11 Scientifically Proven Ways to Avoid Weight Gain from 11 Scientifically Proven Ways to Avoid Weight Gain

11 Scientifically Proven Ways to Avoid Weight Gain

The "simple" act of avoiding weight gain is hard, sometimes very hard, but it's not impossible. We’ve done the research and put together a list of scientifically proven ways to help you avoid gaining weight.

Keep Track

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If your goal is maintaining weight loss, you’ll need to know two things: your new “normal” weight and how you plan to keep track of your weight. Scales are unreliable and misleading—at best. It’s recommended you choose a measurement method that feels right for you. Take a look at what our resident fitness professionals say are the best ways to track weight loss, so you can tell your progress is sticking.

Write It Down

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A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found half of the people who lost a substantial amount of weight and kept it off did so with the help of a food journal. Holding yourself accountable is a major factor in maintaining weight loss. Keeping an honest, comprehensive food journal will keep you responsible and help you spot patterns, both good and bad.

Don’t Skip Meals

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Cutting out calories may be necessary for maintaining weight but skipping entire meals is a bad idea. Not only does it throw off your metabolism, but you’ll be more likely to snack or overeat at the next meal. 

Make High Fiber Foods a Staple

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Foods packed with fiber—apples, nuts, avocados, ect.—keep you feeling full longer, are rich in important vitamins and nutrients and could help you keep the weight off. A study out of Tufts University found that those who added 14 grams of fiber to their diets daily, and changed nothing else, lost four pounds in just under four months. 

Steer Clear of Trans Fats

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In addition to raising your level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lowering the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL), leaving you more susceptible to diabetes and heart disease—trans fats are known for packing on the pounds in your midsection. After completing a study on trans fats at Wake Forest, Lawrence L. Rudel, Ph.D., professor and head of the Lipid Sciences Research Program was surprised by how bad trans fats really are.

"Diets rich in trans fat cause a redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen and lead to a higher body weight even when the total dietary calories are controlled…What it says is that trans fat is worse than anticipated.”

Drink in Moderation

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Some research suggests that a small amount of alcohol can actually be beneficial when trying to lose or maintain weight, but drinking more a glass or two can have major consequences for your weight. Excessive drinking leads to lower inhibitions (read: making poor dietary choices) and the alcohol itself contains calories but absolutely no nutritional value. Add to those downsides the fact that alcohol is metabolized differently than other food and drink and its clear why those alcoholic drinks were among the first things to go when you were trying to lose weight.

Drink Water

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There’s a good reason that drinking water tops practically every list of health tips out there—water helps with every aspect of your health. Staying hydrated helps maintain weight in a number of ways. It keeps your metabolism working properly, the right amount of water ensures you have energy to exercise and thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger so drinking a glass of water might clear up cravings too.

Stay Active

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Sure, a healthy, varied diet is absolutely essential to maintaining weight loss, but exercise is crucial too. According to research, the people who had the most success keeping the weight off were those who continued to exercise four to six times a week. Scheduling at least a half hour workout a few times a week will go a long way in maintaining a healthy weight.

Sleep well

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It’s tough to get those eight or nine hours a night, practically impossible for some of us, but maintaining a good sleep schedule can help you keep the weight off. The right amount of sleep keeps your metabolism working properly and gives you plenty of energy for workouts. If you’re missing out on sleep you’ll also be more likely to make poor food choices the next day.

Forgive Yourself

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You’re going to slip up from time to time—you’re only human—but don’t let one mistake ruin all of your progress. Too often we indulge a craving or skip a workout and instead of brushing it off and learning to avoid it in the future, we dwell on the mistake and let it destroy our progress. Let it go and do better next time.

And Reward Yourself

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It’s a common recommendation for those looking to lose weight—reward yourself with things other than food—and those hoping to maintain their weight should take the advice as well. In addition to giving you a boost, rewarding yourself with a spa day or a new outfit for the gym will remind you that there’s more to life than junk food.