This week marks National Healthy Weight Week. The National Foundation for Cancer Awareness suggests American celebrate Weight Loss Week with these eight steps: find an enjoyable form of exercise; take smalls steps to weight loss goals; drink more water; get plenty of sleep; alleviate stress with yoga or meditation; cut back on alcohol; eat more fruits and vegetables and finally, set a weight loss goal.
A normal Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. Currently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that about 74% of Americans are overweight or obese. Adults ages 40 to 59 have the highest rate of obesity. About 40% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer are prominent in adults who are overweight or obese. Health specialists opine that sedentary work lifestyles and a fast food culture contributes to unhealthy weight gain. Dieticians suggest that healthy weight loss of one to two pounds per week is recommended.
Weight loss goals are often best maintained with short goals and small increments. You can explore fitness, food tracking and weight tracking with a number of apps such as Lose It, MyFitnessPal or MyPlate. Discuss weight loss with your health care provider for recommendations on diets and achievable goals. Most health care providers and nutritionists recommend a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, low fat dairy products and lean protein sources. Recommended daily servings portions are provided in a U.S. Department of Agriculture food pyramid.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends choosing from food groups with nutrient dense food with little or no added sugars, saturated fat or sodium. Good luck on your New Year’s Resolutions!