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19 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain

Ways to Avoid Weight Gain

Your favorite pair of pants once zipped easily, but lately you can barely get them over your hips. Sound familiar? Most adults experience the dreaded “weight creep,” where the numbers on the scale gradually increase — and before you know it, you’re 10 pounds heavier. But it’s not inevitable. Simply by making a few gradual lifestyle changes, experts say, you can stop gaining weight and even drop some pounds.

As you age, your body’s metabolism slows down. If you aren’t paying attention, your weight may gradually creep higher. Commonly, people also have trouble losing regained weight. Avoiding weight gain is not as simple as cutting calories or exercising. It is a matter of establishing a healthier lifestyle overall. There are no quick fixes to avoiding weight gain long-term, but with lifestyle changes you can maintain a healthy weight.

‘How to avoid weight gain at home’ is a question many of us are asking ourselves right now. With a second lockdown already happening in many countries, keeping the waistline from increasing even further will be more and more difficult for many. Getting hold of the best home gym equipment is still a bit tricky but even without those, you can boost metabolism and keep weight gain at bay with the blow weight loss tips.

Here are some tips to help you avoid weight gain during the holiday season.

Why People Regain Weight

There are a few common reasons why people gain back the weight they lose. They are mostly related to unrealistic expectations and feelings of deprivation.

Restrictive diets: Extreme calorie restriction may slow your metabolism and shift your appetite-regulating hormones, which are both factors that contribute to weight regain (2).
Wrong mindset: When you think of a diet as a quick fix, rather than a long-term solution to better your health, you will be more likely to give up and gain back the weight you lost.
Lack of sustainable habits: Many diets are based on willpower rather than habits you can incorporate into your daily life. They focus on rules rather than lifestyle changes, which may discourage you and prevent weight maintenance.

How to Avoid Weight Gain

Add Muscle to Stop Gaining Weight

One of the best ways to stop gaining weight is to power up your metabolism by increasing muscle mass. Experts recommend strength training a few times week to both retain and build muscle.

“Muscle is metabolically active, and to minimize naturally occurring muscle loss, you need to be physically active every day, including resistance training two to three times a week,” says exercise physiologist Felicia Stoler, RD,host of TLC’s Honey We’re Killing the Kids. “By being active, you can enjoy more calories without gaining weight — if you choose your calories wisely.”

And change up your fitness routine every six to eight weeks to keep your body from getting too accustomed to your workout.

Get Moving

In addition to a healthy eating plan, an active lifestyle will help you maintain your weight. Regular physical activity can reduce your risk for many chronic diseases and help keep your body healthy and strong. This makes it more likely you’ll maintain your weight.

Although physical activity is an integral part of weight management, it’s also a vital part of health in general. Regular physical activity can reduce your risk for many chronic diseases and it can help keep your body healthy and strong. To learn more about how physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight

Managing What You Eat

Track Your Weight And Caloric Intake

To begin with, start keeping track of your weight and eating habits daily. This will help you establish where you are now and give you a sense of what changes should be made.

Start weighing yourself once a day. Keep track of what you are eating and when. You can keep a journal that you use each day. Record your weight at the top of the page and then jot down everything you eat each day. If you see the pounds beginning to creep upward, you’ll know you need to make some lifestyle changes.

Estimate how many calories you are eating daily by using calorie measurements provided on pre-packaged meals or restaurant nutrition guides. If you’re cooking meals at home, you can find information on the caloric content in many basic foods online.

Some meals and restaurants provide little to no information on their nutritional content. It can be difficult to estimate exactly how much you’ve had when you’re unable to measure and prepare the food yourself. Consider altering your diet to only consume meals when you know the calories you are consuming.

Consider measuring your portions by weight rather than volume. Invest in a small scale for your kitchen. Weigh ingredients before adding them to a meal and use these weights to estimate caloric content

Add More Activity To Your Day

Specifically, NEAT movement, which stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which includes all the activity you do throughout the day that isn’t structured exercise, sports, sleeping or eating. For example, “the day to day activities you may not even think about, such as walking, cleaning, going up the stairs versus elevator or random fidgeting,” says Lacey Dunn, M.S., RD, LD, CPT, registered dietitian and personal trainer at Uplift Fit Nutrition.

