How to Control Weight and Prevent Chronic Medical Conditions

control weight

Controlling your weight involves adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as eating nutritious foods and getting enough exercise. These can help you avoid obesity and prevent chronic medical conditions that are related to it.

Many people gain weight because of a combination of factors. Some of these include:

1. Reduce the Size of Your Plate

Using smaller plates, bowls and utensils encourages portion control, which is an important tool for maintaining a healthy weight. Several studies have found that eating from smaller dishes can help people consume less food.

During a meal, people tend to fill their plate with a combination of foods, including starchy vegetables, protein and fats. When these foods are served on large plates, they tend to look more substantial than they actually are.

By switching to smaller dinnerware, you can create a visual illusion of fullness by prioritising nutrient-rich foods, such as non-starchy vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Choosing to eat these foods can also promote mindful eating, which encourages you to pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. The result is that you are more likely to eat only until you are satisfied. This can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

2. Divide Your Meals Into Smaller Parts

Although it may seem counterintuitive, splitting your meals into smaller portions can help control weight. Having smaller, more frequent meals helps keep your blood sugar and energy levels consistent throughout the day. This is especially important if you are eating at restaurants because meal sizes tend to be twice as large as what you need for proper portion control.

To make this easier, consider buying a set of small plastic containers that have different compartments for different foods. This way, you can have a container for veggies, one for protein and another for carbs. These containers will also come in handy for preparing ahead of time to take on the go.

3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

It’s important to understand how much sugar you are eating and drinking. Most Americans eat more than the recommended amount of added sugars, which add up to 270 calories a day on average (see figure below). The new Nutrition Facts label makes it easier to identify added sugars, by listing them separately from other carbohydrates.

Limiting added sugars can be difficult, especially if you’re used to sweet drinks and snacks, but you can make changes over time. Try replacing soda or fruit-flavored beverages with low-fat milk or carbonated water. Or choose plain yogurt and add a dash of cinnamon or some sliced fruit to your meal.

It’s best to avoid artificial sweeteners as well, as they can have a similar effect as sugar on your body. They can also interfere with the good bacteria in your gut that help manage your blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain. Instead, stick to a variety of natural fruits for your daily sweet fix and be sure to include whole foods like nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, vegetables and lean meats.

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