Weight is a crucial indicator of a healthy lifestyle. An ideal weight supports mobility, the nervous system, and heart health.
It is not surprising that for decades Americans have spent millions of dollars in an attempt to stop gaining weight. But here’s the thing: controlling your weight doesn’t have to be expensive.
Simple fitness goals and habits can help you stop gaining weight and improve your lifestyle.
In this article, we’ll look take a look at some of the simple and natural ways to control your weight and live a healthy lifestyle. But first, let’s review some measures of weight gain.
How do you know if you’re gaining weight?
There are several ways to determine if you’re gaining weight. The common ones are:
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Body fat percentage (BFP)
- Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
Using any of these measures vary based on body type, age, and weight. A good starting point is to know which weight is ideal for your body type and your age.
Body mass index (BMI)
Body mass index (BMI) is the most common method for determining the right body weight based on height. Below is a table from the National Institute of Health that shows the ideal weight for a person based on their height.
|91 to 115 lbs.||119 to 138 lbs.||143 to 186 lbs.||191 to 258 lbs.|
|94 to 119 lbs.||124 to 143 lbs.||148 to 193 lbs.||198 to 267 lbs.|
|97 to 123 lbs.||128 to 148 lbs.||153 to 199 lbs.||204 to 276 lbs.|
|100 to 127 lbs.||132 to 153 lbs.||158 to 206 lbs.||211 to 285 lbs.|
|104 to 131 lbs.||136 to 158 lbs.||164 to 213 lbs.||218 to 295 lbs.|
|107 to 135 lbs.||141 to 163 lbs.||169 to 220 lbs.||225 to 304 lbs.|
|110 to 140 lbs.||145 to 169 lbs.||174 to 227 lbs.||232 to 314 lbs.|
|114 to 144 lbs.||150 to 174 lbs.||180 to 234 lbs.||240 to 324 lbs.|
|118 to 148 lbs.||155 to 179 lbs.||186 to 241 lbs.||247 to 334 lbs.|
|121 to 153 lbs.||159 to 185 lbs.||191 to 249 lbs.||255 to 344 lbs.|
|125 to 158 lbs.||164 to 190 lbs.||197 to 256 lbs.||262 to 354 lbs.|
|128 to 162 lbs.||169 to 196 lbs.||203 to 263 lbs.||270 to 365 lbs.|
|132 to 167 lbs.||174 to 202 lbs.||209 to 271 lbs.||278 to 376 lbs.|
|136 to 172 lbs.||179 to 208 lbs.||215 to 279 lbs.||286 to 386 lbs.|
|140 to 177 lbs.||184 to 213 lbs.||221 to 287 lbs.||294 to 397 lbs.|
|144 to 182 lbs.||189 to 219 lbs.||227 to 295 lbs.||302 to 408 lbs.|
|148 to 186 lbs.||194 to 225 lbs.||233 to 303 lbs.||311 to 420 lbs.|
|152 to 192 lbs.||200 to 232 lbs.||240 to 311 lbs.||319 to 431 lbs.|
|156 to 197 lbs.||205 to 238 lbs.||246 to 320 lbs.||328 to 443 lbs.|
|BMI||19 to 24||25 to 29||30 to 39||40 to 54|
As you can see, BMI is not a perfect index but it’s easy to calculate. However, it doesn’t take into account lean body and muscle mass or identify central obesity.
Body fat percentage (BFP)
This is also a common way to determine your ideal weight. Body fat percentage looks at your body’s fat (including essential fat and storage fat) weight divided by your weight.
BFP is essentially BFP the percentage of an individual’s weight that is made up of fat. To calculate this you divide the total fat mass by the total body mass and then multiply by 100.
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
This is how a person’s waist size compares with their hip. It’s based on the body of research that has shown that if you have more fat around your waistline, you’re more at more risk to heart diseases.
WHR, in general, is a great indication of how healthy you are because the more midsection fat you have per hip, the higher the risk. HR are indicators of central obesity.
Natural ways to stop weight gain and control your weight
1. Exercise before breakfast
In general, when we exercise our bodies use up energy as fuel. This fuel source in the body can be stored as carbohydrates, proteins of fat. The process of using up the body’s store of fuel is called oxidation.
Why is this important?
In a recent study, researchers enrolled 10 young non-obese men to understand the impact of exercises and meal timing. The participants were grouped into four categories. This includes participants who:
- did not exercise at all (control)
- exercised for 60-minutes before breakfast (morning)
- did 60-minutes exercise after lunch (afternoon)
- exercised 60-minutes after dinner (evening)
The findings showed an increase in fat oxidation (burning fat as fuel) for the group that exercised before breakfast. Burning body fat as fuel is linked to weight loss.
2. Get more sleep
The human body is driven by hormones. Some hormones control appetite and hunger. The hormones are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin reduces our appetite. Ghrelin promotes hunger feelings.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you impact the hormones that control appetite and hunger.
A study by the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort analyzed data from 1,024 volunteers. The study ran from 1989 and continued every four years. Researchers throughout the study investigated sleep habits and blood samples of participants.
The findings revealed the connection between sleeping less and the hormones leptin and ghrelin.
According to the study, sleeping less than five hours each night leads to 16 percent less leptin and nearly 15 percent more ghrelin than those who had more hours of sleep.
In essence, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to feel hungry and eat more.
3. Practice intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss because it helps to limit your calorie intake.
You fast for many hours and skip multiple meals and then eat between a particular time window, this leads to fewer calorie intake.
