Posts Tagged ‘healthy weight’

Seniors in Joliet find their healthy weights

weightloss for seniorsMany people set resolutions to “lose weight,” but not to reach a “healthy weight,” and there is a big difference. In order to become healthier, seniors need to know why excess weight is so bad for the human body, what a healthy weight range is, and steps needed to reach a healthy weight.

In terms of overall health, the World Health Organization reports that excess weight and obesity contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. In addition, excess weight negatively affects blood pressure and cholesterol and puts increased strain on joints.

Mentally, obesity can lead to low self esteem because of feelings of rejection, social discrimination, unattractiveness, and guilt from a perceived lack of self control. All of these add up to a very high cost to carry excess weight.

What is a healthy weight? According to WebMD.com, one common method for determining a healthy weight range is to use a body mass index (BMI), however, BMI does not take into account how much of your weight is muscle and how much is fat. Another tool is to use waist circumference. For men, waist circumference should not exceed 40 inches and women, unless pregnant, should not exceed 35 inches. There are more accurate tests to determine BMI and waist circumference should not be seen as the gold standard for healthy weight measures, they are helpful for establishing a target weight range.

There is no magic bullet to lose weight. Until science produces effective medications, it always has been and it always will be – eat less and move more. Eating less doesn’t mean volume-wise but calorie-wise. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables is step one. Another idea is to substitute low fat dairy products for full fat and choose leaner cuts of meat. Choose whole grains over refined carbohydrates.

Some foods, while high calorie, have significant health benefits. These include the healthy fats in avocados and nuts as well as the fiber in beans. These foods can be eaten in moderation. Sodium and sugar intake needs to be in moderation, too. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and too much sugar will cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Also, drink plenty of water.

Physical activity is a key ingredient to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. The best way is to find things you love doing. Take a walk, ride a bike, or swim laps at a local pool. If dancing is a passion, find a class. The “sneak in exercise” approach includes parking in the furthest spot, take grocery bags out of the car one at a time, walk to the mailbox instead of driving, and pace around the table while talking on the phone. These measures add up.

To end on a humorous note, some apt proverbs:

  • Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  ~English Proverb
  • Your stomach shouldn’t be a “waist” basket.  ~Author Unknown
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