Fix it: If you suspect you are gaining weight that you can't attribute to your eating habits, medications, or lack of exercise, a few tests—including a blood test and urinalysis, to get an accurate check of your body's cortisol levels, will give your doctor the first clues to this condition. If the levels are deemed excessively high, then your doctor will order further tests, like a CT scan of your pituitary and adrenal glands, to determine if such a tumor exists. If the tumor is confirmed, doctors will likely perform surgery to remove the tumor (and possibly the affected gland), followed by a course of steroids to help regulate the remaining gland. (Could you have a thyroid problem? Find out here .)
This, obviously, is the big one. And while it’s true that the number of calories we store as fat can be reduced to a simple equation (., calories consumed minus calories burned equals calories stored or lost), human physiology makes it much more complicated than that. To our bodies, food does not merely represent calories and nutrition; food is also data. The kind of food we eat tells our bodies something about our environment, and in response to that information our bodies change the way our food is handled and stored, adjust whether our appetites are stimulated or suppressed, and slow or speed up our metabolism. So what we eat has a major impact on our weight, in addition to how many calories we eat.