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What Causes Weight Gain? Common Causes & How to Prevent It

While obesity is a widespread problem throughout the world, it’s especially prevalent in America. The condition is associated with a slew of unfavorable health conditions, including elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.

Read on to learn more about the leading causes of weight gain that contribute to obesity and what you can do to prevent it.

Lifestyle Choices

There are a variety of lifestyle choices that can contribute to weight gain. First, too many Americans are not active enough throughout their days. From sedentary desk jobs to nighttime television binges, there are endless reasons why people aren’t getting the exercise they need to burn calories.

Sleep deprivation is another factor that could lead to obesity. Research shows that when people are short on sleep, they tend to make unhealthier food decisions. Too little sleep can also lead to hormone shifts. Specifically, lack of sleep can trigger a spike in cortisol, which tells your body to conserve energy and ultimately causes you to hang onto fat.


Between demanding jobs and jam-packed schedules, stress is a common issue in American society. Unfortunately, it can lead to a variety of health issues, including weight gain. Similar to sleep deprivation, prolonged stress can cause cortisol levels to increase. This can hinder your metabolism and cause you to form a “stress belly,” where stored fat is distributed around the organs. Stress can also disrupt your eating habits, often causing people to overeat, make unhealthy food choices, and become more sedentary.

Genetic Influences

Genetics contribute to how susceptible people are to gaining weight but tend to affect each person differently. For example, research has shown that, in some individuals, genes account for just 25 percent of the predisposition to be overweight. Meanwhile, for others, this genetic influence can be as high as 70 percent.

Your genes can play a role in your appetite, metabolism, body fat distribution, food cravings, and more. However, even though some people are genetically predisposed to being overweight, with the right diet and regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight is attainable and manageable.

Food Selections

Today, Americans eat more calories than ever before. Restaurants now serve larger portions, junk food exists on every store shelf, and there are a variety of tempting, high-calorie options out there. Unhealthy foods tend to stimulate the reward centers in your brain, which can cause intense cravings and even food addictions in some people. Plus, certain habits, like drinking sodas and indulging in processed junk foods, can become lifelong behaviors if they’re introduced during childhood.

Excess Sugar

Eating foods that are high in added sugars is another common reason for weight gain. Unfortunately, sugary, processed junk food is often cheaper and more accessible than healthier options. When consumed in excess, sugar can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. This can cause serious damage to your body over time – including weight gain and insulin resistance.

Additionally, many foods that are packed with sweeteners are also high in empty calories. This means that they offer very few nutrients like minerals, protein, vitamins, fiber, and fat, which your body needs to function properly.

What Can You Do to Control Your Weight?

While there are a variety of things that cause weight gain, there are also several ways to maintain a healthy weight. By eating wholesome foods and incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you can look and feel great.

One simple way to lead a healthier lifestyle? Stock your pantry with nutritious, high-protein diet drinks, snacks, entrées, and desserts from Proti Foods! These delicious yet healthy options will help you lose weight while still allowing you to enjoy what you eat. Plus, these nutrient-packed options will help you stay full longer and remain satisfied as you work towards your goals.

For more information about our selection of diet food products, contact us today!

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