5 Ways to Stop From Becoming Obese, Say Doctors — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, with more than one-third of adults and one-fifth of children considered obese. It can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent obesity. In this article, we’ll discuss five ways to stop from becoming obese, according to doctors. We’ll also provide tips on how to make healthier food choices, such as “eat this, not that.” By following these tips, you can take control of your health and reduce your risk of obesity.

5 Ways to Stop From Becoming Obese, Say Doctors — Eat This Not That

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and it’s important to take steps to prevent it. Doctors recommend these five tips to help you stay healthy and avoid becoming obese.

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your meals. Avoid processed and sugary foods, as these can lead to weight gain.

2. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is key to staying fit and healthy. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This can include walking, running, swimming, or any other type of exercise that you enjoy.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. This will help you feel more energized and less likely to overeat.

4. Avoid Stress Eating

Stress eating can lead to weight gain. Try to find healthier ways to cope with stress, such as talking to a friend or taking a walk. This will help you avoid overeating when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

5. Monitor Your Weight

Monitoring your weight can help you stay on track with your health goals. Weigh yourself regularly and keep track of your progress. This will help you stay motivated and make sure you’re not gaining too much weight.

Obesity—defined as a BMI (body mass index) over 30—is a worldwide crisis. And it might be hitting uncomfortably close to home: A whole bunch of us may be stepping on the scale or taking a good look in the mirror after a year of pandemic-related lockdowns and thinking: What have I done? And what can I do to change it?

It turns out that even before the pandemic, the traditional way of weight loss—cut calories, amp up exercise—wasn’t really working. That’s because it overemphasizes eating less, period, instead of eating more really good food that won’t make you gain weight. “A high-quality diet will almost automatically lead to better calorie control—you’re going to be eating foods with higher satiety,” says JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of preventive medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, a contributor to the new documentary Better, which explains how Americans can turn back the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

Like many, you may be carrying around a few more pounds than you’d prefer right now, but there are some easy, science-backed steps you can take to prevent obesity. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

stepping on scale weight loss

“One of the best ways to stop obesity is to prevent slow, creeping weight gain that can occur over an extended period,” says Kirsten Davidson, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research at Boston College. “We are all vulnerable to this if we are not vigilant. In today’s environment, it is easy to consume 100 to 200 calories beyond what your body needs on a daily basis—this could be two cookies, for example—but over an extended period, this leads to weight gain.”

Davidson’s advice: Weigh yourself daily, or at least once a week. Track that information over time. “If your weight is on an upward trajectory, then you need to make lifestyle changes,” she says. Davidson adds one caveat: Although that strategy works well for many people, it may not work for those who have an emotional relationship to food and weight. Checking in with a healthcare provider may be needed.

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guilty diet

As discussed in Better, experts have seen the frustration of many dieters who pound away hours on a treadmill and endure low-calorie diets to little or no effect. That’s because the body seems able to suss out when it’s being deprived, so it downshifts metabolism to keep things stable. The net effect: You don’t lose weight, and may even gain more. 

“There is evidence that metabolism changes as part of an evolutionary adaptation to starvation and the body sensing the reduction in calories,” says Manson. “You don’t want the body to feel deprived, because it is going to make changes in metabolism that will sabotage your efforts to control your weight.”

The hack: Satisfy your body, don’t punish it. Eat foods “that lead to satiety, that lead to emotional well-being and that have the nutrition your body needs,” says Manson. To find out what some of those foods are, read on.

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paleo nuts

“A high-quality eating plan is something like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil, while being low in red meat, processed meats and processed foods,” says Manson.

The key: Focus on nutritious foods that will fill you up, not high-calorie processed foods that won’t. For example, when snacking, reach for a handful of nuts instead of chips. Nuts are nutrient-dense and rich in good fats that will satiate you, not leave you feeling hungry or queasy. “It leads to satisfaction,” says Manson. “As opposed to, after you’ve had three donuts, you might feel really sick.”

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tart cherry glazed brussels sprouts
Courtesy of Love and Olive Oil

Snacking on non-starchy vegetables and fruits that are low in fructose can be very satisfying, while preventing the blood sugar spikes and crashes that starches and sugars can stoke. Manson suggests brussels sprouts or broccoli for a side dish, or for snacking, putting together a bag of mixed vegetables with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. Lower-fructose fruits include berries, apples, pears and strawberries.

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Asian women exercising in bed in the morning

It’s important to include resistance exercise as part of your activity plan. “Exercises that lead to increased muscle mass are a way to boost your metabolism,” says Manson. “They’re also really good for your health in terms of improving bone health, bone density, and greater muscle mass is important for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

She adds: “It doesn’t require that you have an exercise ritual or routine. But just trying to maintain an active lifestyle—being outdoors, walking, taking stairs, doing some resistance activities and avoiding prolonged sitting—are all really important to good health.” And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.