Weight management factors
Maintaining a healthy weight is a preventative measure towards reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
In today’s busy world, eating on the go or even skipping meals is commonplace. A dietary habit of starving yourself, or missing meals during the day and then stuffing yourself once you eat is a bad habit leading to weight management issues. Maintaining a healthy weight is a preventative measure towards reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Aside from erratic eating habits, there are other factors that ‘weight-in’:
- The scale – assessing and managing your weight starts with knowing what your weight is. If you don’t own a scale it might be time to purchase one. Individuals who weigh themselves daily are more likely to keep their weight better maintained (in a healthy range) than those who do not weigh themselves. Many chronic health conditions such as, high blood pressure, diabetes Type 2 and heart disease are affected substantially by weight. Knowing your numerical weight and height is beneficial in determining your health risk.
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI), according to the CDC, “is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.” A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. There is a BMI calculator for adults, teens and youth. Your healthcare provider can quickly assess your BMI at a routine office visit.
- Your activity level – Take a personal role in choosing how active you are. An easy way to think about physical activity is to identify it as ‘active living’. Thinking about getting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week can be overwhelming. But, physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous it can be measured in how active you are during the day. Moving more and maintaining an active lifestyle helps to manage weight.
- Stress-less – any change in our lives whether good or bad can cause stress. Stress produces hormones which in turn affect blood sugar, our moods and other physical symptoms. Symptoms associated with stress are overeating, inactivity and fatigue. All three of these directly affect weight management. Finding ways to manage the symptoms of stress may help with managing weight.
Tips to help manage weight include:
- Formulate a healthy eating plan. MyPlate.gov is a helpful source that provides nutritional resources.
- Keep an active living log to help you achieve the suggested amount of 150 minutes of physical activity a week.
- Know your accurate height and weight numbers and weigh yourself regularly.
- Identify the barriers keeping you from sustaining a healthy weight.
If you need help in controlling eating, or other weight management barriers ask your healthcare team for support. For more on healthy living and chronic disease prevention visit Michigan State University Extension.