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How to Prevent Weight Gain Without Dieting

Why It's Not What You Eat That Causes Weight Gain

Do you weigh the same that you did a year ago? 10 years ago? Even if the rest of you is getting better with age, there's one part of ourselves that definitely isn't — our metabolisms. The result: an average of a gain of a pound a year after age 20. While a pound a year doesn't sound like much, it can lead to being overweight later in life and increasing your risk of diseases like breast cancer and stroke. Here's what you can do to stop the weight creep.

  1. Move more: A recent study found that lack of exercise, not calorie intake, may be the culprit when it comes to gradual weight gain. Researchers analyzed data from the last 20 years and found that lack of physical activity correlated with higher body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake didn't. So if you want to prevent gradual weight gain, make sure that you're getting the minimum amount of exercise per week: 150 minutes to stay healthy, or 300 minutes a week to maintain your weight.
  2. Grab weights: One reason why our metabolism slows as we age is because we lose more muscle mass. To make sure that yours stays revved up, make sure that you're incorporating a strength-training routine into your week at least twice a week. You don't even need weights — here are the best body-weight exercises you can do anywhere.
  3. Stop with the extras: There's no need to cut out all the "bad" foods in your diet, but if you're noticing that your weight seems to gradually creep up over the years, being smart about those extra tastes and empty calories can add up to major calorie savings throughout the year.
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