Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Start the Year Right with Healthy Weight Week

Jan. 17, 2017 at midnight

As in previous years, the number one new year's resolution for 2017 is to "lose weight" or "be more healthy." That's not surprising since 70.7% of US adults are either overweight or obese and 1.7% of adults are underweight. Often, these people at an unhealthy weight are part of the 30 million people who suffer from some form of eating disorder. And yet, billions of dollars' worth of gym memberships, nutrition program subscriptions, and exercise videos bought in January will be abandoned halfway through the year.

Healthy Weight Week, which is celebrated from January 16 to 20, aims to change the way people look at fitness and dieting. Achieving a healthy weight is simply a great side effect of a healthy way of life—it's not an annual promise that is made to be broken in a few weeks.

Why Keep a Healthy Weight?

First, it's important to understand why weight management should be a big deal to everybody. Body weight that is too high or low can lead to numerous complications like infertility, nutrient deficiency, bone problems, and low energy levels. All these affect a person's quality of life and can negatively impact the things that are important to him like relationships, career, and happiness.

Understanding BMI

A person could look healthy but not have a healthy weight. Skinniness or muscle tone is often deceiving. That's why doctors and fitness professionals rely on the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is the universal guide for finding out if a person is underweight, overweight, or at a normal weight. It is computed using this formula

: BMI = mass in kg ÷ (height in m)2. A BMI score between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates a healthy weight. Thus, an individual who does not fall within this range should consider taking steps towards achieving an ideal weight.

Getting to a Healthy Weight

Working towards a normal BMI requires moderation, consistency, and a positive attitude.

Many people make the mistake of taking on an "all or nothing" mentality. Instead of just eating smart, they cut portions down to very low-calorie levels and go on deprivation detox diets. Rather than taking it slow at the gym, they lift the heaviest weights and run full marathons before they've properly trained. Doing so will only lead to misery and burn-out. On the contrary, going for moderation by allowing oneself to have cheat days coupled with a slow but steady workout plan will always lead to better results.

Consistency in the form of a complete lifestyle overhaul is also key. Working out regularly for a week will not make up for a whole month of being lazy. Have a set exercise schedule and stick to it. Likewise, eating bowls of salad today to offset past binge eating will only be in vain.

Of course, all this work will only be possible with the right attitude. It's perfectly normal to have "off days" when goals are not being met and the whole endeavor feels pointless. Overcome this by focusing on the good that has already been done and on future success. Some people might find meditation and journaling to be helpful in generating positive thoughts.

Make or Break

In the end, happiness is a choice. Making and breaking the same resolution year after year is a disappointment that can be avoided by deciding to do what is good for one's well-being. So, start now for better years to come.



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