Wondering How To Tackle Weight Gain ?

weight gain

Obesity Diagnosis:

We usually jump to treating or managing weight gain- and forget the critical step before that- To Diagnose it!

If the BMI (>25 kg/m2) is in the over weight range, your health care provider will typically review our health history in detail, perform a physical exam and recommend some tests.

Health History

  • The physician may review your weight history, weight-loss efforts, exercise habits, medications, stress levels, eating patterns and other issues about your health.

Physical Examination

  • Involves measuring your height; checking vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, also listening to your heart and lungs, and examination of the abdominal area.
  • Calculating  BMI to determine your grade of obesity which must be done at least once in a year.
  • Measuring your waist circumference. Fat stored around our waist, called visceral fat or abdominal fat, further increase your risk of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • The Hip Circumference is measured and the Waist to Hip Ratio is also calculated
  • Women whose  waist circumference measures more than 35 inches (80 centimetres) and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches (102 cm) have more health risks than do people with smaller waist measurements.
  •  Like the BMI measurement, our waist circumference should be checked at least once a year.
  • Blood tests are pretty much important to know about the current parameters. Tests include a lipid panel, liver function tests, fasting glucose levels, thyroid test etc
  • Physician may also  recommend certain heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram. etc

Let’s know about the diet needed to manage:

  • There is no  secret that the number of calories people consume  and drink has a direct impact on their weight:
  • By consuming the same number of calories that the body burns over time, and weight remains unchanged. If we consume more than the body burns, weight increases.
  • As we all know that Low-fat diets have long been always touted  as the key to a healthy weight and to good health.
  • Over the last 30 years in the U.S., the percentage of calories obtained from fat in people’s diets has gone down, but obesity rates have not decreased rather increased.
  • Clinical trials have found that following a low-fat diet does not cause that much weight loss than following a moderate- or high-fat diet.

 Do you know?

  • It is seen that those who follow moderate- or high-fat diets lose just as much weight and in some studies a bit more, as those who follow low-fat diets.
  • And when it comes to disease prevention, low-fat diets don’t appear to contribute  any special benefits. 
  • Problem is that with low-fat diets they are often high in carbohydrate, like  rapidly digested sources, such as white bread and white rice and may increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Higher protein diets definitely seem to have some advantages for weight loss, though more so in short-term trials but in case of  in longer term studies, high-protein diets seem to perform equally well as other types of diets.
  • High-protein diets are generally tend to be low in carbohydrate and high in fat,
  • so, it is difficult to keep apart the benefits of eating lots of protein from those of eating more fat or less carbohydrate. 
  • Lower carbohydrate, higher protein diets have shown to contribute some weight loss advantages in the short term.
  • Yet when it comes to preventing weight gain and chronic disease, carbohydrate quality is much more important than maintaining carbohydrate quantity.
  • Do we know that milled, refined grains and white rice, white bread, white pasta, processed breakfast cereals are rich in rapidly digested carbohydrate?
  • They have a high glycaemic index and glycaemic load.
  • Such foods cause fast increases in blood sugar and insulin that, in the short term, can cause hunger to spike and can lead to overeating and increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease

Dietary Patterns, Portions, and Weight

Diet Patterns

  • People generally don’t eat nutrients or foods in isolation.
  • They eat meals that fall into an overall eating pattern, and researchers have begun exploring whether particular diet or meal patterns help with weight control or contribute to weight gain.

Portion Size:

  • Portion sizes have also increased drastically over the past 30 years , as has consumption of fast food-U.S. children,
  • consume a greater percentage of calories from fast food than they do from school food and these trends are also thought to be a major contributors to the obesity .

Dietary Patterns and weight gain.

Dietary  patterns-diets that includes whole grains, vegetables, and fruits-seem to protect against weight gain

Western  dietary patterns-with more amount of red meat or processed meat, sugary drinks, sweets, refined carbohydrates, have been linked to obesity.

It is also linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic .conditions.

Following a Mediterranean-style diet, well-documented to protect against chronic disease, appears to be promising for weight control, too.

The traditional Mediterranean-style diet is higher in fat (about 40 % calories) than the typical American diet (34 % calories), buthere  most of the fat comes from olive oil .

The diet here  is rich in fruits, vegetables,beans, nuts and fish.

A 2008  review found that in most studies, people who followed a Mediterranean-style diet had comparatively lower rates of obesity or more weight loss.

Breakfast, Meal Frequency, Snacking, and Weight


A little evidence showed that  skipping breakfast increases the risk of weight gain and obesity, though the evidence is stronger in children, especially teens, than it is in adults.

The frequency of meals and snacking in between have increased over the last 30 years in the U.S.

 On average, children get 27 %of daily calories from snacks mainly  from desserts and sugary drinks, and increasingly from salty snacks and candy.

 But there have been conflicting results  on the relationship between meal frequency, snacking, and weight control, and more research is needed.

Portion Sizes and Weight

Short-term studies clearly indicates   that when people are served larger portions, they tend to eat more.

In a study, they tested on movie goers hence gave them few  containers of stale popcorn in either large or medium-containers .

eople concluded that they did not like the taste of the popcorn, those who received large containers ate about 30 % more popcorn than those who received medium-sized containers.

In a different study, it’s shown that people who were given larger beverages tended to drink more, but did not decrease their subsequent food consumption.

 Another study also provided evidence that when provided with larger portion sizes, people tended to eat more.

