We are in an era with access to plenty of resources to help us improve our health. This includes finding a weight loss program that will fit an individual’s needs.
Whether you are looking to drop a few pounds or make a significant change to your weight, it’s important to form habits that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Are You Overweight?
A BMI score is a tool that helps you determine if you are considered overweight for your height.
To calculate your BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 704.5, then divide your answer by your height in inches. Take this calculation and divide it by your height in inches a second time.
The result is your BMI. Or you can enter your height and weight into this BMI calculator to determine your BMI.
BMI scores are categorized as follows:
- 18.5 and under is considered underweight
- 18.5 – 24.9 is normal weight
- 25 – 29.9 is overweight
- 30 and over is considered obese (there are 3 classifications of obesity)
Weight Loss Importance for the Overweight and Obese
Anyone who consumes more calories than their body requires is at risk of becoming overweight or obese. If your BMI score is suggesting you are either overweight or obese, you are at risk for developing several health problems.
Health problems like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Even certain types of cancer.
If your weight is becoming an issue and posing health risks, it’s important to have a weight loss program that includes moderate exercise and healthy food choices.
Not only will you start to feel better about yourself, you’ll reduce your risk for disease.
Choose An Exercise Plan That Works for You
Not everyone is comfortable in a gym setting and that’s okay, as there are many ways you can implement an exercise routine.
Investing in some at-home equipment is a great way to make exercise accessible and provides flexibility with your schedule.
Seeking support in your community from fitness instructors and personal trainers can be another great motivation and a way to develop a suitable program.
Group exercise classes are a fun way to stay motivated and are usually welcoming and encouraging for people in all fitness ranges.
Keeping your fitness routine exciting and achievable, while seeking support will help you stay on track and stick with it in the long run.
Fitness and nutrition shouldn’t be an all or nothing approach, according to PhD, Penny Kris-Etherton. You should aim at small steps to your overall goal and find a fitness plan that fits into your lifestyle. And, it should also be something you enjoy doing.
Specific Exercises for the Overweight and Obese
Beginning an exercise routine can be especially difficult if you are overweight or obese, but exercise can not only improve your mood but also give you more confidence and energy.
It can also make everyday activities easier as you continue to lose unwanted pounds.
First, be sure to check with your doctor to confirm you are healthy enough to begin a fitness routine. Find out your limitations and create a plan around what works best for you.
For weight loss, you must aim to take part in challenging and vigorous activity for up to three hours per week.
Some of the best exercises for heavier adults include moderate intensity walking, water jogging and low impact group classes that help keep you motivated.
Starting to walk for as little as 10-15 minutes a day can have a positive impact on weight loss – the fitter you get the longer you can walk, aiming for up to 30 minutes per day for best results.
Strength training is also high on the list as it has special benefits. For example, helping with posture issues that may have developed from carrying too much body weight.
Training with weights can increase your range of motion and help you build lean muscle mass, which burns more calories and raises your metabolism.
Seeking the support of a trainer to learn proper form and modified movements, can be extremely helpful when you begin your strength routine.
Join a gym that has well educated and friendly staff on hand, as well as a variety of equipment.
Healthy Eating for a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise are the best combination for weight management.
The lifestyle changes you make will have to be realistic and manageable so you can succeed. And not only on your weight loss plan, but with your ability to maintain your weight loss over the long term.
Eating “clean” is a term for eating no processed foods and eating food as close to their natural state as possible. This in conjunction with eliminating added sugars, alcohol and sugary beverages, will help kick-start your fat burning.
Healthy eating tips and general lifestyle changes
Author Jackie Warner, of “This Is Why You’re Fat”, uses a moderate approach to weight loss through focusing on clean eating.
Elimination of processed foods and using proper nutrition, as well as avoiding crash diets or extremes are key to lasting results. You want to focus on creating an overall lifestyle change.
Your grocery lists are bound to change and so will the way you prepare food, but soon enough your new diet will be second nature.
Portion control and training yourself to eat just enough to satisfy your hunger will help you stay on track.
Some important things to consider outside of diet and exercise is paying attention to your sleeping habits and stress management. Both play an essential role in your health.
The better your rest and management of stress, the more you can get your weight under control. Lack of sleep and stress can affect hormones in the body that affect your weight.
You will also have more energy for physical activities.
Overall, weight loss takes time and patience but is rewarding for both body and mind. Always take it one day at a time and celebrate your small successes along the way. Remember, weight loss is a process.
Do you think you might be overweight? Find out the facts about BMI Classifications and the get answers to frequently asked questions about weight gain and if you should be concerned.
The information in this article should not be taken as professional medical advice. If you are having issues or have health-related concerns, you should see your personal physician.