Authored by Katy Wilbur Registered Dietitian, Whittier Street Health Center
The quarantine 15, holiday weight, and winter weight gain are some common phrases we hear during the year about why someone has gained weight. But why does having a healthy weight matter? Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help lower our risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. In addition to the health benefits, most people feel better and have more energy at a healthy weight. Have you ever tried to climb the stairs or run a mile after gaining a few pounds? It can be challenging and discouraging.
Some other things achieving a healthy weight can help with is reducing knee or joint pain and preventing inflammation that can cause discomfort throughout the body. For example, 10lbs of weight gain equals an additional 40lbs of pressure on the knees! Maybe your knees are okay but you have back pain during the day; weight loss reduces pressure on the spine and can decrease your back pain.
Weight management does not mean extreme dieting or fasting. Just a 5% reduction in weight, which would be a 200-pound person losing 10 pounds, can result in improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and pain. So how do you achieve a healthy weight? Move more! Increasing your exercise and activity is a great way to lose weight. Walking, bike riding, gardening, and swimming are all excellent ways to lose weight and improve your heart health.
In addition to activity, take a few minutes and think about what you eat and drink during the day. A good rule of thumb is to not drink your calories; choose water whenever possible and limit sweeteners (cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave, flavored syrups) in tea and coffee. If you like to snack during the day, try having a fruit or vegetable as a snack, such as an apple with peanut butter or carrots and light ranch dip, instead of packaged snacks like chips or cookies.
Achieving a healthy weight is an attainable and realistic goal. The Adult Healthy Weight Management at Whittier Street Health Center is an excellent resource to help you develop and individualized nutrition and weight loss plan and provide you with a support system as you work towards your weight loss goals.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please call (617) 989-3207 or email email@example.com
Your Health is your Wealth!
Katy Wilbur, Registered Dietitian in the Wellness Institute at Whittier Street Health Center.