Obesity is a leading cause of chronic illness in America, impacting both the physical and psycological health of adults and children alike. Approximately 35-39% of adults are clinically diagnosed as obese and the number of children with obesety is rapidly insreasing. Managing one's weight in a healthy manner will prevent obesety an its consequences. Weight management entails lifestyle changes which include the following:
1. Eat healthy nourishing foods such as lots of vegetables of all colors and texture, and include them as an essential portion of food intake. For example, cauliflower can be substituted for rice and for flour in pizza crust. It can be roasted, steamed or sauteed along with other vegetables. Zucchini may be substituted for spaghetti and may also be roasted, sauteed and added to sauces. There are may additional ways of preparing vegetables which makes them very tasteful.
2. Eat one serving of fruit daily. Healthy fruits include berries, apples, pears and citrus fruit. Limit fruits that are high in sugar, such as melons, mangoes and pineapples.
3. Eat lean meat and fish, however limit the amount of fish eaten that are high in mercury, such as tuna and sword fish.
4. Eat healthy fats such as olive oil, avocadoes, walnuts, almonds andflexseeds. Healthy fats play essential roles that contribute to the health of every cell in the body.
5. Minimize sugar intake. Do not add sugar and avoid swert sugary foods. Eat no more than one serving of Carbohydrates per day. Excess sugar and Carbohydrates are metabolized into fat, even healthy Carbohydrates like oat meal and grains.
6. Avoid processed foods and refined foods. Such foods have all the fiber removed from them and chemicals are usually added to prolong shelf life.
7. Drink lots of water. Add mint leaves, lemon or lime to the water for a light natural flavor.
8. Exercise is one of the essential pillars to good health. Exercise may include walking, running, dancing, swimming or participation in a formal exercise class.
Body mass index (BMI) is a value derived from the weight and height of a person and can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems and to indicate excess weight or obesity. It is important to check your BMI at your Annual Physical exam.
The above lifestyle changes will have a positive impact on your health.