Unexpected reasons you can't lose weight

There can be several things that will make you gain weight and make it harder to lose the excess, that have very little to do with your diet. It can be very disheartening when you are keeping to a calorie controlled diet to put even more weigh on, but this does happen if other things in your life are not right.

Sleeping Problems

Most people would never associate a lack of sleep with gaining weight, but the two are very closely related.  One research study showed that if people can get 8 hours of sleep every night for a year, without altering their diet at all they could lose up to half a stone in weight.

By the same token, if your sleep is constantly interrupted, or you just do not sleep long enough, it is likely to contribute to you gaining weight and make it harder for you to lose the excess.

For instance, if you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, even when you do manage to sleep, it will not be of the best quality. You should seek the help of an ENT specialist in this scenario as they can often treat the condition and help you to get a better night sleep.


Small amounts of stress that we feel in everyday life do not do much harm and some doctors think they are good for us. More stressful or prolonged periods of stress can make your body produce cortisol, which is a stress hormone that protects your body from the tenseness caused by stress.

However, a study by Cell Metabolism has shown a connection between high levels of cortisol and fat mass.  The study revealed that when the levels of cortisol are higher than normal, it might be a contributing factor in weight gain.


There are some medications that are well-known for promoting weight gain. Most birth control pills, high blood pressure tablets and the hormone s used to treat breast cancer will all help the pounds pile on. There are also some arthritis medicines, and some for migraines and heartburn that will lead to weight increases if they are taken on a regular basis.

If you are concerned that your medication may be making you heavier, mention it to your doctor as there may be an alternative they can prescribe.  

Age-Related Weight Gain

None of us can stop getting older and as we do our bodies do not burn calories as efficiently.  The only way to combat this age-related weight gain is to eat less and exercise more. Part of the problem is that as we age our metabolism slows down naturally and exercise helps to keep it on a more even keel.

Also as you age you will lose muscles and sometimes this is replaced by fat. Some older people weigh very little more than they did 10 years ago. However, because muscle weighs more than fat, they could well need to wear clothes that are a couple of sizes larger.

Late Night Eating

There are been many studies into the time meals are eaten and how that affects weight. It seems that the later you eat the more your body holds onto the food and turns it into fat. The data showed that eating the same amount of calories in the evening than you would in the morning, made it more likely that weight would be gained.

They also found that snacking while watching TV in the evenings could lead to much larger amounts of food being eaten, and this, of course, will not help your weight.

Small, Unnoticed Changes

There can be small changes in your lifestyle that you hardly notice but they make a difference to your weight. For example, if you change your job and the new one is less active or you move home and only have to walk half the distance to work, these things can make a difference to how much you weigh.

If you are putting on weight, think about the little changes that have happened over the last few months, as you may be surprised just how many of these have affected your lifestyle and your weight.

The one thing that all the experts agree on is that whatever you eat and however much you exercise, does not matter if you are consuming sugary drinks. The calories in these can mount up very quickly and you can soon surpass the number in the amount of food you eat. No matter how old you are, what medications you take, how much sleep you get or how stressed you are, cut out those sugary drinks if you want to keep your weight down.

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