The holiday season brings joyful decorations, family gatherings, cooler weather and, of course, lots of delicious food. Maintaining a healthy weight during holiday festivities can be a major challenge, but it’s important to remember that your pant size is not the only thing affected by consuming extra calories.
Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are a few of the leading diseases caused by excess weight. Knowing your body mass index (BMI) is crucial to assessing your risk for obesity-related disease.
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Your waist size is another number that can provide important information about your level of risk. Men should aim for a waist size of less than 40 inches. Women’s ideal waist size is less than 35 inches.
What are some ways you can reach and maintain a healthy weight?
Join a gym or fitness program.
Don’t wait until after the holidays to find a gym or fitness program that gets you moving! Recent studies show that people with gym memberships were 14 times more likely to meet the national physical activity guidelines than non-gym members:
150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week, plus at least two days of weight lifting or other muscle-strengthening activities.
Infirmary Health has three fitness centers in Mobile and Baldwin counties that offer innovative tools to help you achieve the health and fitness level you desire. Members enjoy group classes, personal training, indoor pool and whirlpool, and other services that encourage a healthy lifestyle and provide the tools needed to get in top-notch shape.
Fitness programs like Scale Back Alabama are a proven method of helping people lose weight. In 2017, all participants lost a combined 57,761 pounds! The goal is to lose at least 10 pounds with a teammate. Resources are available to get participants on the right track, and the friendly competition creates a motivating environment to shed a few pounds – the prizes don’t hurt either! With your physician’s approval, you can jumpstart 2018 by registering for Scale Back Alabama today.
Forget how to diet. Relearn how to eat.
Numerous fad diets have come and gone over the years, causing people to lose weight only to regain it when they stop dieting. There are biological reasons that people will not be able to keep the weight off, which is why a crucial part of maintaining a healthy weight is to adopt a healthy eating style and practice it every single day – even during holiday gatherings.
One tool that is helping Americans relearn how to eat in a balanced and controlled manner is the MyPlate program. Using the simple concept of a balanced diet and portion sizes based on your appropriate caloric intake level, MyPlate gives examples of how much you should be eating from each food group daily. Here are some ways to keep your plate in check through the holidays:
The positive affect that maintaining a healthy weight can have on your health – lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and more – is worth the time and effort it takes to adopt healthy eating habits and regular fitness routine. Use the holidays as a time to start your healthy new habits, and you’ll be ready to take on 2018 before New Year’s Eve!