We’ve all been there — you try to put on your favorite jeans, and they seem to have shrunk, just a little… where did this extra three pounds come from? If you know the ways to prevent weight gain, though, that last-minute dash for another pair of skinny jeans can be a thing of the past. Here are 18 ways to prevent weight gain… read on!
1. Move It!
Your weight gain and loss are as simple as a math formula. If you want to gain weight, consume more calories than you burn. But if you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories than you burn… see? And what’s the best way to burn calories? Get up and MOVE! Dance with friends for half an hour. Run around the block with your dog. Practice your belly flop on the trampoline. If it gets your heart thumping for 30 minutes a day, it’s exercise, and it’s one of the ways to prevent weight gain!
2. Make It a Priority Every Day
If you’re serious about preventing weight gain, you’ll be thinking about it all the time, at least a few times a day — mostly when you’re deciding what to eat or whether or not to exercise. Make healthy eating and fun exercise a priority, every day, and you’ll prevent any sort of weight gain you weren’t looking for.
3. Find a Role Model
Who are your role models? If they’re fit and healthy, chances are, you will be too. Marilyn Monroe was gorgeous and curvy, but she wasn’t healthy. Maybe a better choice, to help prevent weight gain, would be Jillian Michaels, or even your one friend who always seems to be running 5k races. Yes?
4. Know Your Calorie Needs
Do you know how many calories you need in one day to help prevent weight gain? If not, find out now, for free, at choosemyplate.org. At the site, you’ll find customizable free tools that will tell you how many calories you ought to be consuming. So helpful!
5. Learn Portion Sizes
You wouldn’t know it from looking at restaurant-sized portions, but a serving of chicken is about the size of a deck of cards, and a serving of veggies can fit in the palm of your hand. Learn what serving sizes look like, so when you’re counting the calories in a meal, you can be more accurate.
6. Try for Five
One of the best ways to prevent weight gain is to be very careful that you’re eating your USDA-recommended 5 servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day! Think about it: fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with all-natural energy and digestion-helping fiber. If you’re filling up on them, you won’t have room for junk food!
7. Try for the OTHER Five
Here’s that magic number 5 again! It’s also a good idea to help prevent weight gain by eating five small meals a day, rather than 3 large meals. Eating small meals all day long will keep your metabolism rocking, burning up calories, and help you stay fit and trim!
8. Shop the Perimeter
One great way to prevent weight gain is as simple as being careful where you steer your shopping cart. By sticking to the outer edges of the grocery store, where all the lean protein, fresh produce, dairy, and wholesome grains are located, you’ll avoid all the junk food in the inner aisles. Easy peasy!
9. Consider Meatless Mondays
Looking for an easy way to cut calories and prevent weight gain? Try going meatless one day a week! Be careful, though, to check labels. Some supposedly healthy vegetarian meals can actually be loaded with unnecessary fat.
10. Realize You’re an Example
If you have kids, it’s a sure bet they’re looking to you for hints about what to eat and when. If you’re following a healthy diet, they’re much more likely to be healthy and fit too! Realizing you’re a fitness role model is another marvelous way to prevent weight gain…
11. Ditch the Soda
Check the label on your favorite bottle of soda and you might be surprised — each tiny serving contains a whopping 120 calories or more! Those calories offer no nutritional value, either… some studies have shown anecdotally that by cutting soda out of your diet, you’ll lose up to 20 pounds in 6 months.
12. … Diet Soda, Too!
If you’re thinking of just swapping regular soda for diet, think again! A study by the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio showed that diet soda actually enhances weight gain by as much as 41 percent. Why? Because the artificial sweeteners in diet soda trigger your brain to expect extra goodies (like sugar). When the soda doesn’t deliver, your body will have an actual physical craving for them, which makes junk-food snacking a nearly sure bet. The quick version — ditching soda of all types of one of the best ways to prevent weight gain.
13. Keep Hydrated
Did you know that sometimes, when you’re feeling hungry, you’re actually only thirsty? That’s why one of the easiest ways to prevent weight gain from snacking is to keep hydrated! Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go, and sip often to keep thirst, and hunger, at bay.
14. Forget Fast Food
One value meal, with a cheeseburger, fries, and medium drink, contains all of the calories you’re supposed to consume in an entire day, and most of them come from fat. Can you think of a better way to help prevent weight gain than banning fast food?
15. Watch the Coffee
Here’s another shocking calorie fact check: a single mocha with whip has more calories than a cheeseburger. It’s okay to indulge once in a while, but don’t forget to count the calories in your fave coffee drink, or make the switch to plain coffee for a mere 20 calories a cup.
16. Don’t Eat While Distracted
I love to eat my morning cereal while I’m reading a book, but I’ve noticed what researchers have known for years — you tend to eat a lot more when you’re distracted. Turn off the TV and put down the book while you eat, and you’ll eat less… and enjoy your meal, and your company, a lot more!
17. Don’t Eat out of the Bag
For the same reason you shouldn’t eat while distracted, you also shouldn’t eat right out of the bag or box — you’ll eat a lot more than one serving. Rather than eating crisps out of the bag, pour one serving into a bowl, and you’ll be sure to only eat ONE serving.
18. Pay Attention to Your Clothes
If your fashion sense tends more towards big baggy tees and loose skirts than curve-hugging skinny jeans, you’ll have a lot more leeway to gain weight, and perhaps that was the intent all along. Wearing clothes that fit properly and flatter your figure will encourage you to keep it! Bear that in mind while you’re shopping. It’s totally true!
With so many simple (but brilliant) and effective ways to prevent weight gain, there’s no reason to fear that nightmarish skinny jeans encounter… you can keep your fit figure just by keeping these tips in mind! Which of these ideas was a surprise, and which have you already tried? Do tell!
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