The Weird Reason Behind Your Weight Gain

“I think there’s something wrong about celebrating a body type that may signal potential health issues.”

Love handles. A beer gut. Flab in the middle, (sometimes) with some evidence of going to the gym. Yep. “Dad bods” are the current “It Boys” of the internet. People on Instagram have used Leonardo DiCaprio and John Mayer to illustrate the body type. And, for some strange reason, not caring about yourself suddenly seems appealing.

BRArticle7-Image2The phrase “dad bod” was coined by college sophomore Mackenzie Pearson who used the phrase to describe flabby men in an online article. According to Pearson, “the dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.’ It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.”

Ok, granted not all of us can be ripped and have a six-pack. But I think there’s something wrong about celebrating a body type that may signal potential health issues. If you’re trying hard to keep your body in shape–and failing. There may be a number of reasons for your persistent weight gain:

  1. You’re stressed — Our bodies react to stress by slowing down and storing more energy, anticipating hard times ahead. Fix this by identifying your stressors and resolve what you can immediately control. Identifying what’s bugging you is a huge step in solving it.
  1. You’re on medication – Some medications may help you out greatly but have side effects that cause you to put on weight. Some of these are:
    • Steroids
    • Anti-diabetes drugs
    • Migraine relievers
    • Heartburn treatments
  2. You lack sleep – As odd as it may seem, not getting enough sleep could be a major reason that you’re putting on weight. When you’re tired your body can’t function as it normally would and begins storing more fat.
  1. You’re on a “low fat” diet – that “low fat” diet you’re on may actually contain more calories. Check the labels. They may contain ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, for example.
  1. You’re depressed — While depression can cause a loss of appetite in some people it can also cause an increase in others. Many eat to fill the sadness they are feeling. This emotional eating is harmful to both your mental and psychical health, so seek medical treatment if you think that this is the case for your weight gain.
  1. You have Cushing’s Syndrome — This syndrome is caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol in the body, the same one that’s released when you’re feeling stressed, and causes your body to react in much the same way it would to stress, storing energy and putting on weight. See your physician and have regular checkups.
  1. You’re getting old – this is inevitable. Our once magnificent bodies are no longer as efficient in burning calories as before. With slower metabolism should come adjustments in your lifestyle. You can do this by possibly changing your diet, your physical activities and making sure that your body has ample sleep and rest. Be kinder to your body.

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The bottom line: we’re all for body acceptance but not caring about your overall physical condition affects not just your appearance but your body’s internal workings as well. The “dad bod” per se is not what ails you but it’s the evidence that your health needs to be watched closely. It’s a symptom.

Now if you don’t mind, I have to hit the gym.