A derogatory comment from a friend, a pair of jeans that doesn't fit as well as they used to... You have to face the facts, you have put on some weight. What surprises you is that it happened very quickly and without you even realising it, and sometimes even without feeling like you've consumed more calories than usual. Don't panic! There are explanations behind this.
We know that the number displayed on the scale can vary significantly from one day to the next. You should therefore not panic right away. But experts believe that for a man, a weight gain of at least half a stone in a few weeks or even a few days must be taken into account. Gentside takes a look at the causes of this sudden weight gain.
There’s too much salt in your diet
You feel like you haven't eaten more than usual and yet the reality is there on the scale: you've gotten bigger. Perhaps you should look at your salt intake? While the latter contains no calories, it is the enemy of people who retain water. So salt makes you swell up!
And sometimes it can be abused without one even realising it, since many foods contain it without our knowledge. Thus the WHO recommends a daily consumption of 5 to 6 grams per day whereas in reality we eat between 8 to 10 grams daily.
Your medication is causing weight gain
Some medications can help you gain weight or prevent weight loss. They can affect metabolism, increase water retention or stimulate the appetite. This can occur in the medium and long term.
According to W. Scott Butsch, Director of Obesity Medicine at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute of the Cleveland Clinic (USA), the use of certain drugs could be the cause of 15% of obesity cases. This includes certain hormone treatments, corticosteroids, certain anti-cancer protocols, anti-hypertensive drugs (including beta-blockers), certain antibiotic treatments, psychotropic drugs...
‘Even some antihistamines can cause a jump on the scale,’ he says, so it is necessary to discuss them with your doctor to find out about possible side effects when you are prescribed treatment.
You’re not expending as much energy as you used to
The rule is simple and everyone knows it: to lose weight, you have to expend more energy than you consume. You used to walk to work and now take public transport or drive? You ran twice a week and lowered your pace to just once a week?
For all you know, you've changed your physical activity a little recently and it's this small (or big!) decrease that's being expressed on your scale. According to Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Control Centre in Maryland, USA, muscle mass tends to maintain a high metabolism, which gives a boost to burning calories.
‘If you drop or change your workout routine, you risk losing muscle mass and therefore the slowing of your metabolism can lead to weight gain,’ he explains.
There may be another reason for this sudden weight gain... Are you perhaps going through a sympathetic pregnancy?