Tips For Weight Control
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) it is important to aim for a healthy weight. There are numerous known medical complications of obesity, namely coronary heart disease, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver and cancer.
One way to determine whether you are at risk is to compute your body mass index (BMI). BMI is an indicator of total body fat. Although it has some limitations, generally a BMI of 25 and above is considered overweight. To calculate your body mass index, you can go to http //www.nhlbi.nih.gov. Next, try to determine your waist circumference by wrapping an ordinary measuring tape around your waist. A waist circumference of over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Other risk factors include having LDL cholesterol (“lousy cholesterol”), high triglycerides, high blood glucose, physical inactivity and smoking. All of these factors can influence your risk of developing obesity-related diseases.
The good news is that even a small amount of weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) can help lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity according to the NHLBI. The following are some weight reduction strategies
1. Keep a food journal. A recent study from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research found that writing down what you eat each day can help you identify your food triggers and eating style.
2. Engage in physical activity for 30-60 minutes each day of moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, on most and preferably all days of the week to prevent weight gain. Consider purchasing a pedometer as well as increasing your lifestyle activities. Taking the stairs, doing yard work are activites that can help improve your fitness.
3. Set “SMART” goals for weight loss. (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, and Time-lined). Set these goals each week to help you successfully achieve lifelong behavior changes that will result in permanent weight loss.
4. Choose a high fiber, low fat diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
5. Savor every bite and eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that you are full. Practice putting the fork down between bites and leaving food on your plate when you are moderately full.
6. Rather than reaching for cookies or ice cream when you feel stressed, try incorporating yoga, massage therapy or deep breathing exercises into your daily life.
7. Be alert of mindless grazing. How many of us pick at other people's plate or grab just a handful of candy at the office? Pay attention to every morsel you put into your mouth. You may find that you are nibbling out of boredom rather than when you feel hungry. If you did not start eating because you were hungry, then how will you know when to stop eating?
Making small gradual changes in your eating habits can result in significant weight loss and a journey to better health.