Why Some People Don’t Gain Weight When They Eat Unhealthy Foods

Do you know people who feast on burgers, pizzas, cakes, and other unhealthy foods and still not gain weight? If yes, you may think that they have some sort of magic spell that prevents them from gaining weight.

Well, that isn’t true because there is no magic or special pill that prevents weight gain.

In fact, if you do a little digging, you will come to see that the reason why they aren’t gaining weight isn’t as complicated as you think.

Health and diet experts have made it clear that weight loss and management depend on two main factors: What people eat and the number of physical activities they engage in daily.  

So, when you see somebody wolfing down a huge amount of unhealthy foods and still not gain weight, they are not defying the laws of nature or doing something extraordinary.

If you take a close look at their routine, you will come to see that there is some sort of balance in their output and input.

This phenomenon is common in kids. For example, if a kid chooses to play and run around all day, he islikely to eat more when he gets home. The kid may not gain weight because there is some sort of equilibrium between the physical activity that he engaged in and the food he consumed.

Adults can also achieve such balance.

If you scrutinize the lives of people who say they can eat anything they want and still not gain weight, you will come to see two things.

  • They consume small servings of food.
  • They don’t eat junk foods all the time.

Read on to learn more reasons why some people seem to get away with eating junk foods and why others gain weight so easily.

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As pointed out by the CDC, the reason why some people don’t gain weight quickly is because of their genes (1).

People with great genetics are less likely to become obese because they aren’t susceptible to disorders like Prader-Willi syndrome and Bardet Biedl syndrome, which are associated with weight gain and obesity.

A study published in the PLOS Genetics journal shows that thin people are less likely to become obese because they have fewer genes associated with obesity in them (2).

The study also found out that severe obesity and healthy thinness are both heritable traits.

Staying in shape despite your genetics

Don’t despair or give up on your weight loss goals because you don’t have great genetics or because it is easy for you to gain weight.

You see, there are effective ways to stay in shape even if your genetics isn’t that great.


Exercising regularly will not only increase your flexibility and energy levels but also help you lose weight.

Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times weekly.

To get the result of your hard work at the gym, you have to be consistent.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to engage in very strenuous exercise or even go to the gym every day to lose those extra pounds.   

According to a study, engaging in activities like gardening for 30 minutes daily can improve your health and encourage weight loss (3).

Increase your water intake

Increasing the amount of water you drink is a great way to improve your health and lose weight.

Men should aim to drink 3.2 liters of water daily. Women, on the other hand, should aim to drink 2.2 liters of water every day.

Up your fiber game

Eating fiber-rich foodscan make you feel full, reduce your cravings for junk food, and make you less likely to overeat (4).

One study shows that eating fiber can also help reduce belly fat, which is linked to metabolic diseases (5).

Say yes to Probiotics

Probiotics can improve your gut health and help you lose a few pounds.

As can be seen in one study, consuming foods that are rich in probiotics can help you lose 3-4% of your body fat in 6 weeks (6).

Weight loss isn’t a sprint

Regardless of how hard you work or the diet you follow, you aren’t going to lose those extra pounds overnight.

So be patient and take it one day at a time. Your body will reward you eventually.

If you need help, consult a doctor or health expert.

Faster metabolism

Metabolism is the rate at with our body burn calories.

People with fast metabolism may be able to get away with eating junk food.

You see, when you consume high fat or sugary foods, your body works tirelessly to burn off the excess calories.  

People with slower metabolism, on the other hand, aren’t so lucky. In fact, they may gain weight if they eat unhealthy foods, as their body doesn’t burn many calories on its own.

How to boost your metabolism

All is not lost if you aren’t among the lucky few with a fast metabolism. Below are some practical ways to boost your metabolism.

Eat more protein

Eating foods that are rich in protein is a simple way to increase your metabolism.

According to one study, eating foods that are loaded with protein can increase metabolism by 15 to 30% (7).

Several studies have shown that eating high protein foods may prevent you from overeating and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods (8)(9)(10)(11).

Increase the intensity of your workout

High-intensity exercise can increase your metabolic rate and help you burn fat even when you aren’t working out (12) (13) (14).

Lift heavy

Lifting weights can help you build muscles and increase your strength and energy levels (15) (16).

As you likely know, muscles can help boost metabolism and burn more calories.

In fact, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will be able to burn (17).

Drink green tea

Several studies have shown that drinking green tea can help increase metabolism by 4-5% (18) (19).

Besides boosting your metabolism, green tea can increase fat burn by 10-17% (20).

Ensure that you are getting enough sleep

Several studies have shown that lack of sleep can increase the risk of obesity (21) (22).

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, two things are likely going to happen.

  1. Ghrelin, the hormone that boosts hunger, will increase (23)(24).
  2. Leptin, the hormone that makes you feel fuller, will reduce (25).

In the end, you are likely going to overeat and gain weight.

Besides making you prone to weight gain, sleep loss can lower your resting metabolic rate (26). One small study where test subjects were kept awake for 24 hours confirmed this.

After the 24 hour period the test subjects were kept awake, their RMR (resting metabolic rate) was 5% lower. Even more, their metabolic rate was 20 percent lower (27).

Active lifestyle

It may surprise you to know that some of the people who eat junk food and still not getting fat have a very active lifestyle. They engage in a lot of physical activities during their day.

Note that being active doesn’t only mean going to the gym to workout. Simple activities like walking, running, gardening, and so on also count as being active.

Some of the individuals you see overeating and not gain weight may have demanding jobs that require them to move around and engage in some intense activity.

Research suggests that some people are genetically predisposed to want to move around (28). People like this can’t sit around or remain idle for too long.

Because they move around so much, their metabolism is usually high.

Reasons why some people gain weight so easily

Certain medications

Studies have shown that many pharmaceutical drugs are linked to weight gain (29).

Researchers have found out that some anti-depressants, diabetic, and antipsychotic medications can cause moderate weight gain (30) (31) (32).

These drugs cause weight gain by increasing your appetite, altering your body function, and reducing your metabolism (33).


If your diet is made up of foods that are loaded with added sugar, you are going to gain weight easily.

Stress and lack of sleep

Chronic stress and lack of sleep can cause a series of hormonal changes that can lower your metabolism and make you more likely to overeat (34).

Bottom line on why some people don’t gain weight

As humans, our tendency to gain weight isn’t 100% predetermined, nor is it entirely under our control.

Note that even people with great genetics and fast metabolism can gain weight if they overeat consistently and not do some sort of physical activity.

If you fall into the category of people who are prone to weight gain, you may have to work a little bit harder and make a few more sacrifices to achieve your fitness goals.

If you keep working hard and make the needed changes and sacrifices, you are going to wake up to a fit, strong, and healthy body sooner than you think.

Regardless of how obese you are right now, know that change is possible.

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