Overweight Hispanic women focused on weight loss in the New Year.  Jogging outside in winter with weights.

Many people start the new year with goals for healthy living, and that may involve better eating choices, more physical activity, or weight loss.  The reality for many people is that the intentions are good but their follow through is lacking.  We understand the implications for our long-term health, but results are often difficult to achieve.

Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Weight

As we age, our metabolism changes.  It slows down, and the rate at which the body utilizes food decreases by 10 percent each decade after age 20.  This makes it easier for some people to put on unwanted pounds.  The loss of muscle,  natural hormonal changes, and a lack of physical activity all play a role in weight gain.

People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for serious health problems.  Those who maintain a healthy weight reduce their risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, sleep apnea, gallstones, and certain cancers.  Losing weight can help lower cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance.  Weight loss also reduces stress on the bones and joints, a plus for those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Lifestyle Changes that Impact Weight Loss

Overweight Woman Eating Healthy Meal In Kitchen Sitting Down Smiling At Camera
  • Limit portion sizes – Eat smaller portions.  Most people consume more daily calories than they need.  This advice is even more important when eating at restaurants.  Their average serving sizes have increased over the years.  Patrons should plan to eat half their portion and take the remainder home for another meal.
  • Make healthier food choices – Swap out less healthy foods for more nutrient-rich choices.  Eliminate high calorie snacks and processed foods with added sugar and salt.  Add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to the diet.  Choose lean proteins and low fat dairy products.  Substitute water for sugary beverages.
  • Be physically active – Strive for 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.  Good examples include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, playing a sport, and gardening tasks.
  • Stay hydrated – It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger.  Drinking water helps increase metabolism.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – Those who are tired are less physically active during the day and burn fewer calories.  Healthy adults should strive to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Next Steps

If you have concerns about your weight, speak to your health care professional about it.  They will help you determine a healthy weight for you and advise about making lifestyle changes.  If you are having trouble dropping extra pounds, the physicians at RMD Primary Care offer medical weight loss servicesContact us today to schedule an appointment.