What triggers male weight gain?
Men are likely to add more pounds up to age 55 and then experience weight loss as their testosterone levels decline. A weight gain of one to two pounds annually is considered normal. But if you’re 10 pounds more than your weight at age 21 or have a body-mass index of 25 and higher, you’re overweight.
Unhealthy weight gain for men is linked to serious health conditions, from high blood pressure and diabetes to stroke, cancer, and erectile dysfunction. Knowing the factors that trigger weight gain can lower your health risks.
Main Contributors for Weight Gain For Men
The latest figures from the National Health Center for Health Statistics show that 31.1% of American adults are overweight while 42.5% are obese. Middle-aged males – or those between 40 to 59 – had the highest incidence of obesity at 46.4%. Men could become overweight or obese due to the following factors.
Genes and Sudden Weight Gain In Males
You’re more likely to be overweight if obesity and other weight-related conditions run in your family. There are genes that directly cause obesity, such Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome.
There are also studies linking genetics to eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge-eating. However, new research by the Technical University of Munich showed that even carriers of obesity-related genes can regulate their weight through regular physical activity and a calorie-balanced diet.
Andropause and Unexplained Male Belly Fat
The decline in testosterone levels is behind seemingly unexplained weight gain in men. Similar to women’s menopause, the Low T during andropause leads to less muscle, more fat, and a drop in sex drive.
Often there’s male weight gain in the belly, where the default fat storage for men resides as you get easily tired and sleepy. Besides lingering fatigue, you may also experience mood swings – even depression or anxiety. Low T can is also associated with sleep apnea or repeated stops and starts in breathing during sleep.
Lifestyle and Holidays Leading to Stomach Fat In Men
Stress and lack of sleep can hook you into a vicious cycle of eating salty snacks, which tend to retain water in your body and make you crave sweet drinks, which are high in calories. Your willpower dips when you’re tired, making you reach out for accessible treats like chips, popcorn, and other high-sodium food—which are also high in calories.
Meanwhile, a bottled sugary beverage may contain the same amount of calories as a burger but isn’t as filling. Before you know it, you’re taking in more calories than you’re supposed to.
Similarly, food made of refined or processed carbohydrates—such as white bread or white pasta and cakes—are stripped of fiber. This makes them more easily digestible, leaving you hungry sooner.
Taking sweet drinks and refined carbs causes your insulin level to rise faster compared to eating whole grains, which your body digests more slowly. After insulin production prompts cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream for energy or storage, your body tends to crave sugary carbs that will cause you to eat more.
Overindulging in alcohol can also increase your weight. Alcohol contains plenty of calories and can trigger the brain to release galanin, which increases your appetite for greasy food. This is why liquor can leave you wanting for pizza, chicken wings, fries, and other oily fast food.
You’re also more tempted to overdrink and overeat when you dine with a group than when you eat alone. Individual meal portions can rise up to 48% when eating with others compared to solitary eating. Bigger meal sizes are also more common when eating with friends compared to eating with strangers.
Reduced physical activity and higher comfort food intake after marriage and moving in with a partner can also set off sudden weight gain in men. Get-togethers centering on food during fall and winter holidays will likely result in weight gain too.
Ailments and New Medications May Impact Sudden Weight Gain
Inactivity due to arthritis, fluid retention due to heart failure or hypothyroidism, and swelling due to cirrhosis or kidney problems can lead to weight gain.
Common medications that may contribute to sudden weight gain include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
As mentioned above, taking antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, diabetes and anti-seizure medication, as well as steroids, can also lead to sudden weight gain among males.
Treatments to Help You Take Control of Male Weight Gain
Amid the rise of remote working and stay-at-home orders over the past year, adults in the U.S. gained an average of two pounds per month based on a recently published study by the JAMA Network Open.
Meanwhile, respondents to an American Psychological Association survey revealed that of the 61% who experienced “undesired weight changes,” 42% considered the added pounds as unintended weight gain.
With sudden weight gain, males may experience low self-esteem and low libido. To address this, there are often several viable solutions to discuss with a medical professional:
1. Customized healthy living programs and weight loss management program
Our weight loss management and customized healthy living programs start with assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your weight gain.
Our healthy living program considers your hormonal, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, as well as your current medication needs. Meanwhile, the weight-loss track is geared toward reaching and maintaining your ideal size.
2. Andropause Treatment
Testosterone production in men can go down by one to two percent per year as early as their 30s. But its decline spans many years, with a majority feeling only subtle symptoms. Andropause treatment helps you deal with the physical and psychological effects of this period.
3. Low T Therapy
An estimated 10% to 25% of older men or over 15 million adult American men battle with testosterone deficiency. Our team first runs tests to establish whether Low T therapy is the most appropriate for you, given your symptoms.
4. Adrenal Fatigue Therapy
Your pair of triangular-shaped adrenal glands are located on top of your kidney system. They produce different kinds of hormones with different functions, including small amounts of the androgen testosterone. These glands also release cortisol whenever you’re stressed. Being under constant stress can drain and fatigue your adrenals, leading to lower testosterone production.
A value diagnosis may be to create a personalized program for you after verifying through testing that adrenal fatigue therapy is what you need to normalize your hormonal levels.
Working with the medical professionals at Prime Men’s Medical Center can help you live a healthier, happier life with fewer sexual problems. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.