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Thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in front of the neck, can be a culprit for weight gain in some people. The gland produces a thyroid hormone that controls the speed of metabolism that helps the body break down food and converts it to energy, says Dr Yasir M. Akmal, staff physician, General Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. ‘Weight gain is a side effect of hypothyroidism.’ Dr Akmal recommends patients to exercise regularly. ‘Eat small meals throughout the day (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to keep the energy levels stable), establish a sleep schedule and avoid eating salty foods, dairy, cured meats and chocolate.’