While these activities might seem insignificant when thinking about calories in and calories out, studies show that NEAT can account for 6-10% of total daily calories burned in sedentary people and up to 50% of daily calories burned in active people.

When COVID-19 changed the working world forever, people’s NEAT movement was slashed because instead of commuting to work and moving around an office all day, they were sitting at home all day with very little movement. “Lower NEAT can lower the amount of calories that you burn throughout the day, which will take you out of a deficit and cause you to not lose weight or even gain weight,” says Dunn.

Dieting also naturally lowers NEAT movement because the body tries to compensate for the lack of energy by preserving energy, Dunn says. Stress can lower NEAT, too. The easiest way to increase NEAT is to walk more every day. “You can track your NEAT by using a fitness watch tracker to track your steps to ensure that your NEAT levels stay consistent,” says Dunn. If you’re averaging 5,000 steps per day, add 1,000 each week. Schedule one 30 minute walk each day or break it up into two or three 15 minute walks.

Fill up your water bottle every hour (this one helps you move and drink more water!), park your car further away when you go to the store and cook more dinners at home versus getting takeout. Anything that helps you move counts!

Watch Your Portion Sizes

When the holidays arrive, it can be easy to overload your plate.

Those who eat larger portions tend to gain weight more easily than those who don’t (4Trusted Source).

The best way to overcome this is to control portion sizes or use smaller plates.

To determine an appropriate portion size, read food labels and the recommended serving sizes listed on recipes. If you can’t do either, use your best judgment to fill your plate with a reasonable amount of food.

Manage Your Calorie Intake

It’s really not rocket science: if you don’t want to out on weight, you have to stop eating more than your body needs. Even if before the mandatory isolation you have been living a relative sedentary lifestyle, being indoors for 99% of time means you are burning less calories than you used to. And this means you should eat less to adjust to this new lifestyle.

Of course, you can offset the lack of outdoor exercising with indoor exercising but there are other ways to keep the waist slim that doesn’t involve gruelling physical activity. And the best of them all is to be more mindful about how and what you eat.

Without trying to convert anybody to mindfulness and being present, try stopping for a second anytime before you raid your cupboard for some food. Ask yourself the question: am I hungry or just bored? Was there anything I was supposed to do before I decided to eat? Something I had to deal with? Unhealthy eating habits often stem from procrastination and us not wanting to deal with the task at hand.

If you are a big fan of fried food, one obvious way to reduce calorie and fat intake is to get one a best air fryer. Air fried food isn’t necessarily as delicious as deep- or even shallow-fried, but it does retain a fried/roasted taste and mouth-feel whilst using as little as a tenth of the fat of frying or roasting. We know they’re in demand right now, cos they keep selling out.

Keep Sipping

Many people find it daunting to realize just how much their bodies need to stay hydrated and healthy. “One way to make sure you’re consuming enough water every day is to get a water bottle with clear volume measurements on it,” says Peters. “Keep it next to you while you’re working as a constant reminder to take a sip and stay healthy.” A good rule of thumb is to aim for half your body weight in ounces per day (for example a 200-pound person should aim for 100 ounces of water).

Exercise Often

t may help you burn off some extra calories and increase your metabolism, which are two factors needed to achieve energy balance.

When you are in energy balance, it means you burn the same number of calories that you consume. As a result, your weight is more likely to stay the same.

Several studies have found that people who do at least 200 minutes of moderate physical activity a week (30 minutes a day) after losing weight are more likely to maintain their weight .

In some instances, even higher levels of physical activity may be necessary for successful weight maintenance. One review concluded that one hour of exercise a day is optimal for those attempting to maintain weight loss.

It’s important to note that exercise is the most helpful for weight maintenance when it’s combined with other lifestyle changes, including sticking to a healthy diet.

Summary: Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day may promote weight maintenance by helping balance your calories in and calories burned.

