You’ve made many changes to help maintain your ideal weight. You’ve swapped your unhealthy foods for healthy ones and started exercising to help you stay on track. However, it doesn’t seem to be working.
Your scale keeps moving upward and you’re adding roughly 10 lbs a week. This raises the question: why did I gain 10 pounds in a week? This article will look at some solid reasons why your scale could tip to this point. Take a look.
Why Did I Gain 10 Pounds In A Week?
There are several reasons why we gain weight. The two major ones are unhealthy eating patterns and a lack of physical activity. That being said, as excessive weight gain has been linked to diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and stroke, more people have started eating healthily and exercising.
However, despite these changes, some people still report weight gain. For some, this weight gain is tremendous, to the point that they add 10 pounds in seven days. This can be frustrating, even forcing some to give up on their weight loss programs.
If you are on the verge of giving up, take a deep breath and keep reading. There are lesser-known causes of weight gain, and it may only be temporary. Although they may not steal the spotlight, they are often responsible for weight gain (1). Reasons include:
One of the many possible culprits behind rapid weight gain in a week or weight gain over time is a slow metabolism. This is caused by several things, some of which cannot be controlled. These include factors such as your genes, age, and hormones (2).
Other reasons include an overly restrictive diet or specific medications. The downside of a slow metabolism is a slower metabolic rate, meaning that you burn fewer calories than usual.
As a result, you end up gaining weight in areas such as your abdomen and around internal organs such as the liver. This fat is more dangerous as it is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes (2).
Luckily, experts have acknowledged that you can rev up your metabolism to prevent unwanted weight gain. This is done by eating a healthy balanced diet with enough protein, getting adequate sleep, and doing strength training exercises to build muscle (2).
You should talk to your doctor if you believe your medications are responsible for your slow metabolism. If possible, they may recommend alternatives with fewer side effects that do not affect your metabolism. Similarly, you should talk to your nutritionist to get insight into the best metabolism-boosting diet and other habits.
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A lack of sleep has also been found to cause weight gain, as reported by Medical News Today (10). The rationale is that a lack of sleep affects your eating patterns. Your body releases less leptin if you are sleep-deprived (8).
Leptin is the hormone that tells your body to stop eating because you’re full. Unfortunately, when you do not get enough sleep, you eat more frequently, resulting in a calorie surplus.
Similarly, WebMD acknowledges that a lack of sleep causes your metabolism to slow down. As we discussed above, a slow metabolism results in weight gain as you burn fewer calories than you consume.
You can avoid weight gain caused by insomnia by making sure you get adequate quality sleep. WebMD suggests sleeping for seven to nine hours to get the optimal results (8).
You may also be adding pounds due to your body holding onto water. This can be caused by several factors such as (12):
Some medicines may make your body retain water, which leads to increased water weight. Such medications include antidepressants, pain relievers such as ibuprofen, chemotherapy medication, or drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure (12).
Weight gain in females may also be caused by hormonal changes, particularly during their period. PMS symptoms such as bloating make your body retain water, increasing water weight as a consequence (12).
Unfortunately, you may also be adding pounds due to water retention caused by heart problems. According to WebMD, if you have a weak heart, it struggles to properly pump blood, which results in water retention (12).
This leads to swelling in your legs and abdominal region (12). You can easily recognize if your body is retaining water due to heart problems by looking for other heart problems signs and symptoms.
Some of these include tiredness, weakness, lightheadedness, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath (12).
Undiagnosed Medical Conditions
The other reason for weight gain is undiagnosed medical conditions. Although you may be doing everything in your power to keep the weight off, you may unwillingly add some weight due to several conditions, which can include:
Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the needs of your body (11). It is characterized by weight gain and other symptoms such as cold intolerance, dry skin, constipation, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain (11).
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an illness that occurs in women and is characterized by irregular or no periods, weight gain or obesity, high blood pressure, and insulin levels (9).
You may also add 10 pounds in a week if you suffer from depression. This condition has been linked to weight gain and obesity as it is often associated with compulsive and binge eating (5).
If you suspect your weight gain is a result of a medical condition, make sure to seek immediate medical advice. Your doctor will conduct tests to verify if you have a condition to help rule out if it is the cause of weight gain or not.
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Lack Of Portion Control
Unfortunately, many people think that eating healthy foods is the solution to maintaining their ideal weight. However, you must also consider portion control.
Experts have acknowledged that you need to watch your food ratios to prevent consuming more calories than necessary. Below are some of the tips the CDC recommends to help with portion control (6):
- Measure the ingredients before you prepare your meals.
- Serve your food on a small plate instead of a large one.
- Eat from a plate instead of a container or bag.
- Eat at home rather than dining at restaurants as you are more likely to watch what you eat when at home.
- Eat your meals without distractions such as your phone or laptop to prevent overeating.
- Do meal prep in advance to help avoid overindulgence, particularly when you are starving.
- Store tempting foods away or out of reach.
The effect of skipping breakfast has been a source of debate for a long time. Experts have now concluded that skipping breakfast promotes weight gain rather than weight loss (6).
Studies have revealed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because, as the name implies, it helps break a fast. Therefore, experts suggest that you should eat a breakfast rich in calcium and fiber (6).
If you do not eat breakfast, your metabolism will slow down, Which means you will burn fewer calories over the course of the day. At the same time, you are likely to end up eating more at lunchtime, which will lead to a calorie surplus, promoting weight gain. If you crave snacks during the day, have a look at our list of snacks with no carbs.
Skipping breakfast may also reduce your energy levels, which will make you sluggish throughout the day. If you want to keep the weight at bay, experts suggest you do not skip meals.
Increased Stress Levels
We cannot help being stressed by one thing or another in our lives. This could be a missed job opportunity, the high cost of living, or the death of a loved one. We need to learn how to properly deal with our stress levels because they can lead to weight gain.
When you’re stressed, your body releases more cortisol. Increased cortisol levels in the body lead to overeating (4). These hormones also promote increased cravings for sugary and fatty foods, which can lead to increased insulin levels and low blood sugars (4).
Excess sugar and high fat content are two risk factors for weight gain and obesity (7). Therefore, you should look for stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
The Bottom Line
Why did I gain 10 pounds in a week? It’s possibly due to the fact that you’re stressed, have underlying medical conditions, insomnia, slow metabolism, or water retention. It could also be because you skip breakfast and aren’t practicing portion control. Talk to your doctor if you think any of these factors are behind your unwanted weight gain.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 11 Common Causes of Sudden Weight Gain (2023,menshealth.com)
- 15 Things That Slow Your Metabolism (2020, webmd.com)
- 25 Sneaky Reasons You’re Gaining Weight When You’re Doing Everything Right (2023, eatthis.com)
- Can Stress Cause Weight Gain? (2016, webmd.com)
- Depression, emotional eating and long-term weight changes: a population-based prospective study (2019, biomedcentral.com)
- How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight (2021, cdc.gov)
- Real Contribution of Added Sugars and Fats to Obesity (2007, academic.oup.com)
- Sleep and Weight Gain (2010, webmd.com)
- What Are Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Symptoms? (2021, medicinenet.com)
- What causes rapid weight gain? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What is hypothyroidism? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why Am I Retaining Water? (2020, webmd.com)