I saw a commercial recently for a diet aid that talked about finding your own slim, and it really struck a cord with me. So often we define our own beauty and our own size by someone else’s standards rather than by what is healthy and realistic for ourselves.
Despite all the talk about the rising rates of obesity and the impact that it may have on our health – health is not about size, it’s about lifestyle. In fact, thinness does not equate to healthy. Someone who has a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) but does not exercise may have a higher risk of chronic disease than someone who is overweight but physically active.
For someone who is morbidly obese, a weight loss goal that puts him or her at a normal BMI may be unrealistic. When you focus on the scale, particularly when you have a large amount of weight to lose, it can be daunting and frustrating. Focusing on the health benefits of changing your lifestyle may be a more rewarding approach.
Research shows that lifestyle changes that include aerobic and strength training activities coupled with nutritious foods can have health benefits to the obese, even if they do not result in weight loss. In fact, a recent study found that obese women who participated in a program that focused on the health benefits of lifestyle changes rather than the number of pounds lost reduced their risk of chronic disease despite only minimal weight loss.
A nutritious diet doesn’t mean just low-calorie and low-fat – it is about eating foods from all of the food groups. You need to eat a balance of foods that provide a variety of nutrients. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. They also recommend a diet low in saturated and trans fats and rich in lean meats, beans and nuts. The Dietary Guidelines encourage adults to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on almost everyday of the week.
For some it can be difficult to see moderate weight loss as a success when the goal is to wear a size six. It’s important to realize that every body is different, and the goal should be to find the size that is right for you by eating nutritious foods and engaging in regular physical activity.
Find delicious and healthy recipes at FoodFit.com.
Published On: January 16, 2007