Limiting calorie intake is one way to stop weight gain.
When your body is in the fasted state, it consumes all the glucose as energy and then need something more to use as fuel. That’s where your body fat comes into play. Your body starts burning fats to use it as fuel.
Intermittent fasting reduces insulin levels, and it starts burning stored fats, and you start losing weight.
When you fast regularly, your metabolic system is reprogrammed to use more stored energy as fuel. Your resting metabolism is boosted during fasting, and it helps to burn more stored energies during the fasting period.
4. Do more high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises
One of the many benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises is that it helps to burn calories faster within a short period.
A study published in the Journal of Core Strength and Conditioning Research weighed the number of calories burnt when performing 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running and biking.
The researchers found that HIIT burned 25 -30 percent more calories than the other exercises. The HIIT training repetition had 20 seconds of effort followed by a 40-second rest.
This means that the HIIT participants were training for about one-third of the time allocated to the bikers and runners.
What’s more? HIIT training increases your metabolism rate after the session and shifted it towards fat use for energy instead of carbs.
5. Avoid too much sugar
While sugar can help your cravings or a sweet tooth, it does not have a very good impact on your body. That’s not all. Consuming too much sugar affects mental health.
The thing about sugar is that without fiber it can also result in fluctuation of blood sugars which can cause cravings for even more carbs. This way the weight gain is at a consistent level.
If you want to stop gaining weight, watch your sugar intake – whether it comes from bread, sweets, candy, or anything else that tastes way too good for something healthy or natural! Consuming less sugar can help you to lose belly fat.
6. Get in more steps
Weight gain can occur as a result of living a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting in the office all day and sitting at home on the sofa all night doesn’t help.
Instead, find every opportunity to move your body. Standing is a good option. It helps reduce that occurrence as it burns a lot of calories while doing so.
Go for a walk in the part instead of sitting for your coffee break. Take your next call walking instead of sitting behind the computer. If you’re feeling tired after eating, take a short stroll.
7. Pay attention to what you eat
You can’t choose to ignore what you eat if stopping weight gain is your priority. As much as you might not like to hear it, nutrition is key.
This is why you’ll need to start paying attention to nutrition labels of what you buy and consume. Fortunately, in today’s modern supermarkets and grocery stores, it’s easy to find the label on what we buy.
Reading nutrition labels will let you know how much fats, sugars, sodium, or fiber you are taking in. The key things to look out for are:
- Serving Size. Make sure to consume the right serving portion. Taking twice the serving increases the intake of fats, sugars, or whatever the package contains.
- Calories Per Serving: You need to see what the number of total calories in a single serving is. If it matches your goal of calorie intake, you can buy it.
- Percent Daily Values: DV, as the name reveals, measures the nutrition of the food you take daily.
- Cholesterol. The lesser your cholesterol intake is, the more chances you have to lose weight. Remember there is good and bad cholesterol – choose the right food.
I’d also recommend recording what you eat using one of the many food apps. My favorite (and I’ve been using it for years now) is the Lifesum app. It has a clean interface and you can easily scan or add the food.
8. Go for a jog
In a recent study, researchers set out to investigate how factors such as genetics and lifestyle impact on extreme weight gain or obesity.
Over 18,000 adults with ages between thirty and seventy participated in the study. The researchers observed both their exercise routines and unique genes.
Participants were enrolled in an exercise or activity of at least 30 minutes, and they had to do this three times a week.
The findings which were published in the reputable PLOS Genetics journal reported something shocking.
Turns out that even if obesity runs in your family, you can lose weight and keep it off without any diet. And the number one activity the researcher found to help is jogging.
The reason is that jogging helps you burn more calories both during the jog and afterward.
This two-edged benefit means that for the jogging session, your body is set to viscerate calories post jog.
9. Drink more water
There are so many benefits to drinking water. And one of them is that it helps ups to shed off extra weight and stop gaining weight. Let me explain.
Several studies have found that drinking water can improve your metabolism.
In one study, 50 overweight females were put under a program where they drank a glass of water before breakfast, lunch, and supper for 8 weeks.
The results showed a positive relationship between drinking 1.5 L of excessive water and weight, body fat and appetite reduction.
Point is: make it a point to drink a lot of water, especially before you eat which will suppress your appetite to overeat.
10. Find ways to destress
Whether you’re a student, a mom, dad, an entrepreneur, a CEO a salesperson or a housewife, you can feel stress at some point. Stress is a universal sign that your engine (to borrow a car analogy) is overheating.
For some people, the way out of stress is to binge eat. Unfortunately, that seems like a good short term solution.
After all, it helps to escape the momentary frustration and negativity.
But here’s the problem: when unchecked, sustained binge eating or stress eating can cause havoc on our waistline and lead to cardiovascular diseases. Plus, binge eating wrecks any hope you have to stop gaining weight.
It’s okay to eat something if you feel stressed. Choose healthy snacks if that’s way out. Alternatively, you can try meditation or yoga as a way to disconnect from the plethora of things thrown at you.
If your goal is to stop gaining weight, you need to know that’s a continuous process. Do not seek shortcuts or quick fixes, like weight loss diet pills.
There aren’t any shortcuts. Instead, focus on the simple yet powerful habits that are sustainable and practical.
Start small. Pace yourself. Do not compare yourself to others since our body types and ages are different. Stay the course, enjoy the process, and you will be happy you did.