Weight loss is not synonymous with healthy

In simple terms, think of losing weight as an equation — burn more calories than you take in and you will lose weight.

by Sherry Fragosa — 

You want to lose weight, trim down, cast away those last five to 10 pounds, or even lose 50 to 100 pounds. Many people, from teens to the elderly, have thoughts of weight loss roiling around in their minds constantly. This is normal, and most Americans will benefit from losing a few or more pounds.

But what is missing from the equation? It is the desire to be healthy. Being at an appropriate weight is important, but it does not mean that you are automatically healthy.

Being healthy is about so much more than the number on our bathroom scales. Good health saves us money, time and frustration, fewer lab tests, appointments, prescriptions and surgeries.

Health experts talk about quality vs. quantity when it comes to food choices, calories and exercise. Yet, by and large, the American public has become focused on quantity over quality.

Your health tests reflect a baseline number that establishes whether you fall into a low, normal or high range. Tests are given for weight, blood pressure, blood count, cholesterol, blood sugar, fat vs. lean body mass and countless other indicators of health. Only focusing on whether or not the test results are normal will not paint the full picture of your health, which should encompass your whole body and being.

Starting your weight-loss program in a way that brings quality food and activities into your daily routine will increase your level of health. Make your program a lifestyle change, and your health will benefit, long after you have reached your target weight.

In simple terms, think of losing weight as an equation — burn more calories than you take in and you will lose weight. Losing weight in a healthy way means that you are burning more calories by doing quality exercise, and taking in fewer calories by eating the right foods at the right time of day.

Make your weight loss all about quality, the appropriate quantities and dedication, and this will not only get you to the right number on the scale, but it also will give you a healthy heart and gut, a serene disposition, improved energy, fewer aches and pains, fewer allergies, an improved immune system and much more.

Some individuals who know a great deal about diet and exercise can manage this, but it takes discipline. Others will benefit from working with a mentor, coach or physician to guide them through the science and lifestyle choices, and provide support.

The following steps will help you get started:

Step One — Talk to yourself. Look inside and answer honestly about what your goals and weaknesses are, where you need the most help, what your timeline is and whether you are ready to make a commitment to yourself.

Step Two — Establish your meal plan. From your answers in step one, you will either create this on your own or consult a professional. Consider a low glycemic diet, eating foods with quality ingredients, eating five to six times a day with good quality snacks and “meals between meals.”

Step Three — Establish your exercise routine. Being healthy means having muscle mass. This does not mean that you could enter a body-builder competition, but it does mean that your muscle mass should outweigh your fat mass.

Step Four — Establish your goals, timelines and rewards. Be realistic, get quality advice, be kind to yourself without making excuses, and be disciplined and honest, so that creating a healthy lifestyle will become easy, fun and rewarding.

 

Sherry Fragosa is the co-founder/owner of the Center for True Harmony Wellness and Medicine in Mesa, Ariz., where they specialize in integrated medicine. They hold free monthly talks on common health topics. www.trueharmonywellness.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, August/September 2011.

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