What does weight management mean? Is it different for different age groups?
Basically weight management is about adopting a long term lifestyle that maintains a healthy body weight. This might mean you first have to achieve a healthy body weight and then make your lifestyle choices support this. A healthy body weight is dependent on age, sex and height. This is achieved by a two-pronged approach of diet and exercise.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help manage the consequences of and lower the risk of many diseases like, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers. A healthy weight is one that is not too light or too heavy. So know your body fatness. The higher your percentage of body fatness the more likely you are to develop obesity related diseases. The lower your body fat might mean you have reduced muscle mass which may lead to falls and other health issues. Your doctor and other health professionals can assist you in working out your body fatness and your recommended weight range for age, sex and height.
Despite what many media outlets tell us, there are no magic bullets for maintaining and achieving an ideal weight. It requires effort, commitment and perseverance.
Our tips are to combine different methods of improved lifestyle and eating patterns for the best effect. These can include:
- Track your food intake and your exercise – keeping a diary will help you see where you can make changes that are sustainable and these will then become your new good habits.
- Commit to fresh food where possible. This will provide you with good nutrients, fewer preservatives, less salt, less refined carbohydrate and much more dietary fibre.
- Change your fruit juice to plain water. This is better for your energy intake as fruit juice is very high in kilojoules.
- Reduce your alcohol intake also.
- Get enough sleep and reduce your stress.
- Include plenty of exercise in your daily activity, making sure it includes resistance and strength training. Your health professionals will help you with this especially if you are just starting out.
Did you know that Australian adults still don’t meet the requirements for fruit and vegetable intake? The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published figures recently that show about 50% of adults don’t eat enough fruit and more than 90% do not eat enough vegetables! Also, Australia has a high percentage of overweight and obese adults compared with other developed countries. We rank about 8th in the world.
Three ways to maintain weight at a healthy level.
- Cut back on refined carbohydrates
- Eat the right amount of protein, good fats and vegetables
The trick with the vegetable intake is to choose leafy green and low carbohydrate ones. These add nutrients, fibre, flavour and lots of bulk without adding unwanted kilojoules, so go ahead and fill your plate with these!
Learn more about weight management and exercise in Episode 14 of The Better Ageing Podcast:
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