“Diet” is a word many people associate with restriction and deprivation. A short-term solution to reach a desired weight. And that’s where things can go wrong. Diet isn’t meant to be short-term, and certainly not one that leaves you feeling deprived.
People may make similar associations when it comes to terms like “weight loss” — short-term deprivation to reach your desired number on the scale. And this kind of thinking can set you up to fail.
Weight management is all about helping you get to your desired weight and staying there — not through deprivation, but by creating habits that you can follow for life, making weight loss easy and sustainable.
At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, we’ve been helping women manage their health for more than 30 years. We know when it comes to health and weight, long-term habits lead to better outcomes. Here, our team explains why weight management is a better approach to weight and health.
What is weight management?
In the most general terms, weight management is maintaining your desired weight, or healthy weight. We use body mass index (BMI) as a general guide for assessing your weight and health. But we also take into consideration other factors that influence your weight like your gender, activity level, medical history, genetics, and age.
Weight management isn’t so much about the number on the scale, but about how your weight affects your overall health. A healthy weight is one that you can easily maintain and doesn’t put you at risk of developing weight-related health problems like Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
In order to manage your weight, you must eat a balanced diet, get regular physical activity, and create healthy lifestyle habits.
Balanced diet basics
A balanced diet includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy or plant-based alternatives. Eating balanced meals ensures your body gets all the good nutrition it needs for better health.
When aiming to improve your weight and health, eat meals that incorporate three or more food groups. For example:
- Breakfast: 100% whole-grain cereal, milk, and fruit
- Lunch: Fish tacos with mango salsa and rice and beans
- Dinner: Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and pasta
Snacks are part of a balanced diet, but make an effort to keep them “snack size” and balanced. A balanced diet doesn’t mean you can’t have treats, but you should limit foods high in added fat, sugar, and salt.
Finding time for activity
Physical activity is also important when it comes to weight management. Adults need 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week.
You don’t need to join a gym or start a running program to get more activity in your day. You can find ways to be more active without making it feel like a chore — for example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the far end of the lot, or getting up every hour for a quick 3-5 minute walk around the office.
Creating habits you can follow for life
Eating balanced diets and getting more activity are more about creating healthy habits you can follow for life than about your weight. Yet when you make small, manageable changes to how you live your life, weight loss naturally comes with it.
Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night and finding healthy outlets for stress (exercise, meditation) are good habits you can easily incorporate into your routine that benefit your weight.
Weight management is about creating a lifestyle that makes it easy for you to maintain a healthy weight, which reduces your risk of developing long-term health problems.
If “diets” aren’t working for you, it’s time for a different approach. We can help. Call the Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, office convenient to you or request an appointment online today.