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Hidden Causes of Weight Gain

Weight gain occurs when you regularly eat more calories than you use through normal bodily functions and physical activity. But the lifestyle habits causing your weight gain aren't always obvious.

Hidden Causes of Weight Gain
Hidden Causes of Weight Gain

Losing weight means eating fewer calories and burning more energy through physical activity.

It sounds simple. But more than 60% of adults in England are overweight or obese. Our lifestyles see many of us eating more calories than we need and not doing enough physical activity.

Food that's labelled 'low-fat'

Lots of foods in the supermarkets today are labelled "low-fat". But there's a catch, explains nutrition scientist Lisa Miles. "In some cases, low-fat foods contain high levels of sugar. High-sugar foods can also contain lots of calories and so contribute to weight gain."

What can I do? "Read the labels," says Miles. "You need to look at the overall energy and calories. Although a food may have a reduced amount of fat, it may still have the same amount of calories."


It can be easy to reach for a sugary pick-me-up when stressed. Do this often and you may put on weight.

What can I do?

"Snack on fruit and veg and other low-calorie options such as plain popcorn, crackers and rice cakes," says dietitian Anna Suckling.

Your medicine cabinet

Weight gain is a common side effect of many drugs. The most common drugs that can cause weight gain are steroids, antipsychotic drugs, and insulin, among others.

What can I do?

Never stop taking prescribed medication unless your GP or specialist has told you to.

Portion sizes

Over the last few decades, the size of portions served in restaurants and supermarket packages has increased.

What can I do?

Coping with larger portion sizes is a matter of stopping when you feel full. Eat slowly and you'll have a better chance of avoiding that overstuffed feeling.


Cover Photo: Wix

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