8 effective ways to avoid obesity or excessive weight gain
Even though millions of people are concerned about gaining excessive weight and wish to maintain normal body size, obesity remains one of today's most common diseases.
Obesity is a disorder that has to do with the excessive gain of body weight. Obesity increases the risk of other health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, joint diseases, sleep apnoea, etc.
The primary cause of weight gain is eating more calories than your body burns, e.i., consuming foods containing lots of calories and not exercising to burn the calories. You should calculate your BMI at intervals to know if your weight is still within the normal range.
Normal body size ranges between a BMI of 18.5 and 25.0. If your BMI falls below 18.5, it means you are underweight and if it falls above 25.0, it means you are overweight.
Some diseases have no cure, while some tend to progress till the point of death. But, in the case of obesity, there are known management and preventive techniques that are very effective for maintaining normal body weight.
Are you ready to apply effective strategies for weight maintenance? Understanding the cause of weight gain, as already explained in this article, will make weight loss easier for you.
We have seen people try different fast routes in a bid to lose weight. Some use tummy belts, and some take to drinking various concoctions to achieve that but does it work that way?
Avoiding obesity or weight gain takes discipline, determination and consistency
This article will be helpful to everyone, both people who want to maintain their weight and overweight individuals who want to lose weight.
This article has been written to provide helpful tips. Knowing fully well that lots of people (especially women who are more prone to weight gain), the idea is to help someone out there get an effective solution to their pressing weight concerns.
So, if you are not ready to lose weight, you might want to stop reading at this point. But, if you are piqued and prepared to start up your weight loss journey, read on to get guidelines on what to do.
Helpful tips to avoid weight gain and to lose weight
The tips provided here have worked for many people and are still working today, but have it in mind that you need determination, consistency, and patience to make it all work.
Read more on how to avoid obesity or excessive weight gain.
1. Watch the fats you eat
Isn't it logical that we start with food? There are a lot of things to talk about under this tip. First, you must know that all fatty foods do not make you fat!
Cut down on certain fatty foods to avoid weight gain and further health complications
Some fats are bad for you. The bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats and saturated fats can make you gain weight and can make as well increase your risk for heart diseases.
Foods containing healthy fats like unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega fatty acids are good.
Consuming healthy fatty foods like nuts and flaxseed can help you maintain a normal weight while keeping you healthy.
So, while it is advised that you cut off foods containing trans fat and saturated fats, do not miss out on the healthy fats. Experts have suggested that fats help keeps us fuller, which can help with weight loss.
2. Cut down on the intake of calories
You must have heard nutritionists say, "avoid foods containing high calories."
But what is a calorie?
A calorie is simply a unit for measuring energy. It doesn't measure weight loss directly. Rather, it measures energy. Counting calories is one way to monitor weight loss.
Calories in the food we consume provide energy as heat, which enables our body to function better. Our body stores calories as fat and burns them as fuel.
High-calorie containing foods should be limited to avoid obesity or weight gain
This means if you consume more calories and cannot burn off the calories, they get stored as body fats.
Also, while healthy foods are meant to provide calories and other essential nutrients for building muscles and bones, not all calories are healthy.
Some foods like soda only provide empty calories, i.e. they offer us calories only without any other nutritional value.
The importance of exercising cannot be stressed enough. Some people won't like this part and will be tempted to skip this part. But, if you are serious about your weight loss journey, you most definitely need this.
Why do people frown at the idea of working out? Work out shouldn't be seen as stress. Working out is one of the most effective ways to avoid weight gain, and it is unarguably one of the most effective ways to lose weight if you have already gained weight.
Are you ready to start your workout session? Congratulations, you have signed up to commence your weight loss journey. Now, let's point out something here; this isn't a day's journey.
Don't expect to see results just about two weeks after you start your routine exercising. As explained earlier, weight loss requires determination, consistency and patience.
Exercise is a useful tool for weight loss. Working out regularly is one of the ways to avoid obesity or weight loss
Also, if you are trying to avoid weight gain, you must make exercise a part of your life. It will be best if you have a routine for exercise.
It is required that you work out at least three times a week to lose weight. Each session should last at least 30 minutes.
You shouldn't see exercise as an arduous task. You don't need to sign up for a gym if you are not up to it. You can do your exercise from the confines of your room.
Put on your headset and go for that early morning run, jogging, cycling, pushup or whatever physical activity you chose to do to stay fit. Whichever you choose to do, ensure you go at it consistently.
If you aim at weight loss, you might get results earlier, but don't expect results until after at least six weeks. Your consistency determines how much weight you will lose.
You can workout at any time of the day; morning, afternoon or evening. Choose a time that works for you.
4. Eat slowly and eat off small plates
When you eat too quickly, of course, you are bound to consume more quantity of food within one minute compared to someone who is eating slowly.
An article on eatthis.com wrote that it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to signal to your brain that it has had enough food.
So, imagine you eat slowly within that 20 minutes; it doesn't matter the quantity of food you consume; your brain will still get the signal that you are full, which will make you stop eating. This ensures you don't eat too many calories.
You should also watch out for the food size or portion you dish out for yourself. This is why it is advised that you dish food with small-sized plates, so you don't get tempted to dish out large food quantities each time.
A study published in the journal "Obesity Science and Practice" revealed that obese people always opt for larger plates when given the option to choose.
What does this mean?
It implies that the more food you consume, the more calories your body takes in and the more fat it stores.
5. Stop eating when it is not necessary
It seems we have been stressing much about food and eating, but we have to. This is because aside from exercising, controlling the things we consume is one thing that has proved challenging to many of us.
