There are many factors that can cause weight gain, and identifying these is one of the first things you must do to prevent yourself from becoming overweight or obese.
For example, genes can have a great deal to do with obesity, and you may need to alter your eating behaviours to address this. Those who put on weight easily might not pick up the body’s signal of being full as easily as other people, leading to overeating and weight gain.
Eating patterns have formed over time and are affected by experiences of food as children. Such patterns are of constantly reinforced as we age, which makes it very difficult to alter patterns.
Such eating habits often lead to the consumption of more calories than necessary. Once you recognise your not-so-positive eating habits, then you can more easily replace them with more positive eating habits in order to lose weight.
For example, should you like to eat sweet or fatty foods whilst watching your favourite TV programmes, you may wish to try eating healthier foods like fresh fruit, dried fruit or carrots.
Many of us select foods full of saturated fat or high in sugar, which can mean we take in lots more calories than we should be consuming. You do not necessarily need to switch to low-calorie foods, but instead select foods which are highly satiating, meaning you are sufficiently filled up and therefore do not overeat.
You may have heard the term ‘comfort eating’ before, and this is one of the chief causes of weight gain for many people. It is often prompted by our emotions, such as stress or sadness, and sees us select unhealthy food and alcohol. If you find yourself in a mood after a hard, long day at work or a domestic argument, try to relax before you eat any food, and be vigilant with yourself. Boredom eating is also a very common practice, eating because you are simply bored at home and have access to food.
By identifying our triggers as to why and thus when we overeat, we are enabled to change old, unhealthy eating patterns.
You can try the following tips:
- Consider whether you really need to eat these extra foods
- Replace the desire of eating more with positive thoughts
- Instead of eating, do something you enjoy
Being physically inactive
Those who are physically active are more capable of keeping the weight off than those who lead sedentary lifestyles, like working at a desk all day, driving, and then just watching TV all night on the sofa before going to bed.
It is a good idea to have one day of the week where you do not watch any television and do a physical activity, at an absolute minimum, to avoid weight gain.