This is the time of year when many people are focused on losing weight. Not coincidentally, Jan. 18-22 is Healthy Weight Week, a time to celebrate healthy, sustainable lifestyles that prevent weight problems.
One of the first steps to find out how much you should weigh is to measure your Body Mass Index (BMI). For a BMI calculator, click here. Keep in mind that this is not a perfect measure, but it can be used as a screening tool to see how much of your body is composed of fat.
BMI Ranges Less than 18.5: Underweight 18.5 - 24.9: Normal Healthy Weight 25 - 29.9: Overweight 30 or more: Obese
So now what? If you are not within the normal weight category, now is a good time to think about making some changes. One of the best ways to start is to have a consult with a registered dietitian (RD). With a referral from your doctor, most insurance plans will cover a visit. The dietitian will assess your medical background and current medications and help develop a personalized meal plan that can even include some of your favorite foods.
Begin with small changes. Change can be difficult, so give your body time to adjust. In the beginning, it is important to get used to a new routine. Most research shows that it takes a minimum of 21 days to develop a healthy habit. So start with one small change and then build upon it. Examples: switch to diet soda or fat-free milk, swap something sweet for a small piece of fruit, try filling half of your plate with colorful non-starchy vegetables, or start having a healthy salad with low-fat protein or lower sodium soup for lunch.
Commit to an active lifestyle. Starting with a small goal applies to your activity level as well. If exercising for 30 minutes a day seems daunting, just do 10 minutes at first to get used to it. Then gradually increase your time and work up to 30 minutes. One idea: Start with a daily walk on your lunch break. Routine is very important. By establishing a routine you will learn to trust yourself and what you can accomplish! Of course, always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Get started! It's a new year, so take this opportunity to start on the road to a healthier you! If you are a CCS Medical customer with questions about your weight, feel free to contact one of our clinicians by calling our Health Education Line: 866-548-2009.
The information provided within this site is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider.