Unintentional weight gain occurs when you put on weight without increasing your consumption of food or liquid. It is often caused by:
- fluid retention
- abnormal growths
- quitting smoking
Unintentional weight gain can be periodic, continuous, or rapid.
Continuous unintentional weight gain is often the result of pregnancy. Periodic unintentional weight gain includes regular fluctuations in weight like those experienced during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Most people who quit smoking gain 4 to 10 pounds in the first 6 months after quitting. Some gain as much as 25 to 30 pounds. This weight gain is not simply due to eating more.
Although many cases of unintentional weight gain are harmless, the symptoms experienced in conjunction with rapid weight gain may signal a medical emergency. Rapid unintentional weight gain may also be caused by medication side effects.