SAN DIEGO, January 19, 2016 — Healthy Weight Week is a public service campaign which is observed this year from January 17 – 23.
This annual observation is a perfect time to determine how to reach an ideal weight for optimal health.
Every person possesses unique personal characteristics such as height, age, bone density, body composition, genetic factors, general health, lifestyle and more which makes what constitutes a healthy weight a very individual equation.
According to Francine M. Bert in her book, “Women Afraid to Eat: Breaking Free in Today’s Weight-Obsessed World,” there are a myriad of reasons that traditional diets may not help to achieve sustainable healthy weight loss.
- Diets do not work or last
- Dieting can cause lasting injury or death
- Dieting disrupts normal body processes
- Dieting causes yo-yoing ups and downs
- Dieters often feel tired or lightheaded
- Dieting may lead to binge eating and eating disorders
- Dieting causes preoccupation with food
According to Psychology Today, two-thirds of those who follow a traditional path of dieting regain any lost weight within a period of two years.
To make positive changes that lead to long-term healthy weight, it is important to start by accepting the current weight, while also embracing a positive attitude and self-image.
To get started, take the BMI test and assess the results, establishing it as a current weight baseline http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm.
Interpreting the BMI test results:
BMI less than 18.5: Underweight range
BMI from 18.5 to 24.9: Normal or Healthy Weight Range
BMI is 25-29.9: Overweight range
BMI is 30 or higher: Obese Range
Featured in “Breaking the Bonds of Food Addiction,” published in Psychology Today, writer Susan McQuillan provides the following simple formula which gives both women and men a simple method by which to estimate their healthy weight.
For women, start the ideal weight baseline calculation with the assumption that being 5 feet tall is equal to a weight of 100 pounds. Then, add 5 pounds for every inch of height above 5 feet. Subtract 10 percent for a small frame. Add 10 percent for a larger frame.
For example, if a woman is 5 feet 7 inches tall, a healthy weight is 135 pounds, plus or minus 13 or 14 pounds.
For men, start the baseline calculation with the assumption that being 5 feet tall equals 106 pounds. Then, add 6 pounds for every inch of height above 5 feet. Then give a range of plus or minus 10 percent to adjust for a small or larger frame size.
For example if a man is 5 feet 10 inches tall, a healthy weight is 166 pounds, plus or minus 16 or 17 pounds.
The ultimate goal is being within a normal, healthy weight range.
According to Centers for Disease Control Prevention, being within a healthy weight level is about maintaining a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories that your body actually uses.
Centers for Disease Control Prevention offers links to helpful information which can help start the journey to discovering a healthy weight.
Super Tracker (https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/)
Physical Activity Diary (http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov)
There are also many useful health and weight loss applications available for cell phones and other personal electronic devices.
Keeping in mind that being overweight or obese increases the risks for developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers, there is plenty of motivation for committing to a healthy lifestyle!
Celebrating Healthy Weight Week can be an ideal time to throw out the concept of traditional dieting, and replace it with a new perspective on reaching a healthy weight–and maintaining it throughout a lifetime.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 32 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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