The New Year always seems to be welcomed with resolutions, goals and themes – many revolving around weight loss via diet and exercise. It’s no coincidence that Jan. 16-20 is “Healthy Weight Week.” Catherine Fore, RD, LDN, a bariatric dietitian at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, shares her advice for maintaining a healthy weight.
A healthy diet should consist of incorporating healthier behaviors like decreasing portions or increasing your intake of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. However, some people will unknowingly choose a diet that puts them in danger.
It’s important to focus on embracing healthy living while avoiding behaviors and mindsets that may put you on the path for disappointment or the temptation to quit.
Further, we must remember that there is more to being healthy than a number on a scale. Here are some tips.
- Set realistic weight loss goals. If you have never weighed less than 170 pounds in your adult life, then it may be unrealistic to aim for 135 pounds. Consider your lowest weight from age 21 and up when setting your weight goal.
- Establish a healthy relationship with food. Do you eat because you are bored, depressed, happy or procrastinating on a task? Do you feel guilty after eating? Do you feel hungry when you eat? Keeping a food journal to track what you eat and how you feel can help you understand your eating behaviors and correct problems.
- Know your numbers. Keep track of your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference when gauging your progress. BMI is calculated from your height and weight and is a good assessment of overweight and obesity. You can calculate your BMI using the BMI Calculator on the website of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. BMI calculations can overestimate body fat in athletes and people with a higher percentage of muscle, but knowing your weight circumference will help you get an accurate understanding of your BMI.
- Consult your healthcare provider. Prior to incorporating significant changes to your diet and exercise, talk to your primary care doctor. If you experience difficulty achieving weight loss, consider seeing your doctor.
There is no need for unhealthy diet and exercise that can cause serious health problems that impact not only your physical health, but also your mental health. Just remember – focus on a realistic weight goal and healthy habits to improve your health and wellness!