Obesity despite eating little: the hidden causes

Have you ever noticed weight gain despite following a low calorie diet? Are you frustrated and confused that despite your efforts to eat less, you keep gaining weight? This situation may seem counterintuitive, but it actually has scientific explanations. In this article, we will explore the reasons why you gain weight despite eating little and provide a deeper understanding of this phenomenon.

Getting fat despite eating little
Figure 1 – When Eating Less Is Not Enough: The Scientific Reasons For Weight Gain

Getting fat despite eating little

Weight gain is the result of an imbalance between energy expended and energy expended. The energy expended comes from the intake of calories through food, while the energy expended depends on basal metabolic rate, physical activity, and other factors. When more calories are eaten than burned, an energy surplus occurs, which leads to the accumulation of fat in the body.

However, there are instances where weight gain can occur despite the reduced calorie intake. Let’s take a look at some possible scientific explanations.

Gaining fat can be caused by eating too little basal metabolism

The basal metabolic rate represents the amount of energy needed to support the body’s vital functions at rest. Each individual has a unique basal metabolic rate, which can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, body composition, and genetics. If your BMR is low, your body will burn fewer calories at rest, making it easier to gain weight even with fewer calories.

Slowed metabolism syndrome

Metabolic slowdown syndrome, also known as the “plateau effect,” occurs when the body adjusts to reduced calorie intake by reducing its metabolism. This adaptation is the body’s natural response to a lack of food. When you eat little food for a long time, your body tries to conserve energy by slowing your metabolism and reducing the rate at which you burn calories.

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Reducing calorie intake

Often, people tend to underestimate actual calories. Even if you think you’re eating less, there may be foods that are higher in calories or in larger amounts than you can imagine. Not being aware of these hidden calories can lead to you burning more calories than you realize.

Changes in body composition

Even if you don’t see weight gain on the scale, there may be a change in body composition. Muscle weighs more than fat, so even if you lose fat, you can gain muscle mass. Muscle is denser than fat and takes up less space, so even if your weight remains stable, you may notice a change in body shape.

Emotional and hormonal factoring

Emotional and hormonal aspects can affect body weight. Stress, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances can contribute to weight gain, regardless of calorie intake. These factors can affect appetite, hunger, and metabolism, making weight management more complicated.

Most importantly, each individual is unique and the reasons for weight gain despite reduced calories can vary from person to person. Consulting a health professional, such as a doctor or dietitian, can help identify specific causes and devise the most appropriate strategies for controlling your weight in a healthy way.


In conclusion, weight gain despite reduced caloric intake may be a complex phenomenon influenced by several factors, such as basal metabolic rate, metabolic adaptation, underestimation of caloric intake, and changes in body composition. In addition, emotional and hormonal factors can play an important role in the weight gain process.

It is important to remember that each individual is unique and the reasons behind weight gain can vary. Consulting a health professional, such as a physician or nutritionist, can help identify the specific causes and adopt the most appropriate strategies to control your weight in a healthy way.

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Phil Schwartz

"Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff."

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