While there are so many ideas about how one gains weight, almost every expert on this matter will agree that weight gain is a complex issue to handle, and the reason why one tends to gain weight can be a combination of factors rather than one.

And often these factors can be surprising ones that could creep up on you ever so subtly, even if you do take care of yourself, in the weight department.

So, here are five surprising reasons one should watch out for in order to prevent gaining weight:

Reason #1: Not enough sleep

The truth is that the body functions best when it is well-rested, and for this, one has to get at least eight hours of sleep. On the other hand, if you don’t get much sleep then this results in physiological stress (due to inadequate rest) and the body also responds to this by storing fat.

Reason #2: Stress

In our day-to-day lives, the demand that is imposed on all of us in order to do and achieve more can cause stress. Repeated instances of stress can cause the body to go into survival mode. This means that the body metabolism slows down while also storing fuel (fat) just in case there is a breakdown. And if one looks for food to eliminate stress, this becomes a temporary fix that doesn’t work out in the long run.

Reason #3: Too much medication

Prescription drugs, oral contraceptives, steroids and medication used in hormone replacement therapy can also cause a gradual increase in weight that you might not be aware of. The same also works especially if you have a medical condition such as hyperthyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome.

Reason #4: Menopause

Menopause can be another reason for obesity, and while it occurs for women at different ages, this results in a less active lifestyle for women as they continue to age. And with comes a time when the body begins to slow its metabolism and since the body stops producing estrogen, fat is deposited in the midsection area which has been described as the ‘menopot’, thus causing women in menopause to gain weight. Thus it is important for women at this age to exercise as this increase the metabolism rate in the body and trims belly fat.