10 Small Changes You Can Make Today To Prevent Weight Gain
Weight gain is not just a result of eating large portions or even periodic overindulgence. It’s usually caused by eating a small amount – around 100-200 extra calories – each day. Beginning around age 20-25, it’s typical for adults to gain between 0.5 and 1kg a year. Add this out over time, and it’s easy to see why many people become overweight or obese. (1)
In these modern times of ready internet access, tips to prevent weight gain are everywhere. Some are good, and some, not so good. Traditional weight-loss interventions typically involve people making significant changes to their caloric intake and/or expenditure, and while this can be effective in the short term, weight regain is common and can be demoralizing.
James Hill, an American expert on obesity, documented this in 2004. His “small-change” approach is increasingly being embraced by many of those interested in addressing obesity once and for all. (2)
A “small change” approach is an alternative strategy that asks people to make small(er) changes to their diet and/or physical activity behaviors to slim down and be able to maintain it. Here are a few of the basics that are worth knowing and putting into practice.
#1 Drink More Water
Hydration is an important factor in weight loss goals. Water hydrates your digestive tract and keeps your intestines smooth and flexible. (3)
Drinking water also increases the number of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure.
In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This lasts at least 60 minutes. Additionally, drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz) of water results in an extra 23 calories burned. (4,5)
Yearly, that sums up to roughly 17,000 calories — or over 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of fat. (6,7)
#2 Get Off Public Transport One Stop Earlier
You may end up walking for ten minutes longer, which could help you burn up to 60 calories. If you do this on your way home, you could burn up to 120 calories a day. (8)
#3 Have An Americano Instead Of A Latte
Coffee Addict? Just know what your vice may be costing you in calories.
The milk in a regular latte can contain up to 186 calories, but switching to an Americano could help. (9)
#4 Walk Mindfully, Breathing Deeply
Burn a few extra calories, just walking mindfully and breathing. Experts claim that mindful breathing can also aid a weight loss program. It has been shown that deep breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which may aid weight loss. (11)
#5 Do Chores
Doing housework involves scrubbing, vacuuming, stretching for items, and washing. This can burn 296 calories in an hour! (10)
#6 Add One Less Tablespoon Of Oil
One tablespoon of olive oil contains slightly more than 100 calories. When cooking, using less oil is one easy way to avoid extra calories. (9)
#7 Sleep In…..Zzzz
We burn around 50 calories an hour while we sleep. Sleep deprivation causes hormone surges, which can cause you to crave high-calorie foods. Lack of sleep also raises cortisol levels, affecting your body’s ability to regulate glucose, potentially contributing to weight gain and insulin resistance. (12,13)
Doing construction work for a volunteer organization will burn about 362 calories per hour. Alternatively, you can burn approximately 139 calories by assisting in the preparation of food at a food bank. Or how about walking dogs at a dog shelter? (10)
#9 Walk Your Dog Twice
You could burn over 150 calories with one extra dog walk per day. Some experts estimate that walking on the beach can burn 50 percent more calories than doing the same activities on a firm surface.
So why not take your pooch to the sand for some extra playtime? (10,14)
#10 Ditch Sugar
A tablespoon of sugar has 49 calories. A candy bar provides 20 grams of sugar in a 1.4-ounce serving, and a soda has 52 grams of sugar in one can. The candy and the soda have 100 to over 200 calories from sugar alone.
Food is for enjoyment as well as nourishment, and a candy bar is okay now and again, but to care for yourself in ways that resonate with health goals (and your body’s needs), avoiding sugar is key. (15,16)
Food is fuel for the body. The better you eat, the better it’s going to run. Check out this page for more tips to prevent weight gain, and try out a few simple changes in your own routine.