Always Have A Bottle of Water

Make a conscious effort to keep a large water bottle by your side that you can easily refill. Drinking lots of water can help you feel fuller longer and even help boost your metabolism. To help yourself feel full and satiated for a long time, pair high fiber vegetables with water. You will have to use the bathroom more often, but that won’t be an inconvenience when you’re already at home.

Stop Gaining Weight by Eliminating Bad Habits

Some of the common mistakes people make that lead to weight gain include:

  • Not making time for physical activity
  • Mindless eating in front of the TV after dinner
  • Drinking too much alcohol or sweetened drinks like specialty coffees
  • Skipping breakfast
  • Eating irregular meals
  • Finishing kids’ meals
  • Reaching for second helpings
  • Eating too many simple carbs (like sugar and white bread) and not enough protein

The older you get, the more diligent you have to be, says Ward, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.

Figure out where your own problem areas are, and find solutions to control calories and fit in more fitness. If you’re a sweet eater, no problem — just work a small portion of sweets into your diet. Ward recommends stocking the freezer with 100-calorie frozen treats to keep calories and portions in check.

Eating healthy does not mean following a super-restrictive diet. But you do have to watch what you put into your mouth.

For example, a diet high in simple carbs creates a vicious cycle. The more you eat, the more you want — because these foods aren’t as satisfying as foods with protein and fiber. That handful of chips with your sandwich here and half a cookie there adds up. And adults have very little room for those extra calories.

“Flip around the idea that you need to cut calories to maintain weight and instead, think about what you need to eat to lose weight,” suggests Ward. Choose whole-grain carbs, fruits and vegetables, and always include lean or low-fat protein with meals and snacks. You’ll feel fuller and be less likely to pick between meals.

Experts recommend eating regular meals, paring down portions of high-fat and high-calorie foods, and never skipping breakfast.

Cut Back On Added Sugar

Cane sugar, which is often added to foods and sweets, can cause unwanted weight gain. Such foods are also often low in nutrients, resulting in hunger cravings shortly after eating.

You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to have a high sugar diet. Many products you buy at the grocery store, like breads and canned pasta sauces, are loaded with added sugar.

Read labels before purchasing a product at the store and pay attention to how much sugar is included. The American Heart association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons of added a sugar a day for men and no more than 6 teaspoons a day for women

Read Nutrition Labels

“Food labels can be misleading,” says registered dietitian, Tejal Pathak, M.S., RD, LD, CDCES, “Fat-free does not mean sugar free or vice versa. Many packaged food items like beverages and yogurt are labeled as fat-free but then they are loaded with added sugar resulting in increased calories. Instead, look closely at the nutrition facts panel to make better choices.”

The American Heart Association recommends that women stay under 24 grams of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons) and men stay under 36 grams of added sugar per day (about 9 teaspoons). There is now a separate line for added sugar on the nutrition label, making it easy to see how much you are consuming every day. Remember that too much added sugar is stored as fat, so aim to keep your intake low by opting for naturally sweet treats and including adequate protein and fiber to stay satisfied after meals. Aim for about 8 to 10 grams of fiber per meal and 15 to 25 grams of protein per meal. Needs will vary person to person.

Exercise and Meditate

Take 30-minutes out from your busy schedule, 4-7 times per week to exercise, either low-impact like walking or high-intensity. Get up from your chair every 45 minutes and take a stroll either round the office or go outside. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk wherever you can.

This will aid in maintaining your fitness and optimum weight, and may help to increase your energy levels. Take 5-minutes a day to meditate or self-motivate. Meditation is another wonderful way to destress and clear your mind from the humdrum of corporate affairs.

You can choose your office lounge, conference room or your own desk and perform short meditation sessions at regular intervals to experience feeling refreshed, and inner peace.

Control Your Stress Levels

Keeping up with the demands of the holidays can be stressful.

Stressed individuals commonly have high levels of cortisol, a hormone that’s released in response to stress. Chronically high cortisol levels may cause weight gain, as they have been linked to greater food intake (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

Additionally, a stressful lifestyle may cause more cravings for junk food (16Trusted Source).

