How to Never Gain More Than 5 Pounds For the Rest of Your Life




The average adult will gain about 1 pound per year over the course of their adult life.  Many people also have periods of 1-5 years in which they gain far more than that, ending up 20, 30, 40 or even 60 or more pounds overweight.  Once that weight is gained, it is tough to lose.  Some studies even show that your body changes when you gain weight, making it harder to lose weight than it was when you had less weight to lose.  Regardless of what you weigh now, it could always be worse.  To avoid the slippery slope of weight gain, commit yourself to these 4 straightforward rules.  No special diets or fancy plans, just 4 rules!

1.  Weigh yourself daily.  Very few people who gain weight watch it go up each day on the scale. It is more the case that they stop weighing themselves, stop paying attention, and they may even stop looking in the mirror.  You will not likely allow yourself to gain a lot of weight if you are stepping on the scale and seeing it in front of yourself every single day.  Weighing  yourself will affect your food choices, it will affect your decision to exercise that day. Read more on the science of daily weighing here.

2. Diet Journal as Punishment.   Diet journaling sucks.  It is not necessary to do it everyday but instead use it as payback for small weight gains. When you gain 5 lbs, make it a rule that you will complete 1 week of impeccable diet journaling.   The diet journal rule will not only prevent you from gaining the weight in the first place, it is the most surefire way to reverse the trend.  Read more about diet journaling here.

3. Restaurant Impossible.  Eating out accounts for a ton of excess calories.  We do it when we are time crunched and stressed, serving sizes are larger, and the food tastes better—this is the perfect storm of overeating.  Eating out even just once or twice a week can lead to weight gain over weeks, months, and years. Cutting down trips out to eat is a must. When you are out to eat: Make it a rule to always calculate the calories of your order.  Before you go check out the menu online and select a meal that has a reasonable amount of calories.  Or, once you get there, pull out a calorie counting mobile app and start doing the math.  More tips for dealing with restaurants can be found here.

4.  Physical Activity on Most Days.  Work toward the goal of 60 minutes on 5 days per week (not counting the physical activity you get at work or via house work).  Here is the bottom line on exercise:  If you do not commit to exercise being a regular part of your life, you will not only fail to reach your weight loss goal but you will continue to gain weight throughout your life.  One study of 10K people who lost 70 lbs and kept it off showed they burn 2,500-3,200 calories per week in exercise.  If you are up for making the commitment, get some assistance from a trainer, physical therapist (if you have pain or physical limitations) or a friend to get you on track.  Read more on making time for exercise here and here.

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One Comment

  1. Scott says:

    This is a great article! I really agree with #1. I have started weighing myself daily and tracking the numbers. You really pay attention to what you eat EVERY day when you know you are stepping on the scale the next day.

    I have added two columns to my tracking sheet “what i did right yesterday” and “what i did wrong” this gives me a true story about how my daily choices affect my weight.

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