Today is “Rid the World of Fad Diets & Gimmicks Day” and part of Healthy Weight Week, sponsored by the Healthy Weight Network Healthy Weight Journal. Led by Francie M. Berg, adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, the Healthy Weight Network seeks to provide consumers with “the latest research on obesity, eating disorders, weight and eating issues, dieting, weight loss and weight gain along with a practical guide for healthy living”.
Healthy Weight Week usually takes place from 18th-25th January. This is a golden opportunity for people who are fighting with obesity and weight issues to develop healthy eating habits. Opposed to the idea that diets are the only way of developing a healthy lifestyle, in reality, it is just a temporary fix. A healthy lifestyle is a combination of several important things such as good quality sleep, regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy eating habits.
What defines a perfect weight?
In adults, healthy weight is determined by observing the ratio of body weight to height. The body mass index uses your weight and height to calculate whether you have excessive fat or just doing well. If an individual has a BMI of 25 to 29, 9, it means that the weight of the body is comparatively more than the height.
However, in some cases, there are exceptions, such as in the case of athletes. Since they tend to have big muscles, the BMI may be above 30 but that does not categorize them as obese.
What should I eat?
Part of celebrating a healthy weight week is deciding what you should eat. Start by taking small steps and including food items that provide essential nutrients. Substitute junk food for salads, snacks, and natural supplements. Drink plenty of juices and water to hydrate yourself. Try different combinations of proteins, calcium, carbohydrates, and other sources so that you reap all the benefits.
The Healthy Weight Network publishes an annual list of “Slim Chance Awards” that highlight the year’s most fraudulent and outrageous weight loss claim, weight loss promotion, and weight loss gimmick. For 2009, the Slim Chance awards went to:
- Worst Product: Hydroxycut (FDA warning to stop using Hydroxycut products)
- Most Outrageous: FDA recalls pills spiked with powerful, undisclosed drugs
- Worst Claim: QVC Shopping Network pays $7.5 million to settle charge it aired deceptive claims
- Worst Gimmick: Kinoki Foot Pads claiming to detoxify the body
The Healthy Weight Network also works to help consumers identify weight loss frauds. Citing the American Heart Association’s Guidelines for Weight Management for Healthy Adults, the network focuses on food over supplements and states that, “diets rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber are consistent with health promotion and disease prevention in healthy people”.
Apart from identifying fraudulent weight loss programs and encouraging people to consume nutritious diets over supplements, there are several other important factors as well as penned down by the network that will further help people follow healthy living.
Exercise is the first and foremost important factor when it comes to healthy living. As kids, we found climbing up and down the walls and trees as fun and entertaining. The same principles apply here as well. The point is to make exercise as much entertaining and enjoyable as possible so that you make it a habit. This will allow you to follow a healthy routine regularly rather than being lazy and spending hourseveryday thinking whether you need it or not. Exercise helps release stress and improves the circulation of blood. As a result, you will feel fresh and more energetic with each passing day.
Get Quality Sleep
The concept of quality sleep amongst millennials and the upcoming generation is vague. If you are someone who is following a healthy diet program and exercising regularly but not getting quality sleep, then unfortunately you are bound to gain nothing. Your body needs sufficient rest for it to reset things. Poor quality sleep will result in weight gain as all. Make sure that you get 8 hours of sleep every day so that your stress levels remain at a minimum.
Cut back on carbonated drinks & Alcohol
Consuming energy and carbonated drinks while you are thirsty is not a wise decision. There is only one thing that could hydrate your body and that is water. Carbonated drinks tend to trick your body into believing that you are not thirsty anymore. However, the reality is the opposite. After a while, you shall feel thirsty again and that is why it is best to consume water.
Similarly, alcohol has no benefits to offer. Why consume something that damages your liver and kidneys in exchange for a bit of relaxation? Not only does it increase the risk of cancer but negatively influences your blood pressure as well, which directly affects your heart. Therefore, think hard before pouring a drink. A healthy life does not accept the unnecessary consumption of harmful things.
Eat Vegetables & Fruits
Both vegetables & fruits are known to be packed with nutrients and essential minerals. It is suggested that both kids and adults consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The reason being those essential nutrients such as calcium, fiber, proteins, iron, and magnesium, etc. all are found in abundance. Furthermore, it is also recommended that each variety is included in everyday meals so that you get the best of both worlds. Lastly, the consumption of fruits and vegetables will help you reduce the intake of processed meat, which could increase the risk of heart diseases.