It’s hard to focus on weight management when there is information-overload everywhere; quick gimmicks, diets, fads, prescriptions, and even surgical procedures.
It makes you ask yourself, what’s really important?
The short answer: Weight management is a lifestyle. It’s committing to a balanced and healthy diet, and practicing consistent exercise habits.
So clear your head of all the clutter. According to Web MD, it’s important to pay attention to the four main components below. We’re going to dive into each one’s importance so you can reflect on your own health and make the lifestyle adjustments best for you.
- Waist size
- Exercise habits
When was the last time you checked your BMI? Middle school gym class? It’s time for a checkup.
BMI stands for body mass index. Your BMI takes your height and weight into consideration to mathematically equate an overall score. Why is BMI important? According to the American Heart Association, “BMI is an indicator of the amount of body fat for most people. It is used as a screening tool to identify whether an adult is at a healthy weight.”
Head over to the American Heart Association body mass index calculator, and evaluate where you are in accordance with the BMI standards below:
- Underweight: Less than 18.5.
- Recommended range: 18.5-25.
- Overweight: 25-29.9.
- Obese: 30+.
2. Waist Size
Reminder: Your waist size is the circumference in inches around your stomach, starting at the top of your hipbone. It tells you how much fat you have stored around your belly.
What are healthy waist sizes?
- Men: Less than 40 inches.
- Women: Less than 35 inches.
Note: BMI and waist size are only the standard numbers to be used as a guide. If your numbers aren’t “normal,” that does not mean you are unhealthy, overweight, or obese if you are eating right and exercising, according to WebMD.
We’re not talking about “a diet”. Short-term solutions can be dangerous, and we don’t suggest them. As one of our four weight management pillars, we’re defining “diet” as the kinds of food you regularly eat.
Here’s a list of what to look for to get the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your body needs:
Good fats: Avocados, nuts, olives, shellfish, non-tropical vegetable oils.
4. Exercise habits
Regular exercise is another main component of weight management. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Evidence shows the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity.” Shoot for 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to belong to an expensive gym to get in your muscle training and aerobic activity. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- At-home YouTube videos.
- Hiking or biking at a local or state park.
- Yard work like shoveling snow, gardening, or raking up leaves.
- A good old-fashioned, hands-and-knees scrub-down of the house.
Just make sure to get your heart rate up, and break a sweat.
Why does weight management matter?
Having a healthy weight impacts your overall health. According to the CDC, “People who are obese, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions.”
Some of which include:
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Heart disease.
- Some cancers.
Health and wealth go hand in hand. Having diseases that stem from obesity can mean a spike in medical bills and the possibility of being held back from enjoying life’s experiences to the fullest.
According to the Lancet, in the United States alone, annual medical costs from treating obesity-related disorders is projected to be $28 billion per year by the year 2020 and $66 billion by the year 2030.
We want to provide you with the knowledge to add more years to your life and more life to your years. Let this motivate you to start practicing good habits and getting into healthy routines. Focus on what you’re already doing well, and build from that.
What are some of the ways you are already practicing good weight management? What goals would you like to set for yourself for further improvement?
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