Many articles, headlines, and attention-grabbing lines are about “how to lose that weight.” However, while it is important to lose excess weight to have a healthy weight, some other people need to add on just a little bit more to get on the healthy side of weight as well.
Is there a thing as being underweight given the undivided attention/craze about weight loss? Everyone has something to say about the ideal way to lose weight thereby (in)directly fostering the body/fat shaming culture. Many people are desperate to shed off weight to look a particular size even if they are on the healthy side of weight. Different entities have sprung up, feeding on the weight-loss craze to sell various weight loss pills, drinks, attires, and other methods to consumers whether effective or not.
If there was a perspective shift about the healthy weight to maintain irrespective of whether you are plus-sized or not, people will be well informed that obesity and leanness/emaciation/anorexia/underweight are the real issues. People will know that you can be plus-sized and be healthy. And there should be no desperation to achieve a certain weight size if you already have a healthy weight. People must choose to lose or add weight for the right reasons.
Now that we have established that the real focus should be on having a healthy weight and maintaining it, we should know the dangers of not maintaining a healthy weight. Being obese or underweight represents many health concerns to individuals and can cause eventual death too.
Obesity which is the abnormal accumulation of fat in the body is now an epidemic and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.8 million people die each year because they are obese or overweight. Some of the health risks of obesity include coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, osteoarthritis, gall bladder disease, sleep disorder (activate hyperlink to the previous article on sleep disorder), mental disorder and death.
Tackling obesity is important to get to a healthy weight size, things that can be done include:
- Reduce and balance out calorie intake
- Regular physical activity. Build more lean muscle.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Stay active!
- Maintain a healthy diet; eat more filling foods that are high in fibre content such as whole meal bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, oats, vegetables and fruits and eat meals in small portions.
- Increase high-protein meals for breakfast
- Increase water consumption (at least 3litres per day)
- Adequate sleep
- Avoid myths and check with your doctor on misconceptions/assumptions
While the condition of being underweight may not get as much attention as obesity, it is equally a dangerous condition. It poses threats like nutritional deficiencies, weakened immune system, infertility, osteoporosis, aneamia, irregular periods in women, skin/hair/teeth problems etc. Adding healthy weight is a treatment for underweight and ways to treat this include:
- Smaller portions of meals more frequently.
- Consume healthy snacks.
- Increase calorie intake but avoid empty calories and meals high in salt and sugar.
- Exercise and add muscle to your body. Exercise also has a way to stimulate your appetite.
- Avoid diet sodas, coffee, and beverages. Take more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
Bodyweight is regulated by genetic, physiologic, and behavioral factors. Whether the goal is to lose or gain weight, the overarching goal should be to maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is a crucial factor of lifelong healthy living and it is important to filter through myths, deceptions and misconceptions that trail discussions on weight management.
A lifestyle that incorporates a healthy diet, good physical activity and other healthy habits helps maintain a healthy weight throughout. The following should be considered to maintain a healthy weight over time:
- Do not skip breakfast
- Drink lots of water. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger so really, stay hydrated
- Disregard many fad diets or extreme calorie restriction plans as they harm your health
- Always choose healthy food options, eat more fruits and vegetables
- Eat meals in portions
- Get between 150-300 minutes of physical activity each week through exercise and other physical activities. Thankfully with our app, you get regular reminders to stretch, exercise or any other tip to keep you physically active. (Activate hyperlink to download the app from android/IOS Appstore)
- Practice the rule of thumb to maintain your weight; the more calories you consume, the more active you should get and vice versa. In other words, to gain weight burn fewer calories than you consume, to lose weight burn more calories than you consume and finally to keep your weight the same, burn the same number of calories you consume.
- And we cannot say this enough, get enough sleep and rest (read our article on sleeping disorders and solutions for this, read here).
A healthy lifestyle cannot be overemphasized, therefore whatever we do with our bodies should be based on well-made decisions. It is important to make deliberate and medically backed up decisions always. We care about what you do next, so reach us here if you need to talk to a medical expert.