Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for optimal health. One’s weight can effect your heart, physical abilities, and so much more.
I’m sure as the years have gone by and you’ve gotten older you’ve noticed changes in your body. Some changes are expected and others come as a complete surprise. Overtime these changes have occurred within your body, but what have you changed within your life to counter the changes?
In high school and even college you had a lot more time to run around, play sports and get exercise. After you graduated or moved into the next phase of life, get a job, start a family etc. you begin to decrease the amount of time you exercise.
Food becomes an afterthought and before you know it you’ve gained more fat and lost more muscle than you ever imagined possible, but it doesn’t end there. You start noticing that even when you are working out you don’t burn as many calories as you use to.
There are a couple of things that people don’t realize. First, as you get older your metabolism (the process from which food gets turned into energy), slows down. Second, your body composition changes, meaning that your body fat and muscle will vary at different times of your life.
How do you maintain a healthy weight for your optimal health?
There are so many things that can affect your weight, some of which may include age, gender, ethnicity, family culture, sleep and even place of work or location of where you live.
How do you maintain a healthy weight, when so many things can affect it?
- First, do what is in your control and don’t stress over things that you can’t. Limiting stress in your life can help you maintain a healthy weight and overall healthier.
- Second, getting the optimal amount of sleep for your age is essential to maintaining a healthy weight. According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 Adults doesn’t get enough sleep. For Adult ages 18-64, it is recommended that you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Third, is participating in physical activity. What are you doing to get your heart pumping? Are you allowing your heart rate to increase each day for at least 30 minutes? For people who increase their blood flow, at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes, have lower cholesterol, blood pressure and are physical and mentally more aware than those who don’t.
- Fourth, the most important for maintaining a healthy and optimal weight is food and nutrients. Food is probably the single most important thing pertaining to a healthy weight. The amount of calories one consumes is dependent on the amount of calories that are burned by exercise and activity.
What to eat when trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Healthy Eating requires a balance of all foods that are high in nutrients and not too high in calories. When trying to lose or maintain weight, you can’t continually eat the same thing over and over again because your body will lack in essential vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly.
An easy way to make sure that you get all your nutrients is to eat a variety of colors at every meal as well as using Myplate. Emphasizing fruits, vegetable, whole grain and low-fat or fat free milk will add tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber to your diet.
Eat a variety of protein will also contribute to building muscle and providing essential nutrients. Some great options of protein may include nuts, legumes, eggs, lean meats, and eggs. Other food that are important in contributing to a healthy weight are foods that are low in fats, cholesterol, added sugars and salt. (grab my list of foods with protein here)
With all of that being said, the goal is to not only to meet all of these other requirements, but to stay within your caloric needs. Watch your proportion sizes. Measure your food for a few weeks so that you can visually see what proportions you should be consuming.
Stick to healthier, low fat foods. Your body, mind and heart will thank you for it.