woman working outWhy should I lose weight?

Losing extra body weight has many benefits. Studies have shown that losing weight greatly decreases your risk for many health conditions. According to the Diabetes Prevention Program study, all you need to lose is just 5- 10% of your current body weight to lower your risk from getting diabetes. That’s equal to a 10-20 pound weight loss for someone that weighs 200 pounds.
 If you lose weight and keep it off, you lower your chances of getting

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gallbladder disease

If you already have some of these conditions, losing weight will help you manage these conditions better, and you may be able to reduce the amount of medications you are taking.
There are also many other benefits from weight loss you may see such as an increase in energy, better outlook on life, and having a healthier lifestyle.

Losing weight can be overwhelming and also very confusing. It seems that every day there is a new trendy diet being promoted. In reality, when it comes to losing weight there is no magic pill. Instead, making small lifestyle changes will result in weight loss over time. Having a realistic expectation of the amount of weight you will lose will help to keep you motivated. Weight loss is slow and a healthy amount to lose is about 1-2 pounds a week.

Losing weight and maintain that weight loss all comes down to calorie balance, which is determined by the amount of calories taken in from foods and beverages versus the amount of calories used by your body. To lose weight, you will need less calories in and more calories out. To achieve this, you will need to follow a healthy meal plan and increase physical activity.

Less Calories In: If you want to lose 1 pound a week, all it takes is decreasing your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. Start thinking about where your extra calories may be coming from. Extra calories often appear in beverages, dressings and sauces, or condiments.

More Calories Out:  It is recommended to engage in physical activity for 150 minutes a week – or 30 minutes 5 days a week.  This can be spread out through each day and does not need to be done all at once. Studies have shown that walking 10 minutes 3 times a day is just as effective as walking for 30 minutes all at once. How can you add some extra physical activity to your day? Think about parking your car a little but farther away, or taking short walks during your breaks. You can also go to the park and play catch with your children, or ride your bike to the store. The most important thing about incorporating physical activity into your life is to make it fun!


More Information on Weight Loss

Are you ready to start your weight loss journey, but would like a little bit of support? Come take a class to get more ideas on how to eat a healthy diet and increase physical activity.

Achieving a Healthy Weight: A 2 hour weight management class. The class explores the benefits of weight loss and physical activity while utilizing tools such as BMI, waist measurement, portion sizes, plate method, and food journaling. Discussion also includes an overview of healthy weight loss strategies. Please feel free to bring one support person with you.

Living Light Living Well: a multi-phase adult weight management and lifestyle program. This group education series is facilitated by a registered dietitian with a Health educator.  Join in the First Steps (phase 1) meeting for 2 hours each week for 12 weeks to learn different approaches to reach your healthier weight and improving overall wellness. First Steps topics include:

  • Long-term behavior changes
  • A non-diet approach to weight loss
  • The benefits and different types of physical activity
  • Empowerment and responsibility towards weight management

After the 12 weeks of First Steps concludes, continue with bi-monthly sessions during the Transitions (phase 2) to stay on your weight loss journey.  Ongoing Support (phase 3) is available after completion of First Steps and Transitions. Ongoing Support consists of a monthly web and phone-based education and discussion.  Due to the in depth discussion, support persons are not allowed to attend.

Weight management class schedules