In my previous article I answered a common question a lot of people have: why am I gaining weight? I laid out the reasons why this happens and also gave a few broad guidelines as to how you should reverse the weight gain process.
In this post I want to go deeper and tell you, in detail, how to stop gaining weight and how to do it soon. The fact is that the longer you wait and the heavier you become, the harder it is to go back to your optimal weight. So, if you want to avoid more weight gain, read this article.
Figure Out The Cause
The first thing you need to understand is why you’re gaining weight. For the most part, the reason is that you’re eating too many calories and burning too little of them. However, there are cases in which your lifestyle has very little to do with your weight gain. It is due to issues out of your control. These issues may include certain medical issues, like a thryoid gland problem or various medications. This should be easy to clear up with your doctor. However, I wouldn’t bet on it. I would go ahead and try to figure out how to get my calorie intake down and my calorie outtake up.
The Calorie Game
Basically, you gain weight when you consume too many calories, more than you burn. These excess calories are usually stored as fat (unless you’re using them to build muscle mass due to a rigorous weight training routine). This is the fat that you’re bothered about and why you want to stop gaining weight.
To stop gaining body fat you must prevent a calorie surplus by consuming less calories and burning more of them. Let’s go over some tips on how you should do this.
Consuming Less Calories
There are two main things that you should do: choose healthy foods which are not calorie rich and eat smaller portions regardless.
Here are some of the unhealthy food choices that you should avoid:
- Fancy coffee drinks, sodas, various (not natural) fruit juices, and other high calorie beverages.
- Alcoholic drinks, in particular cocktails. It should noted that alcohol leads to fat gain regardless of the calories it contains. The very nature of alcohol and how the body processes it leads to a slower fat burning.
- Foods which are rich in oils (olive and coconut oil are the exceptions).
- Fried foods and fast foods.
- Foods rich in white flour.
- Refined sugar and foods which contain it.
- Highly processed foods like frozen pizza, TV-dinners, chips, various snacks, etc.
- Candy and milk chocolate (dark chocolate with 70% or more of cocos is good for you).
- Foods which are rich in artificial sweeteners.
Some of these foods make you fat not just by the calories they themselves contain, but due to the way they influence your body. Let’s just say that some food have a semi-addictive power over us and this may lead to us to crave more of them, feel hungrier and eat more as a result. Remember, food manufacturers want to sell more product. They want hungry consumers.
Eating Smaller Portions
It’s not just what you eat, but how much you it of it. You have to eat smaller portions if you want to stop weight gain. Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Eat slowly and focus on your food. Don’t eat in front of the TV.
- Never eat out of bags of a cartoon. Place your portion in a dish.
- Eat from smaller dishes as people tend to eat whatever is in front of them.
- Don’t eat when you’re emotional.
- Don’t go for hours without food.
- Throw out those foods which are most tempting for you, those which you know you can’t resist.
Burning More Calories
Your body burns calories even in your sleep. In fact, even for active people who train a lot, most of their burned calories come from their normal bodily functions and not via exercising. However, if you want to stop gaining weight and drop a few pounds you will need to actively burn additional calories.
This can be done in three ways:
- Non-exercise activity such was walking up stairs instead of taking the lift, working around the house, etc.
- Working out without exercising with activities such as ball games, hikes, dancing, etc.
- Regular exercise.
To do the first two you simply need to have a more active mindset. You need to seek out ways to move yourself more. Each day, you have the opportunity to make many choices whether to be active or not. These are often little things which burn just a few extra calories. However, these add up.
Your choice of hobbies is also important. Reading is awesome (and I’m a book worm), but it doesn’t really get you to move. You need active hobbies like dancing, cycling, playing ball games, etc. Even if you hate exercising, these should be fine since you do things you love.
Just be more active each day and you will find it easier to maintain a proper calorie balance and prevent weight gain.
To really amp up your calorie burn rate you need to exercise regularly. At a minimum, you should perform three workouts a week, but if you can, I would do five. I like to do a 3 strength – 2 cardio workouts per week program. During each strength workout I train my entire body with metabolic circuits and I run twice a week. I also make sure to get some walking or other form of low intensity cardio on the other two days of each week.
In your workouts you need to push yourself. You must give it all you got to create a high intensity atmosphere in your workouts. This is how you burn a lot of calories.
Some forms of exercising are better than others for fat loss. High intensity interval training and circuit training are both metabolically expensive, meaning that they burn a lot of calories and also provide you with a higher metabolism for hours after your workout is done. If you want to literally burn more calories in your sleep, this is the way to go.
The main thing about exercising is to train your whole body, work hard, and do it regularly. If you do that, you should see great improvement in your body composition.
Now you know how to stop gaining weight and how to begin losing it. It’s a simple concept: not eating more calories than those you burn. I’ve shown you how you can reduce your calorie intake and raise your outtake. Follow the tips I outlined above and you won’t get any fatter.