Body Basics

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Weight Management

"A healthy lifestyle and regular exercise are important factors to maintaining your ideal weight"

Weight management is about two key factors: energy intake and energy expenditure. Energy intake has to do with the type of diet you have and the number of calories you take in daily, while energy expenditure has to do with your daily exercise and activity level. To maintain your current weight, you need to balance intake with expenditure. If you take in more energy than you burn, you will store the excess energy as fat and gain weight. To lose weight requires expending more energy that you take in, which forces the body to break down energy stored in the form of fat to make up for the difference. There is really only one sure-fire way to lose weight: eat less and move around more.
Before you start any diet and exercise regimen you should consult your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you visit a registered dietitian or nutritionist to help you develop an individualized weight management plan.
Weight management involves various methods of keeping your body weight at a healthy level. Proper nutrition and exercise are important aspects of weight management for everyone, while medication or surgery may be required for some people. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent disease and may improve the symptoms and outcomes of existing disease.

Why is weight management important?
Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent many diseases. For some diseases, the link between a healthy weight and disease prevention is well established. For several others, there is evidence suggesting that carrying extra weight may be a risk factor in their development.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 66 percent of adults (age 20 years and over) are overweight or obese, while around 20 percent of children and adolescents are overweight. This means more than 130 million Americans are affected, roughly 65 million women and 70 million men. The total cost of overweight and obesity to the country is far in excess of billion every year.

What diseases can be improved by maintaining a healthy weight?
While you can reduce the risk of developing several diseases by maintaining a healthy weight, there are also diseases and conditions that can be greatly improved by achieving a healthy weight. In some cases, disease symptoms may disappear completely after you lose weight. The following is a list of common diseases that can be improved by good weight management after they have been diagnosed.

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Breathing problems
  • GERD
  • Sleep apnea
    • Being at a healthy weight means neither weighing too much nor too little. While it may be obvious when your weight is not at the level where it should be, it is not always obvious exactly what a healthy weight for you should be. There are a few methods for determining your optimum weight. One method involves using a simple formula that estimates your ideal weight using your height:

      • For women: add 100 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height then add 5 pounds for each additional inch of height. Example: a 5’ 6” woman should weigh about 130 lbs.
      • For men: add 106 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height then add 6 pounds for each additional inch of height. Example: a 5’ 10” man should weigh about 166 lbs.
      • To account for differences in body type, people with a small body frame should subtract 10% from the weight they calculated. Example: a 5’ 6” woman with a small frame should weigh about 130 - 13 = 117 lbs. For a large frame, 10% should be added. Example a 5’ 10” man with a large frame should weigh about 166 + 17 = 183 lbs

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