You have made many changes to help maintain your ideal weight. You have swapped your unhealthy foods for healthy ones and have started exercising to help you stay on track. However, this does not seem to be working. Your scale keeps moving to the point that you are adding roughly 10 lbs in a week. This brings the question, why did I gain 10 pounds in a week? This article will be looking 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 add weight. The two major ones include unhealthy eating patterns and lack of physical activity. That said, since excessive weight gain has been associated with diseases like obesity, heart disease and stroke, more people have begun eating healthy and exercising.
Despite these changes, some people still report weight gain. For some, the weight gain is tremendous, to the point that they add ten pounds within seven days. This can be frustrating, forcing some to even 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 might only be temporary. Although they do not steal the spotlight, they are often highly responsible for weight gain. They 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 numerous things, some of which cannot be controlled. These include factors like your genes, age, and hormones (1).
Others include an overly restrictive diet, or specific medications. The downside of a slow metabolism is a slower metabolic rate, which means you burn fewer calories than usual.
As a result, you end up gaining weight in areas like your abdomen and around internal organs like your liver. Such fat is more dangerous as it is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes (1).
Luckily, experts acknowledge 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 (1).
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 and that do not affect your metabolism. Similarly, talk to your nutritionist for insight on the best metabolism-boosting diet and other habits.
Lack of sleep has also been discovered to cause weight gain, as reported by Medical News Today (6). The rationale is that lack of sleep affects your eating patterns. Your body releases less leptin when you are sleep deprived (4).
Leptin is the hormone that tells your body to stop eating because you are full. Unfortunately, when you do not get enough sleep, you eat frequently, which results in a calorie surplus.
Similarly, WebMD acknowledges that lack of sleep causes your metabolism to slow down. As we have discussed above, a slow metabolism results in weight gain as you burn fewer calories than you are consuming.
You can avoid weight gain caused by insomnia by making sure you get adequate and quality sleep. WebMD suggests sleeping for seven to nine hours for optimal results (4).
Some medicines may make your body retain water, leading to increased water weight. These medications include antidepressants, pain relievers like ibuprofen, chemotherapy medication, or drugs used to treat high blood pressure (8).
Weight gain in females may also be caused by hormonal changes, especially when on their period. PMS symptoms like bloating make your body retain water, consequently increasing water weight (8).
Unfortunately, you may also be adding pounds due to water retention caused by heart problems. According to WebMD, when you have a weak heart, it struggles to properly pump blood, which results in water retention (8).
This leads to swelling in your legs and abdominal region (8). 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 sensations of tiredness, weakness, lightheadedness, rapid heart rate and shortness of breath (8).
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. Some of these include:
Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the body’s needs (7). It is characterized by weight gain and other symptoms like cold intolerance, dry skin, constipation, fatigue, muscle and joint pain (7).
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 (5).
You may also add ten pounds in a week if you are suffering from depression. The condition has been linked to weight gain and obesity as it is sometimes associated with compulsive and binge eating.
If you suspect your weight gain results from medical conditions, make sure you seek medical advice immediately. Your doctor will conduct tests to verify if you have these conditions to help rule out if they are the cause of weight gain or not.
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Lack Of Portion Control
Unfortunately, most people think that eating healthy foods ends the equation of maintaining their ideal weight. However, you also have to think about portion control.
Experts acknowledge that you have 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 (3):
- Measuring the ingredients before preparing your meals.
- Serving your food on a small plate instead of large ones.
- Eating from a plate instead of a container or bag.
- Eating in instead of dining at restaurants as you will most likely watch what you eat when you are at home.
- Having your meals without distractions like your phone or laptop to prevent overeating.
- Meal prepping to help avoid overindulgence, especially when you are starving.
- Storing tempting foods away or out of reach.
The effect of skipping breakfast has been a long-term debate. That said, experts have concluded that skipping breakfast promotes weight gain instead of weight loss (3).
Studies reveal that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because, as the name implies, it helps break a fast. In light of this, experts suggest taking breakfast that is rich in calcium and fiber (3).
If you do not eat breakfast, your metabolism slows down, meaning you are burning few calories over the course of the day. Similarly, you are likely to end up eating more during lunchtime, leading to a calorie surplus, which we all know promotes weight gain.
Skipping breakfast may also reduce your energy levels, making you sluggish throughout the day. If you want to keep the weight at bay, experts suggest you do not skip your meals.
Increased Stress Levels
We cannot help but be stressed by one thing or another in our lives. It could be the missed job opportunity, high cost of living, or death of a loved one. We need to learn how to properly deal with our stress levels because they lead to weight gain.
When you are stressed, your body releases more cortisol. Increased cortisol levels in your body lead to overeating (2). These hormones also promote increased cravings for sugary and fatty foods because they lead to increased insulin levels and low blood sugars (2).
Excess sugar and high-fat content are two risk factors for weight gain and obesity. So, make sure to look for stress management techniques like yoga and meditation to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
The Bottom Line
Why did I gain 10 pounds in a week? Possibly it’s because you are stressed, have underlying medical conditions, insomnia, slow metabolism, or water retention. It could also be because you are skipping breakfast and are not 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 for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 15 Things That Slow Your Metabolism (2020, webmd.com)
- Can Stress Cause Weight Gain? (2016, webmd.com)
- How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight (2021, cdc.gov)
- 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)