I always said that I would eat whatever I wanted until I hit 30 and then I would worry about it. So I continued to eat the same stuff, continued partying with my friends and enjoying my 20s…or so I told myself.

And by the time I hit 30, I felt like $#!+! I was tired ALL the time. My body was falling apart.

But what drove me the craziest and impacted my confidence the most, was the WEIGHT GAIN.

Sound familiar?

The 30 year old version of me was positive that I wasn’t eating more food or “junkier” food than I was at 20 but I was still gaining weight. And I’m sure I will see this trend again in my lifetime.

Do you feel this same way? And is this possible?

Yes!  You are NOT crazy!

And here’s why.

We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight.

There’s definitely more to the story than just what you’re eating, right?

A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat.

But, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you’re eating the same.

Things like:

  • Aging;
  • Hormones;
  • Sleep;
  • Stress.

Aging

Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains.

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.

The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault at all.

Hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.

When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones, your metabolism slows down.  And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Pro Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested.

Sleep

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.

And as we age, it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep. Or if you are where I was, it is hard to get enough sleep while trying to maintain a vibrant social life and get up the next morning for work.

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.

It’s true!  Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain.

Who ever thought you could sleep off your weight?

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming nighttime routine before bed.

Stress

It seems to be everywhere!  So many things can cause stress responses in your body.

Maybe you are focused on building a career. Or stressing about the relationship you thought you would be in and how far along it would have progressed by now. Or maybe you are feeling pressure from your parents about living too far away. There are so many things putting demands on our time and energy!

And stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight.

While you can’t necessarily change your stressors, you can try to adjust your stress response to them.

Pro Tip:  Try meditation, gratitude journaling or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult coloring books that are all the rage?

There are a lot of factors that can affect your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can contribute to weight gain.

I’ve realized that lack of sleep and increased stress (…and the foods and drinks that usually come with it) are definitely some of my triggers for weight gain. Can you identify yours?