Studies have shown that contrary to what is popular, most people only gain 1 pound of weight in a year. However, while this might sound unproblematic, it becomes an issue because people who gain this weight keep them on. So, the weight accumulates, and over time they may become overweight, such as 10-15 kg overweight in 10 years.

The good news is that with healthy dietary and lifestyle adjustments, it is possible to lose the weight gained and keep it off. Kounsel Live hosted Anthony DiMarino, a registered dietitian and personal trainer, to talk about tips for healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight.

This article contains 9 simple tips for healthy eating at home. Remember, you do not have to incorporate all tips now. Instead, you can start with one tip and add more changes when you are ready to go.

Why am I gaining weight?

Here are some causes of weight gain that you are not paying attention to:

  1. You like a good time. Everyone loves to have a good time, but the downside is that we tend to have more high-calorie drinks. These include drinks like wine, liquor, heavy beers, etc. While it may seem minor, the weight tends to add up when you drink a lot of high-calorie drinks.
  1. Pressure to eat unhealthy options. Another reason for weight gain is that we are often pressured to eat unhealthy food choices because that is what is available. This usually happens at a party, when you are out with friends, or when you have no food at home except high-calorie snacks.
  1. Multiple course meals. When you attend parties or events with multiple course meals, you tend to ignore your body's cue for satiety because there is a lot of food to eat. That need to run through the menu from appetizer to dessert may be why you are gaining weight rapidly.
  1. Large food portions. If you are not prudent with your food portions, you tend to add weight fast.
  1. Too many options. Having too many food options to choose from may increase your rate of weight gain. This is especially true if you do not have the discipline to select low-calorie options instead of high-calorie food options.
  1. Mindless eating. Another reason you are gaining weight is that you are not paying attention to your food and hunger cues. This can make you overeat or eat unhealthy food options.
Why am I gaining weight? 
  1. Less homecooked meals. You cannot control the cooking process if you are not cooking and eating at home so much and spend more time eating out. So, you may be forced to eat more calories than you would if you cooked with healthy ingredients.
  1. Increased stress. Your stress levels can make you eat more food than your body needs for nutrition or reach for quick-fix meals that are often unhealthy.

Top 9 easy tips for healthy eating that limit weight gain

Here are the tips for healthy eating that limit your weight gain:

  1. Practice saying no. When you are with friends or family, it can be hard to refuse the food being offered. One way to do this is to say no politely by telling them you are in training. If that doesn't work, then just insist on not eating.
Practice saying no - easy tips for healthy eating
  1. Give out your food. If you end up with foods like sweets or other unhealthy options, one way to deal with that is to give them out. You can give sweets to children or your food to someone else.

  2. Pass on foods. This is an excellent tip for outings with multiple food options. You can pass on foods that are not your favorite or ignore unhealthy choices. Understand that you do not have to eat every food on the buffet and walk away.

  3. Be active. One of the easy tips for healthy eating that helps you limit weight gain is incorporating physical exercises into your daily routine. Unlike popular opinions, you don't have to do high-intensity exercises; you only need to ensure that you move during the day.

Be active - easy tips for healthy eating
  1. Prioritize Sleep. Many underestimate the value of getting a good night's sleep. Sleep deprivation affects your appetite control and can lead to overeating. So it's crucial to obtain a decent night's sleep, preferably in one long session.

  2. Use smaller plates. Studies have linked the size of your plate to the amount of food you eat. While smaller plates make your food portion appear bigger, a bigger plate makes your food portion look smaller so that you add more to your plate. Also, some studies have linked eating from a small plate to experiencing an increased feeling of satiety, which helps with reduced weight gain.

  3. Drink water. Drinking plenty of water is essential to your overall well-being. Studies show that drinking water before eating lowers your hunger levels, which means you eat fewer calories. While you can get water from foods and other types of drink, the most crucial source of water is water itself. So, you should drink more water than beverages or drinks that contain water. This significantly reduces your sugar intake from these beverages and improves the quality of your diet.

  4. Cook your meals. Instead of eating out, try cooking most nights. It's cheaper, and you'll know exactly what's in your food. No unhealthy or high-calorie ingredients are hidden. Also, cooking large portions ensures you have a healthy meal the next day.

Cook your meals - easy tips for healthy eating
  1. Practice embodied eating. One of the top tips for healthy eating at home is to practice embodied eating, which simply means being conscious of what you eat and how you eat it. It involves listening to and obeying your body's cues for when to eat and when to stop eating. The way to do this is to eat slowly and without distractions. This is because it takes 20 minutes for your body to indicate to your brain that you're full. Also, chewing your food slowly has been linked to improved weight control.

Bottom Line

Doing a lifestyle or dietary overhaul at once can be counter-productive. Instead, gradually integrate some easy-to-do tips for healthy eating at home to improve your overall health.

Some tips will help you say no to unhealthy food, while others will help you reduce your calorie intake. However, they all work together for a healthier and more sustainable diet.

About Anthony DiMarino

Anthony DiMarino is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer. He has worked with hundreds of people through counseling, consulting, and coaching to make a difference in their long-term health. You can connect with Anthony on the Kounsel app to start your journey to a healthier life.