Weight Management Home: Basics
The Duchess of Windsor once said, 'You can never be too rich or too thin.' We can't speak to the part about being rich, but many Americans are fixated on the idea of being thin. We have
reason to dwell on the topic of weight. More than half of US adults are overweight and of that number, about one-quarter are obese.
|Many people don't like carrying extra pounds because of the effect on appearance. However, the danger to health is actually more worrisome than the image in the mirror. The truth is that the more overweight you are, the greater your risk for health problems.
You may know you need to lose weight, but sometimes it is tough to get started. Your doctor will work with you in developing a weight management plan in the context of other important health decisions.
The doctor may ask the following questions:
- Do you have a personal or family history of heart disease?
- Are you a man older than age 45 or a woman past menopause?
- Do you smoke cigarettes?
- Do you have a sedentary lifestyle?
- Lose weight to reduce risk for hypertension and heart disease
- Keep a food diary. It can help you lose weight.
- Choose a weight loss program that retains nutrients, includes maintenance
- Go slow and steady;target no more than 1 pound loss per week.
Has your doctor told you that you have:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal blood lipids (high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high trygylcerides)?
Additionally, your doctor may look at tools that help to evaluate your weight.
How Much Weight Should You Lose?
First of all, if you are overweight, loss of 5 to 15 percent of your body weight may improve many of the problems linked to being overweight, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. You usually do not have to reach your ideal weight to get the health benefits. In fact, the American Dietetic Association suggests goals be based on achieving the best weight possible in the context of overall health. Achieving an ideal Body Mass Index is not always realistic or desirable.
Slow and steady weight loss of no more than one pound per week is the safest way to lose weight. Your goal should be to lose about 10 percent of your weight over about six months. For people with BMIs in the range of 25 to 35, this means a decrease in 300 to 500 calories per day. This will result in a weight loss of between one-half to one pound per week. So if you weigh 200 pounds,
your goal is 20 pounds in six months.
You Don't Have To Lose It All Today
There is a temptation to take drastic measures to lose lots of weight quickly once you know you are overweight. This is a mistake. If you lose weight really quickly, you are likely to lose muscle rather than fat and also increase your chances of developing other health issues such as gout and gallbladder problems.
Weight Loss Isn't Simple But Understanding Can Help
Researchers are working now at understanding the many factors that influence what a person weighs and how weight is gained and lost. We'd like this to be simple, but sometimes it isn't. For example recent research indicates that a person's genetic makeup as well as cultural influences can play a role in obesity. No single theory can explain our weight, nor can any single theory be applied to all individuals. Some theories about weight relate to factors that influence hunger and appetite. Other theories relate to how the body uses food, the effects of physical activity and the individual resting rate of metabolism. It is true, however, that both a person's genes and environment seem to influence weight. Every person processes food differently.
What If You've Lost This 20 Pounds Before?
Many people gain and lose weight in 'yo-yo' fashion throughout their lives. With each cycle it takes longer to lose the same amount of weight and less time to regain it. For people who gain and lose in this way, maintenance may be the key to permanent weight loss along with a well-planned and appropriate exercise program. For many people, once the exercise component is in place, making good food choices becomes more of a way of life and weight becomes easier to manage.
You'll Need Support and Tools to Help
As you lose weight, you'll need encouragement and support in order to continue losing or to maintain a healthy weight once you've reached your goal. Some weight loss programs include support groups. Or you may find support through other more informal groups in your community.
Using the lifeclinic.com Nutrition and Fitness diary will help you stay the course when it comes to weight loss. Over time you can see your progress charted vividly on a graph. You can get a nutrition summary for your whole day as well as a summary for your fitness activities. This means you get immediate
and long-term feedback to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. lifeclinic.com will give you information and tools to support you in your desire to lose and maintain a healthy weight.