5 Leading Causes Of Weight Gain

Dan DeFigioNutrition Advice

It’s not news that America is suffering from an obesity crisis. Two-thirds of the western world is overweight. Don’t fall victim to these leading causes of weight gain:

#5 Cause of Weight Gain: Processed “Food”

causes of weight gain

Processed food is typically loaded with sugar and chemicals. When your diet doesn’t contain enough fiber or nutrients, your brain will turn on the appetite in order to try to obtain enough quality nutrition.

Many processed foods contain chemicals that stimulate appetite, or shut down your ability to sense when you’ve had enough to eat.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners can stimulate hunger and cause cravings for more sweet stuff.

If you want to lose weight (or at least avoid gaining weight), stick to natural foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and oils, and lean proteins.

#4 Cause of Weight Gain: High Insulin Levels

leading causes of weight gain

If you eat too many carbohydrates, your body will release a bunch of insulin in order to control your blood sugar. High insulin promotes fat storage. If you’re looking to lose weight, you have to control your insulin levels.

Every time you eat, you should have a protein source with any carbohydrates. Any time you eat only carbs, you’re asking for a big insulin spike.

Over time, chronically elevated insulin levels will cause insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. Combining protein and fat with your carbs is the easiest way to avoid this.

#3 Cause of Weight Gain: Visual Food Availability

leading cause of weight gain

Keeping food out in plain sight leads to overeating. If you have food sitting out on the counter, every time you pass by you have to make a decision to eat or not to eat.

Research shows that people eat more when there is more food in front of them (such as a buffet). When we see food, we want to eat it, even if we’re not hungry.

So make it easier to control your urges by keeping food out of sight until it’s time to eat.

#2 Cause of Weight Gain: Weight Loss Misinformation

Some conventional wisdom statements about nutrition are misleading or just plain wrong. Here are two of the worst:

Weight Loss Lie #1:

“A calorie is a calorie. Gaining weight or losing weight is just calories in vs. calories out.”

Calories DO matter, but they’re not the ONLY things that matter. If you consistently eat a lot more than you burn, then your body will store fat. But WHAT you eat strongly affects what your body does with those calories.

Here are two scenarios with identical calories:

Example Woman #1 eats 1500 calories each day. Those calories are made up of lean protein and vegetables. She eats 5 times per day, 300 calories each (this is the kind of meal plan you get in my GOLD coaching group).

Example Woman #2 skips breakfast, drinks zero-calorie diet sodas all day, then eats 1500 calories worth of donuts right before bed.

Both women eat the same number of calories. But one woman will be lean and healthy, and one will be fat and unhealthy. The calories are exactly the same, but those diets will yield very different results in their bodies!

So don’t believe the “it’s all about calories” line. What you eat is just as important as (perhaps even more important than) counting calories.

Weight Loss Lie #2:

“There’s some ‘secret’ to losing weight that you just haven’t uncovered yet. And this magic process, which was just discovered by scientists from another planet, is now available to you, for a limited time, for just 5 easy payments of $29.95.”

Or some similar nonsense.

Ladies and gentlemen, gaining or losing weight isn’t a mystery. It’s a relatively simple process in which whatever you do CONSISTENTLY gives you certain results.

If you typically make good choices, and don’t overeat, you’ll lose (and then maintain) weight.

If you typically make unhealthy choices, either in type or in amount, you’ll gain weight or not lose any.

Whatever you do most of the time, that’s what you get.

Improve what you usually do, and you’ll get results long-term.

Eat like a train wreck most of the time, and rely on temporary “detoxes” or diets to lose weight, and you’ll stay stuck or just yo-yo back and forth — losing and then regaining the same 30 pounds over and over again.

And that leads me to the primary leading cause of weight gain…

#1 Cause of Weight Gain: All or Nothing Thinking

keeping the weight off

You’re trying to lose weight, so your intention is to stay away from junk food. Let’s say you eat a cookie. The all-or-nothing thinking tells you, “Well, I couldn’t stay away from junk food, so I have failed. Therefore, nothing I do for the rest of the day matters, so I might as well eat ALL the cookies, and then get back on track tomorrow. Or Monday. Or after New Years…”

Can you see how this line of thinking sabotages you? OF COURSE what you do for the rest of the day matters. You made a bad choice, so what? Don’t pile on more bad choices after that. Get the next choice right. Get the next 10 right. Don’t sabotage yourself by abdicating sensibility for the rest of the day. Your decisions add up, so make a good one next time.

Predicating your behavior on being ‘perfect’ will always fail you. If you’re banking on 100% track record in order to make a good decision, you will keep spinning your wheels forever.


healthy gut diet

If you want help developing some healthy nutrition habits in order to lose weight, you can try out Dan’s GOLD coaching group for just $1!