Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is important for overall health.
It decreases our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and a plethora of other health conditions. But did you know that it also impacts our cancer risk? Being overweight or obese puts us at increased risk for breast, colorectal, esophagus, liver, kidney, pancreas and uterine cancer.
More than 50% of Albertans 20-64 are overweight or obese. We can reduce our cancer risk by getting to and staying at a healthy body weight. A healthy body weight will be different for everyone. One tool that is commonly used to assess weight by healthcare providers is something called “Body Mass Index” (BMI). This tool considers both your weight and height, and it can provide a general idea of risk for obesity-related health conditions. You can calculate your own BMI by accessing the following website: http://www.mayoclinic.org/bmi-calculator/itt-20084938. It’s not the most comprehensive assessment of weight, but it is a good starting point for gaining some general awareness. See your doctor or a dietitian for more information on what a healthy weight would be for you.
Tips for Weight Management:
- Choose smaller portion sizes.
- Limit your intake of desserts and junk food.
- Make physical activity an easy part of your day. Try walking to work, or getting off the bus or LRT a few stops early and walking the rest of the way. Take the stairs instead of elevators whenever possible!
- The goal for successful weight loss is for it to be gradual. Aim for 1-2 pounds per week to ensure that it is a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss!
- If you have a tendency to snack when you’re stressed or bored, try replacing that behaviour with a healthier habit. Try going for a walk outside, calling a friend, listening to some music, reading a book, or taking a bath!
- One of the best tools to help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is something called the Healthy Plate Model. The idea is to always think about the ratio of foods you are eating at any meal. If half of what you eat at any meal is Vegetables & Fruit (ideally more vegetables than fruit), this should help reduce the calories of the meal, as these are lower-calorie options. One quarter of your plate should be a protein source (generally a lean Meat & Alternative or low-fat Milk & Alternative product) and one quarter should be a Grain Product (ideally a 100% whole grain product!).
~By Guest Blogger & Dietitian Meagan McLavish of Infuse Nutrition