Healthy Weight Do’s and Don’ts

CarrotObesity is an epidemic in the United States. Unhealthy weight is a major risk factor for several cancers and chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Consequently, obesity accounts for nearly 17% of medical costs in the US. The key to a attaining a healthy weight is making long-term lifestyle changes, which include eating well and staying active. These changes will improve your overall health and give you the energy to enjoy life. Follow these tips to feel healthy, happy and beautiful!

Do: 
  • Calculate your BMI to determine if your weight is healthy.
  • Be more active!  The more exercise, the better.  Find an activity you enjoy and do it every day.
  • Exercise with a friend for added motivation.
  • Use a pedometer to track your activity improvement.
  • Choose good carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
  • Choose healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), limit saturated fat, and avoid trans fat.
  • Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry.
  • Aim for 9 servings (4.5 cups) of vegetables and fruits each day.  Look for color and variety.
  • Listen to your body.  Ask yourself if you are hungry before eating. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full.
  • Decrease your pesticide intake by following this Shopper’s Guide.
  • Buy organic to improve your health and the environment.

 

Don't: 
  • Follow an extreme diet.  Regularly choose healthy foods and eat smaller portions slowly.  For healthy food ideas go to the Healthy Eating Pyramid.
  • Eat too little. Stick to your daily calorie needs.
  • Drink sugary sodas and juices. They can add several hundred calories a day.  Switch to tap water to reduce your weight.
  • Don’t eat in a hurry, at your desk, in front of the television or standing up.   Give your meal your full attention – savor it so that you’ll feel full and eat less.
  • Forget to eat breakfast!  Eating a healthy breakfast will improve your metabolism. 
  • Grocery shop hungry.  You’ll be tempted to buy more than you need to be healthy.