Weight management is a challenge for most women. As women age and bear children it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain a healthy weight. As part of Rosemark primary care services, we provide weight management solutions that help women obtain and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
KEEP A RECORD
Successful weight maintenance begins with record keeping. The act of regularly counting calories helps manage calorie intake and overall weight management.
There are many apps that can be downloaded to smart phones or tablets but the simple use of a journal will also work. The key is to keep a running total of calorie intake throughout the day. Recording the type of food consumed and the amount and kind of exercise performed also helps identify variables in weight management. Once a person learns how to balance the calorie intake with the amount of calories burned, changes begin.
The final record which is very important is to record weight daily. People who weigh themselves once a day are twice as successful at keeping off lost weight as those who don’t step on the scale as often.
BODY MASS INDEX
Another excellent measurement is the body mass index (BMI). The BMI is a value calculated from the mass (weight) and height of an individual. The BMI is calculated by the mass/ height. The calculation is usually derived from the metric system. The following BMI measurement table illustrates a person’s index:
|18.5 – 25
|25 – 30
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Patients are discouraged from skipping meals to keep calories down as that eating practice does not facilitate weight loss or muscle development. Patients are encouraged to eat breakfast to ward off hunger and to maintain a healthy metabolism.
Women can fight off hunger by eating filling foods that are high in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein. Limited fat intake is encouraged along with the selection of foods with unsaturated fats as they come primarily from plant foods, such as olive, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. Avoiding trans-fat and saturated fats leads to a healthier heart.
Women who best control their weight put significant focus on portion control. When sufficient focus is placed on the amount of food eaten coupled with the resistance of eating high calorie treats, best results are accomplished.
There is nothing wrong with having a treat on occasion but the daily temptation to eat a treat should be resisted to maintain healthy weight.
A couple of simple ways to avoid unhealthy snacking are to plan healthy meals and snacks ahead of the enticement and completely ban the worst temptations from home.
The government website www.choosemyplate.gov can help with making healthier food and exercise choices. This website also has a BMI calculator.
Exercise is an essential component to weight loss and healthy living. It enhances mood and develops muscle tone. There are different types of exercise that give different results. For example, to build more lean muscle, lifting weights is the exercise of choice. Muscle has a higher metabolism than fat therefore it will burn more calories.
Keep yourself challenged in exercise. When reaching a goal, increase the exercise to build more muscle and maintain weight loss. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat so don’t become discouraged if your scale is not reflecting weight loss. Instead, notice how clothes are fitting, how many inches have been lost and the good feelings of success!
Adults should do at least 2.5 hours every week of aerobic exercise to get their heart rate up! Do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week to help muscle strength. Exercise helps women sleep better, strengthens their muscles and bones, and can decrease their chance of becoming depressed.
Know your limitations and believe in yourself! You CAN DO IT!