body will naturally reduce the fat stored in your body, and thus in your problem area.DietHealthy diet remains an area of concern for many women, as they may not focus on what they are eating and at what time. Irregular meal times, unhealthy snacking, lack of fruits in diet, focus on quantity not on nutrition quality are some of the common weight gain triggers among women in India.Below are the points that as women you should consider to have a balanced and healthy daily diet to lose weight.1. Skip your daily tea/coffee and replace it with black tea. Avoid sugar completely and replace it with honey, add a dash of lemon to it for taste.2. Instead of oily snacks and biscuits enjoy your cup of tea with seasonal fruits for your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.3. Include more protein in your diet. Lean meats, soy, low fat dairy, eggs and nuts are some of the common sources of protein. Protein rich diet is more filling, thus reducing hunger and makes you consume fewer calories.4. Avoid white bread as it is made using refined flour. Eating white bread makes your blood sugar spike (higher risk of diabetes) and store fat, it does not satisfy your hunger and makes you eat more at each meal.5. Control the portion of rice in your daily meals. Ideally, it should only occupy 25-30 per cent of your plate. The rest should be for vegetables, proteins and other foods, for a balanced meal.6. Adopt healthy cooking habits in your daily life. Avoid frying, instead try baking, steaming, broiling your dishes. Healthy cooking methods can help preserve nutrients in the food apart from making it delectable.7. With their busy morning schedules, some women tend to forget the most important meal of the day, breakfast. No matter how busy you are, make sure you have your breakfast. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast helps in controlling cravings at odd hours. Eggs, whole wheat bread, poha, fruit and yogurt smoothies, etc. are some of the healthy options that can be made in jiffy for breakfast.8. Apart from this, having a balanced lunch and dinner is equally important to lose weight. Make sure you limit the intake of food that are rich in simple carbohydrate.9. If you cannot do without your mid meal snacks, then go for fruits, almonds, green tea instead of chips and cookies to keep your weight in check.Weight Loss & Fitness Exercises for WomenWe all lead busy lives, some with more physical activity than others. Many women hardly get any time to exercise, in their bid to juggle between household chores and professional life, which often leads to weight gain.Read to know more about healthy gain weight.But if you can spare just fifteen minutes everyday to add a punch of physical activity in your routine, you can keep annoying fat storage in your body at bay. For healthy and toned body, women should focus on doing the below provided exercises. These exercises especially focus on the common weight gain problem areas for women. HamstringHaving toned thighs is a dream of many women, which they find difficult to achieve. Try this simple exercise to get your thighs shape up for good.Lunges and Squats are the best exercises for working out both inner and outer thigh. Lunges improve your everyday movements’ performance besides sculpting your legs. Add variation like side lunges, lunges with rotation or even dumbbell lunges to hail additional benefits. Dumbbell lunges works especially on ‘core’ muscles (i.e. abs, oblique’s, lower back) to help core strengthening as wellButt Exercise: When women are asked to train their glutes, they get confused among the kinds of exercises available for shapely butts. Here we provide you a simple exercise to train your glutes.Standing Leg Kickback is one of the best exercises for glutes. When doing glute kick back, make sure to get a full range of motion by bringing your leg as far forward and then extending leg back as far as possible. This exercise targets your butts and hamstrings. Performing glute kickbacks regularly strengthens and tones your butts & hamstringsBelly Exercise: Belly and love handles remain a common area of concern among women. Try these simple belly exercises at home to get perfectly toned abs.Plank is an exercise for abdominal muscles. It is also called front hold or abdominal bridge. It is one of the best exercises because it tightens the deepest core muscles. You should hold this position for at least 30-40 seconds and perform 3 repetitionsMountain climber strengthens multiple groups of muscles in addition to the cardiovascular system. It improves heart rate and increases intensity of your cardio workouts. 3-4 sets of 15-20 repetitions should be done to get good results.Seal Jumps are an excellent cardiovascular exercise. It increases your heart rate, and includes full body movement. Your legs, arms and core are all working during this movement. You can perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each. Additionally, women should include some cardio training in their workout. Including cardio in the form of aerobic or running in your daily workout makes your heart work more. It helps pump blood to the heart, which keeps your heart stronger and healthier. 30 minutes of running or aerobics can burn approximately 300 calories. Proper cardio training can help you not only burn effective calories but also to prevent injury.Daily exercise can do a lot more than keeping your weight in check. It burns excess fat & calories, strengthens muscles, protects bones, improves bone density, improves nutrient absorption, balances hormone levels and most importantly keeps you active throughout the day.So, regardless of the shape of your body and how it stores fat, for you to lose weight, what is most important is that you burn the fat. Just get on a proper weight-loss plan consisting of diet and exercise. It’s that simple.