Emotional eating will ruin your weight loss journey. Try practicing self control with food to avoid obesity or weight gain
Some people eat food anytime and anywhere it is served. Sometimes, you should say no even when you are offered the food, especially when it a food type that won't help you in your weight loss journey.
You need self-control' alongside determination, consistency and patience, which were listed earlier, to achieve your weight loss goals.
Some people eat in response to their emotions. People in this group are called emotional eaters. They always have the urge to eat in response to emotional stress.
Women are even more prone to emotional eating, and emotional eating is one of the factors that cause weight gain, especially in women.
If you are an emotional eater and want to avoid weight gain, it might help to do any of the following each time you get that urge to eat to suppress your emotions:
- Take a glass of water
- Chew a piece of gum
- Take a walk around your environment
Just create some other response to your emotions that doesn't have to do with you churning down a plate of food.
6. Get enough sleep, Set aside time to relax
You need sleep and rest to maintain a normal weight. One way to avoid weight gain is to ensure you get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
Poor sleep is a major risk factor for obesity and weight gain. Get enough sleep in order to avoid obesity or weight gain
According to Wake Forest researchers, dieters who get less than six hours of sleep put on two and half times more belly fat, while those who sleep for up to 8 hours or more gain less belly fat.
7. Try intermittent fasting
While it is advisable to eat so that the body can absorb the needed nutrients for growth and normal functioning, staying off food on some occasions won't hurt.
Intermittent fasting is an effective weight loss diet plan for combating obesity and excessive weight gain.
Intermittent fasting focuses on limiting your snacks and meals to a specific time window, usually between 6 and 8 hours daily. For instance, you eat twice, eight hours apart in a day and abstain from eating for the remaining 16 hours.
If you want to avoid obesity or weight gain, try intermittent fasting too!
Another type of intermittent fasting is where you abstain from food for 24 hours once or twice a week. The idea is to cut the intake of calories during those fasting periods.
Does intermittent fasting work?
Intermittent fasting most likely works for weight loss as many studies have shown that it may help with weight loss through different mechanisms.
8. Drink enough water!
Some people have developed the bad habit of substituting water with soda and other sugary or carbonated drinks when it should be the other way round.
You should know that water is critically needed for the normal functioning of your body systems. It also prevents the formation of kidney stones.
When it comes to avoiding weight gain, water also plays a role as it increases your chances of maintaining a normal weight.
According to an article published in Active Magazine, a study by German researchers found that taking six cups of cold water every day can boost your metabolism and cause you to burn 50 calories daily.
Not drinking sufficient water has potentially severe side effects such as reduced energy, slower metabolism, increased risk of stroke, poor skin condition and weight gain!
Obesity prevention for children
There has been so much discussion about obesity and weight loss for adults, but what about children? One way to avoid obesity or excessive weight gain in adulthood is to start right from childhood.
You must help your kids maintain a normal weight as this helps to ensure a good state of general health and wellbeing.
Obesity poses health risks, not just for adults but for children as well. According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, an estimated 13.7 million children and teens in the United States are obese.
Despite this high percentage, there are different ways to prevent obesity in children, just as adults do.
How to avoid obesity or excessive weight gain in children
One way you can avoid obesity or excessive weight gain in adulthood is by preventing it from childhood
This section will explore ways you can help your young one avoid obesity without focusing on the scale.
Breastfeeding your infant might help
As regards the role of breastfeeding in preventing obesity in children, studies have been mixed. Obviously, more research needs to be launched in this area.
However, one analysis of 25 studies in 2014 showed that breastfeeding infants could be linked to a reduced risk of childhood obesity.
Pay attention to what your children eat
You must start feeding your children healthy diets right from the early years. Feed them with nutritious meals containing enough vegetables, fruits and proteins.
In this way, they maintain normal body weight and get the required food nutrient for growth. It would also help shape their eating habits even when they become adults.
Feed kids with the appropriate portion sizes of food
Don't overfeed your children. When the excess food is not burnt as fuel for energy, it gets stored as body fat.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the energy requirements for toddlers are small. Thus, toddlers don't even require large amounts of food.
Every inch of height for infants between ages 1 to 3 should equate to roughly 40 calories of food.
Avoid stocking up the house with unhealthy foods
Children have a higher tendency to eat refined foods containing harmful sugar and fats. This is more reason why you should avoid bringing such foods into the home.
Keep junk foods away from children; they are not good for health and can cause weight gain
Instead of stocking up your fridge with junk, fill it up with healthy foods like fruits. Leave out the less healthy ones as snacks on rare occasions.
Introduce fun physical activities to the kids
According to the World Health Organization, it is recommended that children and teenagers indulge in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
However, remember that kids don't like dull moments and might not entertain activities that seem to bore them.
This is the point where you have to get creative. Come up with games, sporting activities, gym classes, or outdoor chores that the kids would be excited about.
Children need enough sleep
Everyone needs sleep, but children need it even more. Studies have shown a link between sleep and obesity or weight gain. People (including children) who do not get enough sleep are more likely to gain more weight.
Help your children form healthy sleeping habits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy sleeping habits include having a bedtime ritual, a sleep schedule and sleeping on a comfortable mattress and pillow.
Why must you avoid obesity?
We have talked so much about how to avoid obesity or excessive weight in both adults and children. But the question now, is why does it matter? Why is it vital that you prevent obesity?
Obesity is bad and has been associated with many chronic health conditions which are challenging to treat. Some of the health conditions that have been associated with obesity include:
- metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart diseases
- Sleep apnoea
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- mental health conditions
When you pay attention to your weight and make conscious efforts to keep it within the healthy range, it would help slow down the progression of such health conditions or even prevent their development.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your weight loss journey today!