The concept of healthy weight has become more popular, especially in the wake of increasing Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A healthy weight is a number associated with a low risk of weight-related diseases and health issues. Although healthy weight guidelines have been developed at population levels, each person’s healthy weight range varies and depends on factors such as age, sex, genetics, existing medical history, lifestyle habits, and weight as a young adult. It is also important to mention that weight is only one of the many indicators of health, others include blood pressure levels, blood cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels to mention but a few. A person who is not at a “normal” weight according to BMI charts may be healthy if he or she has healthy eating habits and exercises regularly. Whereas, people who are skinny but don’t exercise or eat nutritious foods aren’t necessarily healthy, just because they are thin. Losing fat and Losing weight doesn’t mean the same thing.
Two methods are used to give a clearer picture of how one’s weight may be affecting their health. These are measuring the waistline and calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Body mass index (BMI), measures weight standardized for height. BMI for adults and children is calculated differently. Being in the ‘safe range’ of weight should not be a basis for laxity as we mentioned that weight is only one of the indicators, likewise being in the ‘unsafe range’ should be a point of concern not worry. Moving with a professional with help to allay these fears because more investigation will be done but the good news is it helps you to start asking questions that could save your life early in time.
Where you carry your weight is just as important as how much weight you carry when it comes to health. Measuring the waist circumference can help to assess obesity-related health risks. Experts tell us that even at a healthy weight, excess fat carried around the waist can increase one’s risk of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. The best way to find out if your waistline is increasing your risk of heart disease is to measure it.
Remember a single measurement of waist circumference or BMI doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about our obesity-related health issues. Tracking waist circumference with body weight (BMI) over time, is an excellent way to understand how the body is changing as one age and to monitor one’s risk of heart disease and stroke. Achieving a healthy weight isn’t always as simple as eating healthy and being active, but it is a great start.
How to achieve and maintain your healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight not only adds to one’s overall fitness but it also keeps the susceptibility to various diseases low. An overweight person is at a higher risk of developing serious cardiovascular diseases (health issues) which range from diabetes to heart ailments. Also, it’s never too late to aim to be at your ideal body weight even if you have been ignoring it till now. If you already have certain problems like High blood pressure, breathing problems, etc. maintaining a healthy body weight will help you control these diseases and in most cases, the symptoms are considerably reduced. Here are some ways;
Mind what is on your plate
Eat healthily is a very tired song that over time eating healthy has been narrowed down to eating vegetables and boring food. Eating healthy first and foremost means that one is eating all foods that will provide them with the nutrients their body needs to thrive, something we call a balanced diet. So one needs to assess if they are consuming carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, and vegetables as well as hydrating at any given meal. While that is being achieved, care needs to be taken that these are being taken in their right proportions depending on the health and body needs of that person at that given time. Let us not forget the time for these meals too is important. So as you may have noticed, it is not enough to be taking just the ‘right’ food, there is a lot else that is at play that needs to be considered.
One tip I will leave with each of you on this one is that consume foods in a form closest to their natural organic form. When foods are processed to enhance their taste or even look, they are stripped of many or some of the important nutrients your body needs, and what is added will have your body working overtime to get rid of them.
Physical activity plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy weight is maintained. We are living in a world of convenience where everything is getting automated and near reach that it does not require one to move distances or require a lot of muscle effort to do many activities. While this makes our work and life more efficient, it works against our health. What does this mean? We are consuming food that is giving us more energy than we can spend, and what does the body do? It stores the excess energy in form of fat which compromises our achieving a healthy weight and predisposes us to undesirable effects like cardiovascular diseases.
Start to in cooperating simple activities into your daily life. You do not have to begin with 10kms on the treadmill but you can begin with a 10-minute walk. Start somewhere and get to use up that excess energy that the body is reserving for you.
After you have achieved your ideal healthy weight, it is not time for you to sit back and relax, you will slide back. Build habits and make this a lifestyle. Let it be an enjoyable process rather than ‘a must-do or die.’ Remember you have one life and if you waste it, you will not have another. Also, it is unfair to live a miserable life. It is possible to build an enjoyable healthy lifestyle. Journey with people who are well versed in this area like professionals and be on your way to a healthy life lived.
I wish you all the best
See you next Wednesday