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April 22, 2022

Is It Easier to Gain or Lose Weight ?

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they may think about working on their weight and overall health. You may be thinking of losing those extra pounds or gaining some weight for a better balance between muscle and fat. However, is it harder to lose weight or gain it? Read on to find out how you can lose or gain weight in a healthy manner and maintain it for the long run.

 

It is easier to gain weight than lose it. Weight gain is caused due to the creation and expansion of adipose tissue or white fat cells. Once formed, weight loss activities can reduce the size of these cells but never eliminate them. This is why it is so easy to gain back lost weight.

 

According to experts, 80% – 95% people who diet tend to gain back the weight they lose. You and your fitness regime may be pushing really hard and you may start seeing that weight melt off. However, just as easily, you may notice some of that weight creeping back pound by pound. Why is that happening? Why can’t you keep these extra pounds off? Let’s explore this in detail

Why Is It Easier to Gain Weight Than Lose It?

It is common knowledge that you have to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. Calories are energy units that are burnt by the body for it to function. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you’re consuming.

 

Most diets rely on the concept of calorie deprivation. When your body is asked to function on lesser calories, it starts burning its internal fat deposits to function. This is what leads to weight loss. This is why you may see better results in the initial days of your weightloss journey. Your body gets smaller and now fewer calories are required to run it.

 

However, there will come a time where you will need to lessen your calorie load even further to ensure you continue losing weight. This is what most dieters struggle with and end up gaining weight back.

 

Exercise supports the process of calorie deprivation but you have to be consistent with your regime and upgrade it as your body changes. There are other factors like your weight set point at play here as well.

What Has Your Weight Set Point Got To Do With Your Weight Loss?

Turns out, you may not be the culprit here but a statistic called your weight point might be  to blame. Your weight set point is the weight your body is programmed to be. It is a culmination of a number of factors such as:

 

  • Your genetics
  • Your hormonal balance
  • Your environment
  • Your behaviors and habits

 

Your metabolism actually aids in maintaining your weight set point. It burns just enough energy and calories to maintain your weight set point even if it may be on the heavier side. That being said, lowering your weight set point is not an impossible task and certain lifestyle changes can help you achieve this.

Reasons Why You’re Gaining Weight Rather Than Losing It

Losing weight and keeping it off is a matter of consistent effort. One misstep and you can be right at the starting line. There are certain lifestyle changes you have to stick to in order to stay within a healthy weight range for your body size.

 

So, what is it that you may be doing that’s preventing you from maintaining or losing weight? Here are a few obvious reasons we can think of and how you can avoid them:

1.   You’re not tracking what you’re eating

Most people don’t pay attention to what and how much they’re eating. Awareness is key in the process of losing weight. You have to be mindful of how many calories you’re consuming and what time of the day you’re consuming them at.

 

You can utilize a diary or a fitness app on your phone to record every meal and snack. A good fitness app will also tell you the calories associated with different food items. This will ensure more knowledgeable food intake.

 

Here is a basic guide on portion size to lose weight and maintain it:

 

Less than 30 kgs weight loss More than 30 kgs weight loss
Foods Male Female Male Female
Cooked Rice ¾ cup ½ cup 1 cup ¾ cup
Cooked Pasta 1 ½ cup 1 cup 2 cups 1 ½ cup
Cooked Meat 120g 90g 150g 120g
Cereal 1 cup ¾ cup 1 ½ cups 1 cup
Fruits 3 x 150g per day 2 x 150g per day 4 x 150g per day 3 x 150g per day
Vegetables 2 ½ cups 2 ½ cups 2 ½ cups 2 ½ cups
Nuts 35g 25g 45g 35g

 

2.   You’re skipping on your proteins

Protein is a great source of energy. Not only that, eating protein can actually suppress hunger and make you feel fuller for longer. It affects the hunger related hormones such as ghrelin directly and helps control cravings.

 

It is best practice to add a protein source like eggs to your breakfast. Research suggests that people who add high protein content to their breakfast tend to have less cravings throughout the day. It’s also crucial in preventing weight regain.

You may also want to read What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss? Our Simple Guide

3.   You’re avoiding lifting weights

Lifting weights is essential for preserving your muscle mass. Letting go of exercise can cause it to burn along with fat. Resistance training not only helps build muscles but it also helps prevent metabolism slowdown. This ensures your body stays toned and muscular.

A related articles is How To Start a Weight Training for Beginners at Home.

4.   You’re drinking sugar

Sugar can be quite sneaky. Not only is it a part of almost every packaged snack we eat, it’s part of our drinks too. Soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi aren’t the only culprits here. Healthier drinks also have a significant amount of sugar content in them.

 

You may think that fruit juices are supposed to be healthy but the truth is, they include a substantial amount of sugar. Drink juices in moderation and stick to simple water whenever necessary.

You may also be interested in Best Green Smoothie Ideas and Recipes for Weight Loss.

5.   You’re not drinking enough water

Water is the ultimate liquid miracle. It boosts the calorie burning process significantly. Not only that, it also ensures you stay full so you eat less during meals.

 

Did you know that oftentimes we may think we’re hungry, but we’re really just thirsty. So, it’s always best to have a glass of water when you get those hunger pangs.

 

Another best practice is to have water before your meal. This will suppress hunger and ensure you eat a healthy portion instead of overeating.

6.   You’re not mindful of your eating habits

 

Believe it or not, the mind space you’re in when you’re eating will affect your weight loss. There is a technique called “mindful eating” which entails you being fully present in the moment when you’re eating.

 

You have to focus all your mental energies towards eating, savoring every bite, and being aware of what you’re putting in the body. This also means you have to chew your food longer as well.

 

When you eat without any distractions and enjoy your meal, you get fuller, faster. Here are some tips you can try to eat more mindfully:

 

  • Eat without any distractions.
  • Chew thoroughly and try to enjoy each taste, texture, flavor, and smell.
  • As soon as you start feeling full, drink a glass of water and stop eating.

You can also read The Ultimate Vegetarian Prep and Grocery List for Weight Loss.

7.   You’ve been on a calorie deficit for too long

Your body needs rest and it needs a change of regime every now and then. If you’ve been dieting and have suddenly hit a plateau. It’s time you took a break. Try giving your body the change it needs by increasing a few calories, changing your weights, or sleeping more.

 

Your aim should be to maintain your weight for a good 1-2 months before you start losing it again.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Can you gain 4lbs in 2 days?

The average human’s weight can fluctuate up to 5-6 pounds per day. This daily weight fluctuation is completely normal and depends on what and how you eat and also your sleep patterns.

2.   Why am I not gaining weight as a teenager?

Growing teens need plenty of Vitamin D, water, minerals and nutrients. It is possible that a teenager is not getting the required nutrition on a daily basis and is underweight.

3.   Why do I weigh less when I wake up?

We weigh less when we wake up in the morning because we are generally dehydrated at that time. All stored water in the body is lost throughout the night and not eating or drinking and eating for 7-8 hours causes our weight to drop.

Final Thoughts

Our bodies are designed to gain weight and that’s why it’s harder to lose weight and maintain it rather than gaining it. With the proper lifestyle changes and routine, anyone can lose excess weight and keep it off.

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Steve


Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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