Weight Management Lifestyle – Developing Healthy Habits

Weight management lifestyle involves developing a new way of looking at food and doesn’t involve dieting and food restrictions but really refers to daily food choices, because not everyone is dieting, but everyone does have a diet, and truly if you manage your diet properly there will be no need for food restrictions, because you will be eating foods in moderation.

Furthermore, dieting is something that you do temporarily but having a balanced diet is something that you do forever as a weight management lifestyle tool.

Some key lifestyle principles to follow for a good weight management lifestyle are:

Manage Calorie Intake

In order to lose weight you must take in fewer calories than you expend. By cutting your caloric intake by 200-300 kilocalories per day instead of cutting your diet to only taking in 1,000-1,200 kilocalories per day you can more successfully manage your weight long term. On small dietary changes are needed and can be achieved by following the guidelines from the new choosemyplate program, which recommends limiting portion sizes, since large portions are what put on the pounds and get us into trouble with our weight and ultimately our health.

No Crash Dieting – It Doesn’t Work Over The Long Term

You should still be able to enjoy what we eat and eating in general, so never go on a crash diet, they don’t really work, they are so restrictive that it makes it hard to get the nutrients required to run essential functions of the body with such a low intake of calories as is required by dieting. Then once the diet is over it is hard to maintain the weight lost. By taking in such low calories rapid loss of water occurs, the most important nutrient that the body needs, the metabolic rate declines, and this rate must be high enough to burn the calories that we take in, and dieting ultimately leads to nutrient deficiencies. For a good weight management lifestyle dieting is something to avoid.

Managing Fat Intake

Fat is more easily stored in the body than carbohydrates or proteins, and although we do need some dietary fats, we shouldn’t consume too much of it by eating fatty foods. It should be remembered that fat should only supply 20-35% of your average total daily calories. If for example you have a 2,000 kilocalorie diet that translates to 45-75 grams of fat each day.

By eating a diet rich in grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and reducing the intake of meats which can be high in fats as well as reducing the intake of processed foods, then fat consumption will be decreased and fiber intake as provided by grains, fruits and vegetables will be increased. This will also result in a better ability along with consuming plenty of water to eliminate the waste by products of food consumption from the body, and waste products will remain in the body a shorter period of time, thus reducing the body’s health risk of such diseases as colon cancer. Eating properly will increase your chances of having a good weight management lifestyle.

Managing Carbohydrate Intake

Carbohydrates in the form of glucose are the primary fuel source for the body, and the most easily burned as fuel. When dieting one of the biggest mistakes made is to cut back on bread, pasta, and potatoes; however, these foods along with vegetables, legumes, and other grains are rich in complex carbohydrates and the fiber that can help you to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. It is to be noted that foods rich in fiber which absorbs water readily promotes a feeling of satiation which keeps you from overeating. Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of total daily calories.

High fat toppings should be avoided such as sour cream, plain yogurt or salsa is a better alternative. Fresh fruits and whole grains provide a better source of energy than candy and sugary cereals, so fresh fruits should be eaten instead.

Managing Protein Intake

Proteins are the primary nutrient for building muscle tissue including the heart, which is a muscle; however, this is not the body’s primary energy source, it is the primary structural source for the body, and still should only be consumed in moderation, in fact proteins are burned last as an energy source during periods of starvation. Therefore, the diet should be high in complex carbohydrates and moderate in protein consumption. Proteins can promote a sense of fullness, but care must be taken because foods high in protein often are also high in fat. The recommended protein intake should be 10-35% of total daily calories.

Managing Eating Habits

In order to properly manage weight as part of a healthy weight management lifestyle, small frequent meals should be eaten including snacks; the frequency should be three or more meals per day plus snacks. Skipping meals is a no-no since it can make you feel hungry and deprived. Furthermore, in order to keep the metabolism running at an efficient rate, the body must be fueled at regular intervals, so eating small meals on a regular basis is also the most efficient way to lose weight. Although some may not believe it, breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day, because skipping breakfast lowers insulin sensitivity, raises LDL cholesterol and raises total cholesterol and leads to higher energy intake.

Increasing Physical Activity Through Exercise

Very important in a weight management lifestyle is physical activity. By increasing physical activity in the form of some sort of regular exercise a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity daily whether it is walking, weight training, biking or a stationary or outdoor bike, using a treadmill, stair climbing or whatever exercise can help to burn calories, physical activity is an important component of weight management. Increasing physical activity has other benefits as well such as reducing hunger cravings and reducing stress by reducing endorphins the feel good body chemicals that also help to promote a sense of well-being, an increased sense of self-worth and accomplishment.

Stress Management

Managing weight and living a healthy weight management lifestyle involves managing what goes on in your head, how you perceive yourself not how others perceive you, whether you have a good self image or not, allowing negative emotions to rule rather than positive ones can promote and unhealthy life style. Part of negative thinking is trying to live in a perfect world only if in your mind. There is no such thing as a perfect world or perfect people, so developing a more realistic view of our world and your relation to it will promote healthy thinking and a healthier self image. Learning to accept the world as it is not how we want it to be goes a long way toward being content in our own skin and mind.

When you can’t accept the world as it is, then this is where stress comes in and a feeling of having no control over our environment, which can result in depression and a loss of the will to live your life. Stress management involves managing what goes on in your daily life and not overeating in the process as a way of managing something that you can control, the food that you put in your mouth.

This ultimately involves managing and changing learned behaviors and how we react to situations, especially ones that we can’t control by not mismanaging food, something that we can control.

For more information about weight management lifestyle click on the link to cdc.gov

For other information on nutrition including information about weight management lifestyle some great references are:

• Nutrition – Fourth Edition by Paul Insel, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein

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Weight Management
Weight Management Goals
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