Often times your weight may seem like a mystery. You can hop onto the scale one day to find that you’ve suddenly gained five pounds, yet your diet or exercise level have not changed in years. Other times (though significantly more rarely), you may find that you’ve lost a few pounds and have no idea how.
As it turns out, there are far more factors that contribute to how much we weigh than we initially suspected. Some of them may be discouraging, whilst others positively enlightening. Some of the most surprising facts about your weight are listed below, along with what they mean.
1 Stress can make you put on Weight
Nobody enjoys being stressed out. Not only is it upsetting, but it can also compromise your immune system. To make stress even worse, it turns out that it can make you put on weight. The simplest way it does this is by causing you to crave carbohydrate rich foods, which have proven to calm stress hormones. Stress itself also causes you to store fat. This is a holdover from the times when stress usually meant famines, and storing food as fat was a useful evolutionary mechanism.
Exercise has been proven to reduce stress, but if it is not working, try exercises such as meditation or yoga.
2 Factors during Pregnancy Affect You
Practically everyone is familiar with fetal alcohol syndrome and the consequences of drug use on the fetus. Yet as it turns out, what your mother was eating while you were in the womb can also have a strong effect on how your brain functions. Eating sugary and fat laden foods while pregnant can cause the baby to grow up with poor appetite control mechanisms and even a faulty metabolism. As it turns out, eating healthy while you’re pregnant can help your baby long down the road.
3 Sleep May be Better than Diet
You can actually lose weight by sleeping more. Sleeping less than seven hours a night can upset your hormone balance, causing you to think you’re hungry when you are not. Getting proper rest, on the other hand, helps you feel full during the day and can even lead you to spontaneously lose weight. This is not to say that you should sleep 16 hours a day instead of eating healthy, but if you are not getting enough sleep, you should start sleeping in.
4 Your Family’s Weight Contributes to Yours
Believe it or not, but your spouse or family’s weight has a direct correlation with yours. When one spouse is obese, for example, the other one is as much as 40% more likely to be obese also. On the other hand, when one spouse or family member loses weight, the others are significantly more likely too.
This can be due to a variety of factors. There may be less fattening foods in the house. Alternatively, exercise is often contagious. When one person begins playing a sport or going on bike rides, it is not uncommon for the others to join.