Do you feel that as you get older, you gain weight just by looking at food? You eat well, but you’re still gaining weight even though you’re positive you aren’t eating more food. You are not alone and you are definitely NOT crazy!

Weight management depends on your metabolic rate, which is affected by things like your history of dieting, body composition, and yes – by what you eat and your activity level. But, there’s more to gaining or losing weight than what you eat and how much you exercise and the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight management.

So, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into three of the less obvious reasons why you’re gaining weight even though you’re exercising and eating the same.

Hormones

When your hormones get out of whack, your metabolism is affected. If your metabolism slows down, you gain weight – even though you’re eating the same way you always have. This is very common and not your fault one bit.

There are several hormones that are involved in controlling your weight: adrenaline, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid just to name a few. Aging causes hormonal changes for both men and women. These changes can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.

Talk with one of our Naturopathic Doctors about having your hormones tested to see if this is causing your weight gain.

Sleep

Sleep is our natural state of rest for both the body and the mind. It’s when our bodies can focus on our internal needs such a rejuvenation, repair and self-healing. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on our metabolic rate, and as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

The amount and quality of sleep also affects the hormones that stimulate and regulate appetite. Sleep deprivation results in less self-control and we tend to rely on caffeine and sugar to compensate for lack of energy caused by inadequate or poor quality sleep.

Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you have to get up at a specific time in the morning, make sure you get to bed in time to allow yourself a minimum of 7 hours to sleep. A relaxing nighttime routine that allows you to unwind from the day can improve the quality of your sleep.

Stress

The long-term activation of the stress-response system – and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones – can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. Chronic stress can make us feel tired and worn out and eventually lead to a number of common health problems, including weight gain.

Many people can relate to experiencing several stressors a day: running late, sitting in traffic, overwhelm at work, a fight with your spouse, etc. Whether the stressors in your life are big or small, real or imaginary, your body reacts the same way. Each stress reaction produces 1,400 biochemical events in your body, which is a negative chain reaction on the molecular level.

It’s not realistic to eliminate all stress from our lives, of course, but there are plenty of things we can do to minimize and manage it. Try meditation, yoga or even hypnosis to help you get your stress under control.

Conclusion

Just one of these three factors alone are enough to affect your weight. However, hormones, stress, and sleep are also interconnected and can cause major changes to your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.

I work with women in the prime of their lives who are tired of yo-yo dieting and teach them how to enjoy eating so they can feel fabulous and learn to love life – and their body.

If you would like to break-free from dieting once and for all, I have a FREE online training called D.I.E.T. Rehab Bootcamp: 5 Simple Steps to Diet-Free Living.

In this 5-part email and video series, you will learn:

– Why dieting doesn’t work in the long-run and what you should do instead

– How to control impulses and make healthier choices

– Why understanding your emotions is a critical weight-loss success

factor

– How to handle temptation and triggers

– The 5 Simple Steps you can follow to feel more in control around food, more energized and confident in your body!

To learn more and sign up, visit my website: http://nourishinghealthstyles.ca/