Objectives: We examined the reasons for weight gain and barriers to weight loss among emerging adults with obesity. Methods: Eighty-one female undergraduate students with obesity completed 4-open ended questions in 2015-2016. Qualitative responses were analyzed using NVivo 11 Pro software. Results: Most participants experienced weight gain prior to attending college. The most commonly reported reasons for weight gain include a lack of ability to control one's behaviors or overcome barriers (ie, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, lack of time, easy access to food), emotional/mental health issues, physical health, and influence of significant others. Nearly half reported having a weight loss goal. Most reported having used one or more weight loss methods. Few reached short-term weight loss but quickly regained the lost weight. Major reported barriers reflect a lack of self-regulation skills, negative mood and stress, and lack of self-efficacy for healthy eating or physical activity. Conclusions: Results suggest that the perceived ability to control one's behaviors and overcome barriers, self-efficacy, and mood are important in weight-related behaviors, weight, and weight loss success among emerging adults, especially those enrolled in college.