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Obesity and Weight Management

Sudden weight gain



I have gained 20 pounds in 3 months and have always consistently weighed the same. After starting to gain weight, I have increased exercise to 5 times a week, dereased calories to 1600 a day and have continued to gain. A thyroid test was ran, came back negative. Also feeling extremely fatigued. No clue what is going on. Any insight?


Weight gain, especially when it occurs quickly, can be frustrating.  If you have recently had your thyroid checked, you must be talking with your doctor.  Is your doctor concerned?  Think about what may have changed in your life recently.  You mention feeling extremely fatigued.  Is your doctor aware of this?  Are you getting enough sleep?  Research has shown that when we are sleep-deprived we tend to overeat.  We also tend to overeat at the meal following a skipped meal.  Sometimes when we are stressed or depressed, we unknowingly eat extra calories.  Certain medications can lead to weight gain so if you have recently been given a new prescription, check with your doctor or pharmacist to determine if weight gain is a side effect.  Your doctor is best able to help when all the information is shared.

In your question you note an increase in exercise and a decrease in calories; however, you do not indicate what your baseline was for exercise or calories.  Do you keep regular exercise and food logs?  Your question is not uncommon. 

For additional suggestions, check frequently asked questions about sudden weight gain.  You can also find more information by using the NetWellness Search. 

Feel free to write back if you still have questions or need an explanation. 


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Response by:

Shirley A Kindrick, PhD Shirley A Kindrick, PhD
Former Team Leader of Comprehensive Weight Management
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University