Weight management is about long-term success and healthy lifestyle choices.
Being overweight has a major impact on your health and considering most women are about 10 to 20 pounds overweight, losing this can make a massive difference in your life!
Statistics are showing an ever increasing number for this issue.
Previously there were approximately 65% of Americans over weight and 31% suffering from obesity.
That percentage equaled about one-third of adult Americans: 34.7 million of women and 26.6 million of men.
For children the statistics for over-weight was approximately 15% for children ages 6 through 11 and 15% for children ages 12 through 19 were.
Today those statistics have increased to:
- Over-weight: More than 9 million children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 19 years.
- Americans age 20 and older, 142.0 million are over-weight or obese.
- Of that figure there are approximately 73 million and 69 million women.
- The obesity statistics show approximately 31 million men and 37 million women.
There are so many people in the world today who are unhappy with their weight and the way they look. Some people who are at a healthy weight believe that they need to lose a few pounds, but there is a huge population out there of people who are either over weight or clinically obese.
In order to be healthy, if you are overweight or obese – you need to get down to the weight that is right for your specific body type, not the weight that the model on the front of a popular magazine is. You need to be at your ideal weight…
Because of all the news reports about so many being obese many people are beginning to confuse overweight with obesity.
So the real question is, is there a difference between the two? Let’s make a comparison.
Overweight and Risk Factors
If you are above the healthy weight range for your body type, you are considered to be overweight. It is important even if you are only slightly overweight to change your lifestyle so you can get back to your ideal weight. It can be just a matter of a few pounds that puts you into the obese category which has increased health risks.
Overweight is classified if your body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9. There are various factors that play a role in the body mass index such as your physical activity and muscle composition. You can be in this range and not be over weight if you are very physically active.
If you are over weight and have any of the following risk factors, your health would benefit greatly from weight loss.
- Family history of Heart Disease?
- Do you smoke?
- Is your lifestyle sedentary?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you have high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol?
- Do you have diabetes?
Health Risks of Being Overweight
Research has proven that being over weight or obese increases the risk of many health problems. These can include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack/heart failure
- Gallbladder problems
- Sleep apnea
Health Risks of Being Obese
There are two classifications of obesity, clinical obesity and morbid obesity.
If you are well above the healthy weight range (between 18 and 24 BMI) and above the overweight range (25 to 29 BMI) you are considered to be clinically obese. If you have a BMI of 40 and above you are considered to be morbidly obese.
While being overweight has many health risks, being clinically obese and even worse morbidly obese have many more health risks. If you are obese you should talk to your doctor and devise a plan to get healthy before developing any serious condition.
If you are considered obese, you can add to the health risks above: increased risk of premature death, Type 2 Diabetes, Chronic Venous Insufficiency, Fatty Liver Disease, Deep Vein Thrombosis, breathing problems and arthritis.
Overweight versus Obesity
They are both labels for weight ranges that exceed the considered healthy weight for a given height. However, the biggest difference is obesity has greater health risks which can include premature death.
So both terms identify weight ranges and the increase to various health problems and diseases.
BMI is not always the best determining factor for being overweight or being obese.
An athlete who is 5’9 and weighs 220 pounds would have a high BMI but it would not be because of fat and therefore would not be considered overweight or obese.
To ensure your in good health, if your BMI shows you to be in either one of these categories, you should see your healthcare provider.
Terms and definitions regarding the Body Mass Index.
There are three different types of fats in the body along with lean body mass that make up the body composition.
Body Composition: – this is the make up of body fat and lean body mass.
Lean Body Mass: – this refers to the muscles, tissues and bones in your body that are not considered to be fatty tissues. If you have a high lean body mass you will have a high metabolism and a high rate of losing calories. You can increase your lean body mass by having a regular program of strength training.
Body Fat: – this is a main component of the body’s make up. It is used for storing excess energy, keeping you warm and protecting your organs from harm.
Essential Fat: – is very important to maintaining a healthy body. This fat is stored in your bone marrow, central nervous system, muscles and organs. For a man, the essential fat takes up about 3 percent of his weight. For a woman, the essential fat takes up about 12 percent of her weight. The major difference is gender specific fat found in breasts, pelvis, thighs and hips.
Storage Fat: – this fat builds up on the inside of your body and is used to protect you inner organs from injury. Most women and men have close to the same amount of storage fat. Storage fat is what increases when you gain excess fat and weight. Therefore if you are losing weight this is the fat that you will want to get rid of but you do not want to get rid of it all, it still has an important role in protecting your organs.
This chart is published by the USDA and lists weight ranges for adults. These ranges are general and apply to men and women.
Various issues can affect your weight such as caloric intake, type of foods you eat, your age and health condition, how you use food, your physical fitness, your genetic makeup and your physiologic makeup.
Being overweight (and especially if you are obese) can cause some serious damage to your health… take the time to get healthy now and enjoy life!
The body mass index (BMI) determines the degree of your excess body weight. The guidelines are also set up to determine if you’re fit, overweight, or obese.
