The Key to Weight Management
(Published in Networking News April/May publications)
Spring has come, the season for outdoor activities, warmer weather, and plenty of sunshine. With the change in season, comes a change in attire. Shorts, swimwear, and spring dresses take the place of our common winter apparel. It is a time where a shift in awareness is brought to the body. A time that many Americans dread. Struggling with weight can be a frustrating battle. In fact, 33% of American adults are obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. Obesity, is defined by a 20% increase over ideal body weight (weight based on height), not only increases your risk factors for health conditions such as heart disease, and diabetes; it also has a profound effect on self-esteem and body image. Quick weight loss plans for the general public do not consider the individual needs and physiology of each person and often lack healthy eating habits, which are important for maintenance of weight loss. Normalizing weight requires an individualized approach. There are many factors that play a role in weight management including hormones, lifestyle, and emotions. Have you considered, the underlying factors that are vital in helping you to normalize weight and achieve optimal health?
Are hormones affecting your metabolism?
Hormones can play a vital role in weight. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) that modulates the body’s metabolism and temperature. If you have a under active thyroid, you may have hypothyroidism, a condition known to slow metabolism in the body leading to weight gain. Other signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include: dry skin, depression, constipation, and cold intolerance. In addition, problems with insulin, a hormone vital in the regulation of blood sugar, can greatly influence weight. Balancing blood sugar with regular exercise and a diet rich in fiber, essential fatty acids, and adequate protein is key in weight management.
Do you practice Healthy Lifestyle Habits?
Healthy lifestyle habits are important in normalizing weight and achieving optimal health. Do you exercise regularly? Exercise has a multitude of health benefits, including a positive affect on weight and blood sugar. Remember to participate in an exercise program that is appropriate for your age and health status.
What’s got you Eating?
Emotions play an integral role in eating behaviors. Are you eating because you feel anxious, bored, or sad? If you have been using food to mask emotions for a long time, your body’s natural cues for hunger may not be working appropriately or you may not be hearing them. Next time you have the urge to grab a comfort food, such as cookies or French fries, ask yourself, how am I feeling? Am I eating because I feel stressed, lonely, or sad or am I truly hungry? Feeling good about yourself and your body is key to normalizing weight and staying healthy. Be gentle with yourself, and practice random acts of kindness toward yourself. Moving toward optimal health requires self -love and acceptance.
Understanding the individual factors that influence weight will help you determine the most successful strategy to normalize your weight and create health in your life.