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7 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight Even After Exercise And Diet

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 04 March 2022, Updated on - 18 October 2022

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Obesity nominally means having too much body fat, however, there is more to it. It is a complex medical problem that can impair your health and increase your risk of various diseases. Countries all over the world observe March 4 as World Obesity Day to raise awareness around the global obesity crisis and encourage practical solutions that help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The theme of WOD 2022 is Everybody Needs to Act, which highlights our collective responsibility to resolve this global crisis. Let us understand the diverse causes of obesity other than unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

Obesity: More than Just Extra Body Fat

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. BMI is calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. Other methods such as waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio are also used to measure abdominal obesity.

According to the latest estimates, more than 80 crore people all over the world are believed to be living with obesity. The global prevalence of obesity has tripled since 1975. In 2016, 13% of the adults in the world were obese and the numbers have been continuously rising since then. Obesity is also one of the leading risk factors for premature deaths across the globe. In 2017, 8% of the global deaths (i.e. 47 lakh deaths) were attributed to obesity.

Causes of Obesity

Apart from overeating and lack of physical activity, other risk factors for obesity include:

  1. Family history. You're are at higher risk of becoming obese if close family members are already obese.

  2. Aging. The muscle tissues decrease and become weak with age, which causes the metabolism to slow down significantly. Poor metabolism increases the risk for obesity.

  3. Postpartum weight gain. It's normal to put on extra weight during pregnancy. However, if you don't lose weight post delivering the baby, it can increase your risk of long-term obesity.

  4. Lack of sleep. Poor sleep can trigger hormones that increase appetite. It can also increase your craving for foods high in calories and carbohydrates. All these factors can lead to obesity.

  5. Stress. Chronic stress contributes to elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. High levels of cortisol can increase your appetite and slow down your metabolism, making you prone to weight gain and obesity.

  6. Hormonal disorders. Certain hormonal disorders Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s syndrome can adversely affect the ability of your body to produce important hormones. The hormonal imbalance can contribute to weight gain and lead to obesity.

  7. Imbalanced microbiome. The gut contains billions of bacteria that play a major role in metabolism. Lack of good bacteria in the gut can contribute to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.

Health Complications of Obesity

Obesity is linked to several potentially serious medical conditions and diseases such as:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Arthritis
  • Infertility
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Depression
  • Severe COVID-19
  • Certain cancers (endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon)

Recommended reading: The Health Risks Associated With Being Obese Or Overweight

How is Obesity Treated?

If you are obese and have not been able to lose weight via dietary and lifestyle modifications, then you should opt for medical assistance. You can start with your primary physician, who will most likely refer you to a weight loss specialist. The physician may also work along with a weight loss team that might include dieticians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals.


A major prerequisite for cohesive action against obesity is awareness. While many people believe that overeating and lack of exercise are the sole reasons for obesity, several other factors including genes, hormonal imbalance, and stress also play a major role. To deal with obesity, the doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications, and weight loss surgery, depending on the case.

Still confused?

Consult a Weight Loss Specialist


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