Weight Control: Eating Right and Keeping Fit
A healthy weight is good for your physical and mental well being. Good eating habits and moderate exercise are crucial to keeping a healthy weight and a fit body. Being overweight-weighing too much in relationship to your height-is a problem for many people. If you are overweight, you have an increased risk of several health problems. The good news is that you can reduce these risks by losing weight.
Checking Your Weight
The body mass index (BMI) is a tool that often is used to measure body fat. It is based on height and weight. To find out your BMI, you can use the online calculator at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm.
If you are overweight or obese, you also should measure your waist size. Extra fat in the abdomen (an “apple” shape) is a greater health risk than extra fat in the hips and thighs (a “pear” shape).
To measure your waist, stand up and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hip bones. Take the measurement just after you breathe out. If your waist size is 35 inches or greater, your risk of certain health issues associated with being overweight is increased.
Factors that Affect Weight
- Every function of the body—from building cells to moving muscles—needs energy. Energy is measured in calories. Calories also measure how much fuel is in a certain food. The body uses only as many calories as it needs for energy. Any calories that are left over are stored as fat in the body. Taking in more calories than you use up is the most important factor that leads to weight gain.
- It is normal to gain a little weight as you grow older. You may not be as active as you were when you were younger. If you do not adjust your food intake, you may put on extra weight. Even as little as 100 extra calories a day can add up to an unhealthy weight.
- After having a baby, a woman might not lose all of the weight she gained during pregnancy. If this happens with each pregnancy, the weight can add up.
Health Risks of Being Overweight
What is the best way for women to lose weight?
Every woman is different, but recent research suggests that women may lose weight differently than men. Most women will need to eat and drink fewer calories and consume the right amount of healthy foods to lose weight. Increasing exercise or physical activity may help with weight loss, but choosing healthy foods (lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits) is what works best for most people to achieve a healthy weight. Combining healthy eating with increased physical activity is best. Talk to your doctor or nurse before starting any weight-loss program. He or she can work with you to find the best way for you to lose weight.
Your environment and other parts of your life may make weight loss more difficult. Talk to your doctor about certain medications that may be affecting your weight. Getting more sleep and dealing with stress can also help you lose weight. Staying active and eating healthy foods can help you stay on track with your weight-loss goals.
For support with weight loss, make an appointment with to discuss your concerns and challenges with one of our providers. We are here to support you and assist you to a healthier lifestyle. To make an appointment, call us at 407-566-2229.
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