What is Weight Management?
Weight management is not necessarily the same as weight loss. Weight management means taking long-term steps to maintain a certain weight through healthy lifestyle choices. This often includes a well-rounded approach.
Weight loss works by creating a calorie deficit, meaning your body burns more calories than you take in. The opposite is true for gaining weight. Maintaining your weight means that you take in an equal number of calories to your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body needs to function throughout the day. This rate is often calculated based on your height, weight, fitness level, and age. Knowing this number as well as a general understanding of your daily calorie intake can help you maintain your weight and plan your meals accordingly.
Especially if you’re at risk of certain chronic health conditions, it’s important to make sure your diet reflects your healthy lifestyle. An easy way to do this is divide your plate into sections— half of your plate should contain colorful fruits and vegetables, while the remaining two quarters should consist of whole grains and lean meat respectively. Additionally, you should fit in low-fat dairy like cheese and yogurt. You should eat foods with refined sugar and carbohydrates sparingly. Following this general rule can help you maintain your calories since foods like veggies are low in calories but high in fiber to help you feel fuller for longer, for example.
Exercise can help improve your health in all aspects, but it can also help you maintain your calorie intake. Each type of exercise will burn a certain number of calories per hour, meaning you can ensure that your calorie expenditure exceeds or matches your intake. Exercises like resistance or body weight training will help your body burn more calories at a resting state, meaning you should incorporate these alongside cardio workouts for a well-rounded regimen. It’s recommended that you achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Additionally, you should incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises on all major muscle groups a couple times per week to maintain bone density.
Why is Weight Management Important?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 68% of Americans are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, this means that many fad diets exist to take advantage of women hoping to lose weight quickly and with long-term results. Even people who do lose weight with these methods are very prone to gaining weight back. This often happens because the right lifestyle changes don’t accompany a weight loss regimen. That’s why it’s important to know how to maintain your weight with a healthy lifestyle and good relationship with food.
What Steps Can I Take?
If you’re considering weight loss or weight gain, it’s important to speak with your gynecologist about the medical consensus behind each method. In the case of weight loss, many fad diets promise excellent results within an impossibly short timeframe. They can also be predatory, draining money and effort when they are set up to fail. Healthy weight loss or gain will be slow, methodical, and long-term, so be sure to screen each method carefully for red flags like extreme weight loss, cutting out whole food groups, extreme calorie deficits, and purchasing special foods or supplements. An effective plan should include managing your activity level and making healthy lifestyle changes alongside dietary changes, making it maintainable in the long run. During an appointment with your gynecologist or dietician, we can assess your weight management efforts and recommend the right steps for your health and goals.