15 February is the start of Healthy Weight Week in Australia and the statistics for overweight and obesity in adults AND children is not good! As a society we need to take a good look at why the numbers look this way and what we can do about it.
Having a week to focus on healthy eating and exercise will help short term in educating people on what they need to do to lose weight. However, we need to look at deeper issues and also realise that being healthy is a lifestyle not a fad.
The Obsession with Body Image & Weight
The world is obsessed with Body Image & Weight . Unfortunately, the statistics are not good when it comes to obesity and a healthy weight range in adults.
Based on measured height and weight from the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey :
We can all come up with different excuses for why we have gained weight and I know that there is a group in society that defends people who are overweight and even promotes that they look healthy and beautiful.Obesity is not healthy! Being underweight is not health! We need to change our perceptions.Click To Tweet
We need to find a balance in our lives that will help us maintain a healthy weight range and still enjoy our lives.
So let’s stop with the EXCUSES and start really looking at why obesity is almost an epidemic!!
Why should we worry about our weight range?
Carrying excess weight is tiring but more importantly, being overweight or obsese are major risk factors for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Musculoskeletal conditions
Apart from being a risk factor being overweight can affect the way we control and manage these diseases.
What is a healthy weight?
Do you know what your healthy weight range is?
No I’m not talking about looking like a unrealistic super model! I’m talking about a medically healthy weight range for our height and age.
You have probably heard about BMI which is body mass index as a way to assess your body weight. It compares weight with height. However there are other determining factors in measuring your body weight. This link will explain that apart from BMI, waist circumference, age, body shape and hip to waist ration all play a part.
Ways to achieve a healthy weight range?
Get a check up and discuss with your doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have gained weight for no reason. There could be an underlying health problem.
Accept that healthier eating is a lifestyle not a Diet fad.
We need to realise that we can’t keep putting off changing our diets to eat healthier if we want to maintain our weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
We need to make healthier choices and accept that it is a lifestyle. Fad diets don’t work, they are short term and are not a healthy or sensible way to approach losing weight.
In my post Diet is a Dirty Word I explain why the word ‘diet’ in the sense of starving ourselves to lose weight should be banned from our vocabulary.
We need to take a holistic approach to maintaining our weight and include exercise in our diets. In generations before when we were more active because we didn’t have ‘mod cons’ to do everything for us and we walked everywhere, weight management was not such a problem.
In today’s society we need to get off the couch and MOVE. Reducing calorie intake is not enough we need to exercise regularly.
Just 30 minutes of exercise 3 – 4 times per week is all that is really required.
Get enough sleep
The National Sleep Foundation suggests a correlation with poor sleeping and obesity. Being overweight can cause sleep apnoea which is affects breathing while you are sleeping and serious cases can be life threatening.
People who do not sleep well aren’t motivated to exercise because they feel tired. In fact, exercise helps us to sleep better. However, we can fall into a cycle of not sleeping, not exercising and not sleeping and so on.
Some who have trouble sleeping are also more likely to snack late at night taking in extra calories.
If you are struggling to lose weight even if you try, there could be underlying reasons for this. Perhaps you have a medical condition you aren’t aware of.
Stress and anxiety can play a major part as some people find comfort in food.
There are ways to succeed in losing weight and keeping it off. Why not make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your option?
Set an example
As a parent or grandparent it is our responsibility to set healthy examples for our children. Obesity in children is increasing and we will have a generation who are chronically ill all because of being overweight.
Leading by example by healthy eating and regular exercise will encourage our children and grandchildren to lead healthier lives and live longer.
What is one thing you can do today to start a healthier lifestyle?
Let’s Keep Sizzling!