Make A Commitment
It will take your commitment for lifelong weight loss changes. The changes that you make have to be because YOU want to make them. Trying to please someone else doesn’t usually work! Make the changes for you!
Be proactive! Realize that you need to deal with any problems you are facing right now that may distract you. Making lifestyle changes will involve a great deal of physical and mental energy.
Do you eat when you aren’t hungry or do you turn to food for comfort when you’re stressed? Emotional eating and eating disorders are becoming more prominent every day. If you feel you have an issue with either one, please consult your doctor.
Remember life doesn’t stop happening because we want to change it. Things will happen that may cause you to overeat or not exercise one day. Address whatever the issues are that got you off track… then get right back on track and forgive yourself.
Just remember the benefits of your decision to do this. You’ll feel better, look better and be healthier! Stay focused on the long term goals.
Setting goals, for me, is the hardest part of doing this. You have made the decision to lose weight, but you want to do it now, not have to wait!
Losing two to three pounds per week is the healthy way. Work towards this. Make sure you’re getting enough calories to sustain your health. Then add exercising to help you burn the calories.
Set your goals to be “doable.” Otherwise you’ll get frustrated trying to set a goal that doesn’t work for you. Start with eating right and exercising instead of concentrating on “pounds.” Make your weight management changes one at a time.
Some of my personal tips for goal setting are:
- First week: Give up two foods that are “junk foods” or “sweets” and replace them with something healthy. Plan two days to exercise, exercise can be walking for 15 to 30 minutes, or whatever you like to do.
- Second week: Give up two more foods that aren’t healthy and replace them with something healthy. Plan three days to exercise. Check your portion sizes, are you in control?
- Third week: Give up three more foods and replace them with healthy foods. Plan to exercise three days but try for a fourth day.
Setting your goals can be that simple and easy to do.
Have a daytime planner you use or a monthly calendar? … Then all you need to do is schedule it on that. You can use that to track what you eat and when you exercise. This is a good reference for you to see what you have accomplished and to set the next week’s goals.
If you do better by planning more long term goals with the short term goals… then plan them out for weekly, monthly and for six months. Remember to make them doable!
Balanced Diet and Exercise Plan
You can lose weight slowly on a healthy diet alone…but if you walk briskly for 30 minutes each day/4 days a week, you can double your rate of weight loss.
You need a healthy balanced diet especially when you reduce calories. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up good food or taste. You’re simply going to replace some of the “empty calorie” and high fat foods with more healthy foods.
Keep your caloric intake at 1200 calories per day or more if required for your personal needs. Otherwise you lose the nutrients your body needs to maintain good health.
If you haven’t been physically active, start your exercise slowly and gradually increase your pace.
Living A Healthy Lifestyle
Although losing weight is your goal, remember…to keep the weight off you must make changes that will work long-term. Weight management strategies are the key to changing your habits, losing weight and maintaining that weight loss.
It takes planning and patience to implement a good habit. Don’t expect everything to happen over night and don’t get discouraged if you get off track.
Keep on track and stay motivated using healthy dietary strategies.
Dieting tips aren’t just for dieters! They’re a good reminder to help us maintain a healthy weight and stay fit!
Make small changes to start with. Changing what you eat and your physical activity will take some adjustment. Strive each day to make a change… but don’t get anxious and try to do it all at once.
Health is your priority, not your appearance. That will come as you lose weight. Focus on a healthy weight.
A healthy diet is a lifestyle change. Don’t look at this as a “diet,” but as a habit you’re changing for a lifetime. Enjoy all foods, control your portions and don’t overdo it.
Get Active and Fit
The more active you are, the less you have to worry about calories and weight. No matter what age you are or what shape you’re in, you can still walk. Even if you can only walk 10 minutes at a time, that’s moving. Just start doing it and keep going. Before you know it you’ll be walking 30 minutes a day….and be on your way to other activities you’ll enjoy!
Choose Healthy Foods
Start eating your fruits and veggies! They help keep you full and are very healthy. Use whole wheat products, and drink a lot of water. You may want to eat more often and smaller portions to help you get past the hunger cravings. If you’re used to eating three meals a day, start eating smaller portions, and add good snacks in between meals and after dinner.
We tend to overeat and eat when we’re not hungry. Most of this comes from stress, boredom, anger or frustration to name a few. When you’re feeling emotional… go do something physical. The urge to eat will pass as you get your mind off of it. Very important dieting tip, for physical and emotional health.
We live in a fast paced world. Too often we’re use to short lunch breaks and wolfing our food down! Try to take 20 minutes to eat your meals. It takes your brain that long to register with your stomach that you’re full. Also, put your fork down in between bites, take the time to chew and savor your food before considering the next bite.
Eat In The Kitchen or Dining Room
Avoid eating in front of the TV or while you’re busy with other activities. Eating in the kitchen helps you start a new habit that will help you stop focusing on food everywhere in the house. It also helps you pay attention to what you are eating so you fully enjoy the smell and taste of your foods.