Fast Food and Weight

  • Fast food which are in large portions, low prices, high palatability, and high sugar content, and there’s evidence in teens and adults that frequent fast-food consumption contributes to weight gain.
  • A study followed 3,000 young adults for 13 years.
  •  People who had more amount of fast-food-intake levels at the start of the study weighed an average of about 13 pounds more than the people who had lower  fast-food-intake levels.
  • They also had larger waist circumferences and greater increases in triglycerides level.

Healthy Diet Can manage  Weight Gain and Chronic Disease

There’s increasing evidence that the food choices and diet patterns that help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions may help to prevent weight gain:

  • Try to select minimally processed, whole foods-whole grains, nuts, healthful sources of protein (fish, poultry, beans), and plant oils.
  • We must try to limit sugared beverages, refined grains, potatoes, red meats, and other highly processed foods like  fast food.

Since people’s food choices are usually shaped by their surroundings, it’s imperative for governments to promote policy that makes healthy foods more accessible and decrease the availability and marketing of fast foods/unhealthful foods.

Exercise and activity

Increased physical activity or exercise is an essential part of obesity management.

To boost our  activity level:

  •  People who are obese must do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week consisting of medium paced physical activity to prevent further weight gain or to maintain.
Keep moving.
  • Regular  aerobic exercises is the most efficient way to burn calories and shed excess weight.
  • Please do remember that any extra movement helps burn calories.
  • Try to make simple changes throughout your day can add up to big benefits.
 Try to do little things that ultimately create havoc effects
  • Park far from store gate
  • Doing up our household chores
  • Gardening
  • Get up and move around periodically
  • Wear a Tracker fitness device or pedometer to track how many steps we actually take over the course of a day.

Behavioural changes

A behaviour modification program can help you make lifestyle changes and lose weight and keep it off.

Behaviour modification, called behaviour therapy, like:

  • Counselling.
  • Therapy can help to understand why  we overeat and learn healthy ways to cope with anxiety.
  • We can also learn how to monitor our diet and activity, understand eating triggers, and try to cope with food cravings.
  • Therapy can happen on both an individual and group basis.
Support groups. 
  • We can find support groups where others share similar challenges with obesity.
  • Also check with our doctor, local hospitals or commercial weight-loss programs for support groups in our area, such as Weight Watchers.

Few Home remedies for obesity management are:

  • Try adding fresh whole fibre fruits in our diet and tomatoescarrots, and dark leafy vegetables to our daily diet and keep your stomach full throughout the day.
  • These vegetables are low in calories and good for your health.
  • Green tea is one of the most effective remedies for metabolism that helps in fat loss.
  • Try to include  2-3 cups of green tea in your daily basis.
  • Many of us avoid exercising on a daily basis. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity or over-weight.
  • Exercise helps burn up extra body fat and keeps us  healthy. Hence, it is the time to start doing exercise on a daily basis.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey and lemon juice in a glass of warm water and have this mixture every day in the morning which will boost metabolism.
  • We can add Mint leaves into your daily diet in the form of peppermint tea. We can also chew them after our meals.
  • Apple cider vinegar is also  effective in breaking down  our body fat. A mixture of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm /normal water and sip  every day on empty stomach 30 mins prior meal.


Obese individuals who have more weight have the potential to place a significant amount of stress on their ankles, knees, hips and lower back.  

According to Stacie Schmidt of the American College of Sports Medicine, obese beginners must try for low impact first.

 As we know that Jogging is stressful on our joints if you carry excess weight and increase our risk of injury

Low-Impact Cardio

  • Cardio exercises are effective for burning calories and contributing to a fat loss.
  • There is an innumerable cardio exercise that we can start with like, walking, cycling, swimming and water aerobics.
  • Try taking five minutes at the beginning of your cardio workout to warm up and then another five minutes at the end of our session to gradually decrease the intensity and allow our body to safely return to resting levels. 

Strength Training

  • Strength training builds lean muscle and increases your metabolic rate so we can burn more calories throughout the day.
  • A full-body routine includes exercises like seated chest press, lat pulldown, shoulder press, leg press, leg extensions and leg curls. We can even do some strengthening exercises free hand.
  • Try doing twice strength training workouts per week, and begin with two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise depends on our capacity.
Daily Activity

The ACSM I.e. American College of Sports Medicine put a recommendation that taking the stairs instead of using an escalator or lab elevator any time we  can, parking our car farther from the door and incorporating short walks into our lunch hour and throughout the  work day.

What do you think?

Written by Subarna Ghosal

Subarna Ghosal, a graduate and postgraduate in Food and Nutrition from the University Of Calcutta and also a Certified Diabetes Educator from. Dr Mohan's Academy (NDEP), worked as a nutritionist, lifestyle Counsellor and also has specialization in Sports Nutrition and Pediatric Nutrition from IAPEN (The Indian Association Of parenteral and Enteral Nutrition)believes in making and creating permanent lifestyle changes which are Specific, measurable, attributable and easily achievable. My main motto in the nutrition field is to spread awareness among people about the complications of the diseases and how we can manage or treat by homemade lifestyle changes.
I love some quotes which boost me up a lot.
"Self Discipline is the key to good health"
"10,000 steps a day make a man healthy fit and fine"
"Take deeper breaths any time of the day to calm our mind"
"Drink at least 8litres of water a day"
"Stay always focussed on the important things in life"
"Try to start your day with a positive mind"
"Keep on listening to motivational videos at least one in a day"

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