Preventing Weight Gain: A 10 Step Method

It’s so common to go on a diet, lose the weight, and quickly gain it all back that preventing weight gain becomes the next primary concern.

This list highlights the things you can do to prevent gaining weight after you’ve lost it.

1. Educate Yourself

Despite what the old cliché would have you believe, ignorance is not bliss. Getting knowledgeable in nutrition and fitness is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle.

You do not need to become an expert in either one, rather, you should arm yourself with basic knowledge. You can always ask advice from an expert when you have questions.

Some of the aspects that are important to learn about are: reading food labels, identifying the potentially harmful ingredients in highly processed foods, recommended daily allowances, how to safely perform exercises, recognizing injuries, etc.

2. Get Organized

Getting organized can be accomplished in several different ways. One way of getting organized is developing a daily routine. Establishing a daily routine helps you remain healthy.

Routines have been shown to have positive effects on eating habits, better sleep, memory and mental health. Another way of getting organized is making lists. List can help you keep track of the things you need and of things you need to do.

A grocery shopping list is highly recommended. Adhering to this type of list enables you to eliminate splurging on bad foods you find in the grocery stores. Setting goals and keeping journals are also great organizational methods that promote weight maintenance.

3. Monitor What You Eat

Monitoring your food consumption is very important. Food journals are a great way to keep track of the amount of foods you consume each day.

Keeping a journal holds you accountable for your intake, helps you to eat balanced meals (if you menu plan), helps you keep track of your goals and helps you connect your emotions with what you eat and the amounts.

Other ways of preventing weight gain through food monitoring and mindful eating include:

  • Preparing your own meals.- Helps you keep track of what is in your food and the amount in each serving.
  • Avoid highly processed foods (can contain additives that promote weight gain), fast food and junk foods
  • Choose water or 100% fruit juices over other beverages.
  • Carry your own snacks with you.- Helps to prevent you from making poor food choices when you are away from home.
  • Eat when you are hungry.- Forcing yourself to wait can promote binge eating.
  • Eat at the table.- Eating while watching television, working on the computer or reading can lead to overeating and eating poor choices in food.
  • Get your daily recommended amounts vitamins and minerals.- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to food cravings.

4. Stay Aware of Your Body and Health

Routinely assessing your weight can help you identify weight gain early. Early identification is important because it allows you to take a closer look at your lifestyle and implement changes before it becomes a worse issue.

Scheduling routine checkups with your doctor also will help you identify potential causes. Health related conditions like hypothyroidism, pregnancy or menopause can promote weight gain and can only be diagnosed by a doctor.

5. Drink Water

Drinking water helps prevent your body from retaining excess water weight. The amount of water you consume also has an affect on the blood volume in your body.

Increased blood volumes improve the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Water then rids the cells of harmful toxins and waste and expels it from the body. Studies have found the body’s metabolic rate to also increase after water has been consumed, helping to burn more calories.

6. Do Not Deprive Yourself.

For some people maintaining a healthy weight could be as simple as not depriving themselves of food. For others food deprivation causes them to binge eat.

Instead of severely restricting calories or cutting out specific types of food, look for ways to change your lifestyle to maintain your health.

7. Exercise

When someone says exercise most people automatically think of going to a gym. Going to gyms is a great way to stick to a fitness program. You have access to professionals who can teach you how to properly perform exercises and use equipment. You can enroll in specialized classes or schedule personal training sessions.

The important thing gym users need to remember is to keep your exercise routine interesting. Many people who try the gym method end up getting burnt out, from either trying to do too much or boredom from repeating the same routine.

The gym, however, is not for everyone. The good news is there are plenty of alternative ways to get exercise: walking, fitness videos, personal training sessions at home, home equipment, sport activities with friends, hiking, swimming, etc.

Just doing the activities that you love in your spare time is enough, just make sure you schedule it and stick to it when you make the commitment.

8. Reduce Stress

Reducing the amount of stress is in your life is very important for preventing weight gain. Stress elevates the levels of cortisol in your body. Higher and prolonged levels of cortisol has been shown to suppress thyroid function, decrease muscle tissue, increase blood pressure, and increase abdominal fat storage.

Ways to reduce your stress level include:

  • Identify the causes. Are you constantly worried about something? Are you stressed at work? If so, why? Are you having marital problem?
  • Once you have identified the cause, make a plan of action to deal with them (work on finding a resolution to the problem, talk to your co-worker/boss, get counseling, etc.).
  • Learn to relax. You aren’t going to be able to fix everything.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Learn to ask for help.

9. Find a partner

Finding a partner to help you has its benefits. It keeps you motivated and on the right track.

When you find a partner, go over the expectations (make sure the plan works for both of you). You can do all the above steps together, or do them separately and compare notes.

In either case, two head are better than one and you will find that it makes the process easier. It also helps to have someone to talk to who knows exactly what you are going through.

10. Take A Day for Yourself

Take one day a week where you do whatever you like. Doing so will help prevent you from experiencin g burn-out.

This doesn’t mean eat a whole pizza in one sitting. But if pizza is what you want have a slice. If you wish to go to the movies and have a bag of popcorn, go. Remember to have time to enjoy yourself, you will find it makes sticking with a healthy lifestyle much easier.

Summary

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I’ve always found that prevention is easier than the cure, especially when it comes to weight gain. The weight gain comes on so slow, that it’s hard to be aware of what’s happening. Using these 10 tips will aid in preventing weight gain before it takes over your body, life and lifestyle.