Weight Loss versus Health Improvement
Which is more important: losing weight or improving health?
Body mass index (BMI), ideal weight and standard weight are measures used to categorize people as underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. In an idea world everyone falls in the normal weight category, right? Yet that is not the reality. A person’s weight and body fat is influenced by many factors.
● Dietary choices
● Eating habits
● Physical activity
There are even studies about the “obesity paradox”, a phenomenon in which overweight and obese people live longer than people with a normal BMI. Research into why this occurs in older adults and people with chronic diseases is ongoing. However that does not mean a person should embrace being overweight or obese. We know that the extra pounds are linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes, mobility problems and more. Instead, realize that a focus on improving health is most important. As you embrace your Balanced Habits program focus on the health benefits more than weight changes. Engage in healthy behaviors you can make:
● Choose healthier fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds, olive and canola oil
● Have higher fiber foods
● Establish routine meal and snack times
● Replace fast foods and junk food with home prepared foods and fresh fruits and vegetables
● Use a food diary to record when, why and what you eat
● Engage in regular exercise and strength training
● Hang out with friends who make health a priority
You may discover that a change from weight loss to healthy behaviors changes your mindset and decreases your stress level. Weight loss can becomes secondary to the primary goal of being your healthiest self.
Sara Colman Balanced Habits™ Registered Dietician 2018 All Rights Reserved