Some people are simply predisposed to weight gain, either due to genetics or a medical condition such as hypothyroidism. In many cases, though, it is possible to prevent obesity by following some rules regarding health and lifestyle; for instance, staying physically active and eating a healthy diet are two ways that are the most often recommended and most effective to prevent obesity. Weight loss and getting in shape requires patience and hard work, but taking steps for prevention of extreme weight gain is one of the best ways to avoid illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or even certain cancers.
Diet is one of the most important ways to prevent obesity. This means making healthy food choices and striving for a balance of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean sources of protein like fish and chicken; conversely, it also means avoiding junk food as much as possible, and foods high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Many prepared and packaged foods are poor choices because they are high in preservatives and salt. In addition, eat meals slowly, placing the fork down between bites, and keep track of portion sizes to avoid eating large helpings of food. Some people find that eating five small meals throughout the day rather than three larger meals helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and maintain a healthy weight; this is far preferable to starving oneself throughout the day and only eating one or two large meals, which will actually encourage the body to store fat.
Physical fitness is another one of the most important ways to prevent obesity. Experts recommend that you strive for 30 minutes of exercise per day, which does not need to happen all at once. For example, some people find that they can exercise twice a day for 15 minutes per session, or even three times a day for 10 minutes per session. A combination of aerobic and strength exercise is important; some people choose to join a gym, while others simply exercise at home or outdoors in the local neighborhood. In addition, look for ways to be more active throughout the day, such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
There are a few other good lifestyle habits that can help to prevent obesity. Drinking water throughout the day, rather than sugary sodas, is one of the best and easiest ways to stay healthy. In addition, it is important to get enough sleep at night; try for at least six to eight hours. Reduce stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. Weigh yourself once a week to keep track of your weight, and address any health concerns with your doctor at a yearly appointment.