Don’t skip Breakfast!
Breakfast jump-starts your day, gives you energy and boosts your metabolism. Try to always have breakfast!
Use smaller plates
When you start eating smaller portions, your plate seems much emptier. If you use a smaller plate, it’ll be full and you won’t feel you’re being deprived of food.
Alcohol is loaded with calories.
Only grocery shop when you’re full. That eliminates impulsive buying of less healthy choices. Also, plan a grocery list and stick to it.
Read Nutrition Labels
Just because it says low fat or low calorie doesn’t mean it is. Always check your nutrition labels for products you aren’t sure about.
Our body needs water! Drink a large glass of water before your meal. It’s filling and healthy.
Chew your calories, don’t drink them. Instead of juice have fruit.
Instead of mayonnaise use mustard.
Eat Low-Calorie Items First
Fill up on veggies, salads and broth soups first. You’ll save a lot of calories by eating less of the starches and meat.
If you’re going to weigh yourself, only do it once a week. Your daily weight changes and won’t be accurate.
Dieting tips are always simple. But…we get focused on the actual weight loss, and forget dieting tips we’ve known for years.
Beware of myths around diet and weight loss. There are many unfounded diet myths out there and they can be harmful to your health.
Learn the difference between diet myths and the facts about nutrition.
Following the wrong information can impact your weight loss and possibly damage your health.
Choosing better health through good nutrition and fitness is one of the best gifts we give ourselves.
Most people don’t come close to eating a healthy diet.
They think they are, but a lot of times they are victims of misleading fad diets.
Cravings are in your head!
When you’re really craving something, you should go ahead and have a small portion. Denying yourself usually only leads to binging on it later and a lot more calories.
Cut More Calories, You’ll Lose Weight Faster
Cut your calories too far (under 1,200 a day), and your metabolism will quickly decrease. Choose the right foods and keep your caloric intake where it should be, you’ll actually lose the weight quicker. This diet myth is very unhealthy!
Eliminate Fat From Your Diet
Your body needs 50 grams of fat each day. You don’t want to eliminate fat completely from your diet. Instead choose healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil, and avocados.
Eggs Cause High Blood Cholesterol
The wrong fats consumed regularly are responsible for blood cholesterol. Research shows saturated and trans-fats increase the risks for certain diseases such as heart disease. Good fats and omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk.
Exercise Makes You Lose Weight, Diets aren’t Needed
Exercise is an essential part of a healthy weight loss, but it’s not completely sufficient on its own. Healthy eating, calorie reduction and portion control with exercise helps you lose the weight and keep it off.
Grapefruit, Celery, and Cabbage Burn Fat
No foods burn fat. Some may speed up your metabolism, but they do not cause weight loss. Healthy eating, calorie reduction and exercise helps you lose the weight.
Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight
Skipping meals can actually make you heavier then people that eat less but more often. When you get hungry, you’re more tempted to binge.
Eliminating Food Groups to Lose Weight
Some diets emphasize eliminating some foods or food groups. This isn’t healthy eating, as the body needs all of the nutrients from the food pyramid groups.
You Can’t Get Protein Without Meat
Our body requires thirty grams of protein daily. Dairy products and meat contain too much fat and sodium. Vegetables and fruits are inadequate providers of protein. Nuts, grains, legumes and oils have complete proteins.
Eating Late At Night Causes Food to Turn To Fat
Our body processes calories the same all the time. The problem with eating late at night is the type of food we choose to eat such as popcorn, ice cream, and brownies etc. An after dinner snack is healthy, choose fruits, vegetables or low-fat yogurt, and enjoy.
Vegetarian Diets are Healthier and You Lose Weight Faster
People who choose a vegetarian diet usually consume less calories and fat. Selecting a vegetarian diet that is low fat may assist in weight loss, but vegetarians can choose foods that add to weight gain. The diet needs to be balanced and the nutrients lost from not eating animal products will need to be supplemented. These nutrients are iron, calcium, Vitamins D and B12, and zinc.
You Shouldn’t Eat Between Meals
Snacking on healthy choices is good for you. It prevents you from getting over-hungry, it can boost your metabolism, and it keeps you from binging or over eating.
Fat-free food is usually lower in calories, but many have just as many calories. Check the Nutrition Facts Label on the product. A little fat is healthy, it helps you eat less and gives you that full feeling longer.
If You Eat Fat-free Foods, You can Eat as Much as You want
Eliminate Dairy Products
Cheese, nonfat and low-fat milk, and yogurt are nutritious, and have many nutrients our body needs. Calcium, protein and Vitamin D are important nutrients that we get from dairy products.
Be aware of diet myths from unknown sources. They can be very common in fad diets. Always check the nutritional facts from a trusted source.
Diet Myths are potentially dangerous to your health!
You’re making long term, positive changes one day at a time that will result in a healthy lifestyle! Just stay consistent and stick to your goals!