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Obesity and Weight Management

Unexplained weight gain



Good evening,

I hope that you can help me with my problem. I am a 25 year old female, 5ft 6inch 160 pounds. I have been gaining 5 pounds every month over the last 12 months. I had blood work done to make sure that it is not because of my thyroid or diabetes. Both of those were ruled out. I do not eat fast food, sweets or drink sodas. I eat 5 small healthy meals every day probably around 1500 to 2000 calories each day. I do not exercise but I am active at my job.

Thanks for all of your help.


If I understand correctly, you weighed 100 pounds a year ago and have gained 60 pounds in the past year. That is a lot of weight especially if you have really been taken in only 1500-2000 calories and haven't changes your dietary or PA activity drastically. To make sure this is accurate, weigh yourself monthly and keep track of your weight to see if you are really gaining 5 pounds per month.

Have there been any changes in the past year that would contribute to this weight gain? Have your medications changed or have you begun taking new medications not taken previously? Some medications have a side effect of weight gain. Please review your medications with you physician to see if this could be a source for your weight gain and what other options you could use if it is. Even though your blood work shows that you do not have diabetes or a thyroid problem, there could be other causes that have not been identified. I would suggest meeting with your physician for a thorough evaluation.

It sounds like you are trying to eat healthy - congratulations. Try keeping a food diary so you can calculate the actual number of calories you are eating each day. Even though you are eating small meals, you may be consuming more calories then you think. It is important to include carbohydrates, protein and fat in your meals along with fruits, vegetables and low fat low calories foods. Your first meal should be eaten when you get up in the morning as this will help start your metabolism. Do not eat much later then 6pm, as eating later in the evening can promote weight gain.

If you have not met with a registered dietitian I would strongly suggest you do so. They will be able to evaluate your intake, identify areas for improvement and provide you with a plan.

Even though you are active at work, this may not be enough to help with weight maintenance or weight loss. It is important to have activity that increases your heart rate, help build muscle for 30-60 minutes daily.

Good luck with your healthy endeavors.

Submitted by:

Cynthia S. Yensel, CRNP
Nurse Practitioner
Center For Healthy Weight And Nutrition
Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Response by:

Robert D Murray, MD Robert D Murray, MD
Clinical Professor of Health Behaviors & Health Promotion
Retired Professor of Human Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University