10 Diet Tips To Avoid Weight Gain For The Rest Of Your Life

by Estelle Low
WEIGHT LOSS  |  October 12, 2017
  • Watch your diet
    1 / 11 Watch your diet

    As you age, your metabolism dips and it becomes increasingly easier to gain weight – fat, to be precise.

    To avoid busting your jeans, keep your eye on this one thing: your diet. In terms of maintaining or losing weight, all experts agree that it’s 70% diet, 30% exercise. Nobody’s asking you to go on a diet, but just watching what you eat, and how you eat, can save you from unwanted calories and weight gain.

    Follow these 10 best practices to eat what you like without putting on weight. No starvation involved.

    Photos: 123rf.com

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  • Avoid fried food (most of the time)
    2 / 11 Avoid fried food (most of the time)

    It’s no secret that eating fried food is one of the biggest weight loss sins. Fried chicken, potato chips, curry puffs… they are all laden with oil. Because they taste so lip-smackingly good, and sometimes contain additives, you’ll yearn for more, and more.

    Honestly, it’s hard to curb those cravings once you let yourself indulge. A better practice: Avoid fried food unless it’s seriously worth the calories. And don’t go overboard when eating. FYI: You’ll have to jog for 45 minutes to burn off the calories from one fried drumstick and one fried chicken thigh.

    (Also read: 26 Ways to Burn Off Your Nasi Lemak Burger Calories)

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  • Cut out sugary drinks
    3 / 11 Cut out sugary drinks

    Another big culprit of weight gain besides fried food: sugar. Added sugar, such as white sugar, is basically empty calories that do nothing for you except increase your calorie intake. The maximum recommended sugar intake is 11 teaspoons a day. And when your body has excess sugar, it gets converted to fat.

    Having two servings of sweetened drinks a day – say a cup of teh and a cup of store-bought soya bean milk – easily adds 10 teaspoons of sugar to your system. And that’s not counting the added sugar in the food we eat, from breakfast cereal to tze char dishes. Even fruits and veggies have naturally-occurring sugars.

    As far as possible, choose plain or naturally flavoured water instead of soft drinks, and avoid adding sugar to tea and coffee. (Also read: How Much Sugar Is In Your Favourite Soft Drinks?)

     

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  • Practise the 80-20 rule
    4 / 11 Practise the 80-20 rule

    If you haven’t heard, the 80-20 rule means eating healthily 80% of the time. That roughly means making good choices five days in a week.

    If you’re the sort who needs to eat something sweet every day, have the minimal portion that satisfies you. No polishing off a whole bag of chips.

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  • Save calories for favourite foods
    5 / 11 Save calories for favourite foods

    Everyone has a food weakness, whether it’s French fries or chocolate fudge cake. The key to managing that is deciding what’s worth eating, and what’s not.

    If you’re more of a sweets person, pass up those savoury chips – even if they look tempting. Dedicate 10 to 20 per cent of your “treat” calories to your favourite desserts. And limit those treats to no more than twice a week.

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  • Don't do cheat days
    6 / 11 Don't do cheat days

    The idea of “cheat days” sets you up for a diet disaster. Just one cheat day a week is enough to overthrow your diet, if you go on an eating spree.

    Can’t stop the cravings? Give in, but do so mindfully. If you really must have chips, keep it to one handful. Want ice cream? Have a few bites instead of finishing the entire scoop. Over time, your body adapts to the reduced portions, and learns to be satisfied with less.

    (Also read: 8 Easy Ways to Curb Your Late Night Cravings)

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  • Know your portions
    7 / 11 Know your portions

    Every strategic eater has an idea of how much they should eat. Very often, you don’t need a full serving of hawker food. Chew more, and as you slow down your eating, you’ll feel satiated before you get to the end of your food.

    When eating out, aim to eat just three-quarters of a standard serving of rice or noodles. You don’t need that much carbs unless you’re doing a long and intense workout later on. Or simply ask for less rice or noodles when ordering.

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  • Choose healthier food options
    8 / 11 Choose healthier food options

    Steamed over fried, plain over gravy, fresh over processed, brown rice over white rice.

    These are the default choices you should be making when shopping or eating out. Start with one habit at a time, and once you discover that healthier food can be tasty, you’ll be open to trying more.

    Check out these yummy brown rice dishes for a start.

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  • Stop snacking for the sake of it
    9 / 11 Stop snacking for the sake of it

    That 4pm craving? It may not be your tummy, but your mind at play.

    The next time you feel like munching on junk food, ask yourself if you are really hungry, or if you just want to take your mind off something stressful. There are many ways to unwind that don’t involve eating.

    And if you’re honestly hungry, have healthy snacks on hand, and make sure you eat filling meals that are high in fibre and protein.

    (Also read: 10 Reasons Why You’re Constantly Hungry)

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  • Choose nutrient-dense foods
    10 / 11 Choose nutrient-dense foods

    When you’re starving, all you want to do is wolf down a bowl of white rice (or two). But that isn’t the best solution to curb your hunger. Simple carbs like white bread and white rice are easily digested and will leave you hungry quickly. Plus, they don’t contain much nutrients except carbs.

    Opt for complex carbs instead, such as brown rice and oatmeal, which are high in fibre and starch that keep you full for longer. Also include tubers like yam, carrots and sweet potatoes in your diet. They are chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which will boost your health.

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  • Drink before eating
    11 / 11 Drink before eating

    When you feel tired, dizzy or light-hearted, your body thinks it’s deprived of food. But very often, thirst gets mistaken for hunger.

    Before digging into a meal, make sure you’re adequately hydrated by drinking a cup of water, so you’re less likely to overeat, or reach for a second helping.

    (Also read: Doing This One Thing Daily Could Be The Secret to Losing Weight)

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