Weight Gain: Tips to Stop Weight Creep (cont.)
"Muscle is metabolically active, and to minimize naturally occurring muscle loss, you need to be physically active every day, including resistance training two to three times a week," says exercise physiologist Felicia Stoler, RD, host of TLC's Honey We're Killing the Kids. "By being active, you can enjoy more calories without gaining weight -- if you choose your calories wisely."
And change up your fitness routine every six to eight weeks to keep your body from getting too accustomed to your workout.
"It has to be challenging; otherwise, it won't work," says Ward.
Stop Gaining Weight by Eliminating Bad Habits
Some of the common mistakes people make that lead to weight gain include:
The older you get, the more diligent you have to be, says Ward, author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids.
Figure out where your own problem areas are, and find solutions to control calories and fit in more fitness. If you're a sweet eater, no problem -- just work a small portion of sweets into your diet. Ward recommends stocking the freezer with 100-calorie frozen treats to keep calories and portions in check.
Eating healthy does not mean following a super-restrictive diet. But you do have to watch what you put into your mouth.
For example, a diet high in simple carbs creates a vicious cycle. The more you eat, the more you want -- because these foods aren't as satisfying as foods with protein and fiber. That handful of chips with your sandwich here and half a cookie there adds up. And adults have very little room for those extra calories.
"Flip around the idea that you need to cut calories to maintain weight and instead, think about what you need to eat to lose weight," suggests Ward. Choose whole-grain carbs, fruits and vegetables, and always include lean or low-fat protein with meals and snacks. You'll feel fuller and be less likely to pick between meals.
Experts recommend eating regular meals, paring down portions of high-fat and high-calorie foods, and never skipping breakfast.
"Gone are the days when you can skip breakfast and eat a 16-ounce steak and maintain your weight," says Stoler.
Stop Gaining Weight by Making Small Changes
Yet you don't have to go to great lengths to stop gaining weight. You can avoid adding extra pounds by making some simple changes to your lifestyle.