For these reasons, it’s important to keep stress levels under control in general — but especially during the holidays, when you might be busy and surrounded by unhealthy foods.

Plenty of techniques can help you reduce stress. Some options include exercise, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.

Swap Carbs To Protein

A 2012 research called “Dietary intakes associated with successful weight loss and maintenance during the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial” came to the following conclusion: “participants who substituted protein for fat lost, on average, 0.33 kg per 6-months during Phase I and 0.07 kg per 6-months during Phase II per 1% increase in protein.” Also, “increased intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with weight loss in Phases I and II: 0.29 kg per 6-months  and 0.04 kg per 6-months, respectively, per 1-serving increase.”

‘Phase I’ referred to an initial 6 month weight loss phase, while ‘Phase II’ 30-month weight loss maintenance phase. As always, though, we recommend taking these results with a pinch of salt. We are not questioning the validity of the research – it was a long-term randomised controlled trial – but we also don’t recommend getting rid of all the fat from your diet.

However, adding more protein to your diet can curb hunger by making you feel fuller. As well as that, since our bodies haven’t got protein reserves, swapping out some bad carbs and fats to protein could help you lose weight and keep it off. Controlling energy intake wouldn’t hurt either.

Fill Up On Fiber

Like protein, fiber helps us to keep feeling full, longer—so you’ll be less likely to want to reach for a snack shortly after a major meal. “Fiber is also generally found in foods naturally lower in calories like fruits and vegetables, so it’s a great nutrient to focus on when trying to maintain your weight,” says Kylie Morse, Registered Dietician at Fit Body App.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is a major culprit for many when it comes to unwanted weight gain. Alcoholic beverages are high in empty calories and, when inebriated, people often develop food cravings. Work on drinking in moderation.

Understand what it means to drink in moderation. For women and men over 65, drinking in moderation means no more than one drink a day. For men under 65, this means no more than two drinks a day. A drink generally means 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits

In some situations, it can be hard to avoid overindulging. If you’re going to a party, for example, you may feel pressured to drink. Try to avoid situations where heavy drinking is the main event. If you do attend an event where there will be drinking, try ordering a non-alcoholic beverage. This will keep your hands occupied and may reduce some of the temptation to drink.

If you do go out to a bar for drinks with friends, eat a nutritious meal beforehand. This will leave less room for alcohol and may prevent food cravings after drinking.

Stop Restricting Certain Foods

Restricting food leads to overeating or binging. While you may be restricting in an effort to lose weight, it’s counterproductive when you restrict ice cream all week and then eat an entire pint on Friday night. “Giving yourself freedom to enjoy treats any time of any day is key to stopping the restrict-binge cycle that makes it hard to lose weight,” says registered dietitian, Diana Savani, RD, LDN. Allow yourself to have any food any time but be mindful of portions and eat without distractions, so you can savor the food and enjoy every bite.

“It’s easy to consume more than the recommended servings sizes, especially if we’re distracted. Plus, it’s just in our nature,” says Hendrickson. “Most people will eat the amount of food they’re served, even when hunger levels are relatively low. For better portion control, try eating from a smaller plate and slowing down the pace of mealtime,” she says. “Assessing hunger and fullness levels before, during and after eating can also be very helpful in avoiding eating past the point of fullness and eating closer to your daily calorie needs,” says Savani.

Go To Bed Earlier And Keep Stress Low

“Look beyond what you are eating and assess your sleep and stress levels. Excess stress and poor sleep can increase cortisol levels and affect hunger hormones which can contribute to weight gain. Additionally, our bodies can confuse signals for hunger, thirst and fatigue. So if you feel tired, you may reach for a snack when you actually may need a glass of water or a nap,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.

Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night and put systems in place to help you do that. Start moving your bedtime back by 30 minute increments at a time, don’t look at your phone at night and if you do, turn the screen to the nighttime light setting to decrease blue light exposure. Exercising regularly is associated with better sleep and lower stress levels. Even five minutes of cardio exercise can reduce anxiety.

Common Causes Rapid Weight Gain

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