When you gain weight, it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it feels downright awful, doesn’t it? Pick an emotion: guilt, blame, a lower self-confidence, shame. So why does it seem like you can gain weight just by looking at a piece of chocolate cake, while others never seem to fluctuate in weight at all? As science proves, gaining weight is a numbers game—so here’s how it stacks up.

It’s a Metabolism Thing

MetabolismYour metabolism is the rate in which you effectively burn calories. Your body size, your age and how active you are throughout your day affects your metabolism. The more it’s revved (through weight training, running sprints, etc.) the more calories you’ll burn. Do you come from a long line of women/men that struggle with weight gain? It could be as simple as a slow metabolism. The good news? There’s a neighborhood gym just waiting for you to utilize it!

It’s an Age Thing

You already know that you can’t escape Father Time. Crow’s feet and laugh lines are inevitable (be proud of them, they’re your souvenir for living a happy, well lived life!) But one of the biggest challenges that come with age, is weight gain. The fact is this: you’re going to have to work at a more intense level in your fifty’s than you had to in your thirties to lose your love handles, burn off your muffin top and bulge those biceps—but you’re worth it.

It’s a Fast Food, Sugar, and Wheat Thing

Unhealthy DietFood addictions: how many do you have? Do you depend on that Friday night pizza, or does it seem impossible to skip dessert after dinner?  Whatever you need in your life—a cheesy hamburger, or reaching your hand in the cookie jar when you get home from work—addictions cause weight gain. Swap out the ‘tempting (but oh-so-delicious!) cookies, flour tortillas or fries with one healthier choice. Swap out the ‘bad’ for the ‘good’—an apple with peanut butter, slices of tomatoes topped with spreadable cheese, or bake a sweet potato instead of gorging on leftovers of your Grandma’s favorite lasagna. Want to know a secret? Any products that contain wheat or sugar fuel your appetite. Meaning? They make you hungrier than ever. Stick with whole foods and skip those made in a lab. As a result, you’ll shed—not suffer—from the weight on your hips, thighs and back.