Weight loss tip #152: Get a full body check-up before planning a weight loss routine

Before you try to lose weight, understand why you have been gaining weight.

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If you have been gaining weight steadily and want to shed some kilos, try understanding why you have been gaining it in the first place. Before you sit down and chart out a weight loss plan, you should book a full body check-up first. Why? To understand whether a health condition is causing your weight gain. A number of health conditions can cause weight gain, some of them are -

  • Thyroid [1]: People with an underactive thyroid have very low basal metabolic rate, which causes weight gain. Moreover, people with hypothyroidism find it difficult to lose weight. Hypothyroidism affects more women than men. Other than weight gain, other symptoms are fatigue, sensitivity to cold and constipation.
  • Depression [2]: When depressed, the brain secretes excess serotonin, which is the reason behind mood swings and irritated appetite. Disturbed appetite can cause weight gain, and even if you diet and exercise, you may not be able to control or lose weight.
  • Menopause [3]: The hormonal changes during menopause lead to an overall increase in body fat, especially around the abdomen. If you are menopausal and have been gaining weight, speak to your doctor about how you can deal with it in a healthy way. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle routine can go a long way in controlling weight gain during and post menopause.
  • Medication [4]: Certain routine medication can cause weight gain in certain people. Anti-depressants are known to cause weight gain. Antihistamines, oral medication for diabetes and certain migraine medicines can also lead to weight gain.

1. Laurberg, P., Knudsen, N., Andersen, S., Carl , A., Pedersen, I. B., & Karmisholt, J. (2012). Thyroid Function and Obesity. European Thyroid Journal, 1(3), 159 167.

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2. Wurtman JJ. Depression and weight gain: the serotonin connection. J Affect Disord. 1993 Oct-Nov;29(2-3):183-92. Review. PubMed PMID: 8300977.

3. Davis SR, Castelo-Branco C, Chedraui P, Lumsden MA, Nappi RE, Shah D, Villaseca P; Writing Group of the International Menopause Society for World Menopause Day 2012. Understanding weight gain at menopause. Climacteric. 2012 Oct;15(5):419-29. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2012.707385. Review. PubMed PMID: 22978257.

4. Fernstrom MH. Drugs that cause weight gain. Obes Res. 1995 Nov;3 Suppl 4:435S-439S. Review. PubMed PMID: 8697041.

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