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Here’s Why You Can’t Recognize Your High School Skinny Friend Anymore

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Even those who prided themselves on never gaining weight can become prone to weight gain for various reasons.

Some people remain slim regardless of their diet, often becoming the envy of others. However, sometimes, these skinny individuals suddenly appear noticeably heavier than before. Their slender figures disappear, and even small amounts of food can suddenly cause them to put on weight.

What could have caused their bodies to change so drastically?

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According to Why We Eat (Too Much): The New Science of Appetite, written by UK bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon Andrew Jenkinson in 2021, everyone has a set weight, and no matter how much dieting or weight gain is attempted, we eventually return to our original weight.

However, this set point is not fixed forever. It can go up or down depending on an individual’s lifestyle. In other words, if a person who was initially slim suddenly becomes overweight, their set point may have increased due to some bad habits.

His book identifies excessive sugar intake, lack of omega-3 fatty acids, and irregular sleep as significant causes of an increased set point. Conversely, even if someone originally had a high set point, paying attention to these factors can make them less prone to weight gain.

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Aging can also be a factor in becoming more prone to weight gain. According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women typically gain more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) between the ages of 29 and 39, while men gain more than 15.4 pounds (7 kg). Furthermore, a 2013 Johns Hopkins Medical School study showed that people generally gain between 1.1 and 2.2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) per year.

This weight gain is associated with growth hormones. Humans secrete the most growth hormones during puberty, and this secretion gradually decreases with age. These growth hormones promote fat breakdown in the body, and as these hormones decrease, less fat is broken down naturally.

As we age, our basal and metabolic rates decrease, leading to more manageable weight gain even with the same diet and activity level.

We need to eat less, move more, and have healthy lifestyle habits to maintain weight.

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