January is Weight Loss Awareness Month. Weight loss is a difficult topic because there are so many different sources of information, many of which give conflicting advice. We hope that this article will help you find reliable sources of information on weight loss that fits your needs.
- Obesity is having too much body fat for one’s height.
- African American adults are more likely to be obese than any other racial or ethnic group, in Ohio over 40% of African Americans are obese according to the CDC.
- Obesity can increase your risk of several chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers.
- Being overweight means weighing too much for one’s height and the excess weight may be caused by muscle, bone, fat, or body water and is different than being obese.
- If you have obesity you may be advised to lose some weight, even losing 5-10% of your body weight (10-20 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) may lower your risk of developing these illnesses.
- To lose weight you must burn more calories than you eat and drink.
- Increasing exercise is one way to lose weight because it increases the number of calories you burn in a day, some great options are going for a walk or putting on some music to dance to!
- Limiting portion sizes can also help you to lose weight because it decreases the number of calories you need to burn in a day.
- Getting enough sleep and reducing stress can also help you to lose weight.
- Healthy weight loss is gradual and steady progress where you lose only 1-2 pounds per week. People who lose weight this way are usually more successful at maintaining their new lower weight than those who lose a lot of weight quickly.
- It’s recommended that adults trying to lose and maintain weight work up to 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, which is about 22 minutes per day.
- Physical activity does not need to be maintained for long periods of time to be effective, 10-15 minute periods of physical activity can be effective as well!
- Some moderate physical activities include walking briskly, yard work, shoveling snow, playing with children, or biking at a casual pace.
- Higher intensity physical activity can also aid adults trying to lose weight and less time is recommended per week, 75 minutes, which is only 15 minutes 5 times per week.
- Some high intensity physical activities include jogging or running, rollerblading, competitive sports like basketball and soccer, jumping rope, or dancing to upbeat music.
A healthy diet should
- emphasize foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat protein sources such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, seeds, and low or non-fat milk.
- be low in saturated fats (butter, lard, coconut oil), trans fats (margarine, beef), salt, and added sugars.
- not completely restrict specific food groups as these diets may not be nutritionally well-balanced and are difficult to maintain over time.
- Include breakfast.
Shame should never be used as a tactic to try and encourage others to lose weight, because shame surrounding body weight can actually lead to weight gain and obesity.
Remember weight loss is a gradual process of changing habits and doesn’t happen overnight, be patient and kind to yourself. You can do this!
The Center for Closing the Health Gap is here to help you!
The Center for Closing the Health Gap offers two programs that may be of interest to you:
Do Right! Nutrition Train the Trainer will teach you how to make better food choices, develop healthy eating patterns, and maintain a healthy weight, as well as how to teach others to do the same, find out more information here https://closingthehealthgap.org/what-we-do/wellness-series/nutrition-train-the-trainer/
Do Right! Healthy Steps is a wellness series focused on diabetes including physical activity, nutrition, healthy eating, find out more information here https://closingthehealthgap.org/what-we-do/wellness-series/healthy-steps/
Medline Plus Obesity General information https://medlineplus.gov/obesity.html#cat_79
CDC obesity statistics https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html#race
CDC healthy eating tips https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/index.html
CDC physical activity tips https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html
Different types of fat by the Harvard School of Public Health https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/
Weight shame is linked to obesity Pearl, et al 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300503/
Impact of shame on overweight and obese women Duarte, et al 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5249118/
More information about diets and which diet may be best for you from the Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20048466?p=1
Myths about healthy eating and exercise from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/myths-nutrition-physical-activity