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What is a healthy weight?

What are the health risks of being overweight or obese? Extra weight may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes heart disease and stroke high blood cholesterol high blood pressure kidney disease non-alcoholic fatty liver disease a fat buildup in the livers of people who drink little or no alcohol problems with pregnancy see box certain cancers Health Risks Of Being Overweight Or Obese During Pregnancy Extra weight can cause these health problems with pregnancy: gestational diabetes high blood sugar during pregnancy high blood pressure increased risk for cesarean section C-section Talk to your health care provider if you have concerns.

Why do people become overweight? The World around You Communities, homes, and workplaces can all affect people's health decisions. Families Overweight and obesity tend to run in families.

Healthy Weight

Medicine Some medicines, such as steroids drugs used to reduce swelling and some drugs for depression and other psychiatric disorders, may lead to weight gain. Emotions Many people eat when they are bored, sad, angry, or stressed, even when they are not hungry. Healthy Eating Paying attention to what, when, how often, and how much you eat can be the first step to helping you eat better.

What kinds of foods should I eat? Eat more of these nutrient-rich foods Nutrients—like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber—nourish our bodies by giving them what they need to be healthy. The guidelines advise adults to eat the following foods because they are rich in nutrients: fruits and vegetables whole grains, like oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice seafood, lean meats, poultry, and eggs fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or substitutes like soy or rice milk that are high in vitamin D and calcium beans, nuts, and seeds Eat less of these foods Some foods have many calories but few of the vitamins, minerals, or fiber your body needs.

The Government's dietary guidelines recommend that you limit foods such as these: sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts foods with butter, shortening, or other fats that are solid at room temperature white bread, rice, and pasta that are made from refined grains Easy Snack Ideas low-fat or fat-free yogurt fresh, canned, or dried fruit sliced vegetables or baby carrots Quick Breakfast Ideas oatmeal with low-fat or fat-free milk or a soy-based drink, topped with walnuts and fresh or dried fruit a slice of whole-wheat toast with a thin piece of low-fat cheese fruit smoothie made with frozen fruit and low-fat yogurt high-fiber, low-sugar cereal with a soy-based beverage or fat-free milk How can I follow a healthy eating plan?

These tips may help you stay on track with your plan to eat better: Have low-fat, low-sugar snacks on hand. Whether you are at home, at work, or on the go, healthy snacks may help to combat hunger and prevent overeating.

Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common challenges

Select a mix of colorful vegetables each day. Choose dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, collards, and mustard greens, and reds and oranges such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and tomatoes. Eat breakfast every day. People who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day.

Choose whole grains more often.

Diabetes Update 162: Eating Right

Try whole-grain breads and pastas, oatmeal, brown rice, or bulgur. Choose fresh fruit more often than fruit juice. Fruit juice has little or no fiber, the calories may be high, and many juices have added sugar. Use fats and oils sparingly. Olive, canola, and peanut oils; avocados; nuts and seeds; olives; and fish provide heart-healthy fat as well as vitamins and minerals. Limit foods and beverages that are high in sugar. How much should I eat? What if I need to lose weight? Use a food diary to track what you eat To keep a food diary, write down all the food you eat in a day.

To get started, see the sample food diary. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Don't shop when you're hungry. Don't keep many foods high in fat or sugar in your home.


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Dish up smaller servings. At restaurants, eat only half your meal and take the rest home. Eat at the table. Turn off the TV so you don't overeat. Behavior Be realistic about weight-loss goals. Aim for a slow, modest weight loss.


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  6. Seek support from family and friends. Expect setbacks and forgive yourself if you regain a few pounds. Add moderately intense or vigorous physical activity to your weight-loss plan. This kind of activity increases your heart rate and makes you break a sweat. Examples are brisk walking, swimming, and dancing. Coffee with sugar and cream, oatmeal with low-fat milk and banana Hungry.

    Ate my usual breakfast. Low-fat yogurt Stomach starting to rumble. Adding fresh fruit or whole grains will help keep me from overeating later. Roast beef and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread, potato chips, can of soda Probably ate more than I was hungry for because of the "lunch deal" the deli offered me. If I pack my lunch, I won't be tempted in the lunch line. A snack like veggie slices with salsa is more nutritious. We split dessert, which made me feel healthy. Next time, I'll have a salad with low-fat dressing. Sweet, fresh fruit is good as a light dessert. Decaf herbal tea Had trouble falling asleep.

    Physical Activity How much physical activity do I need? Aerobic Activity Aerobic activity uses your large muscle groups chest, legs, and back to increase your heart rate. Try one of these activities or others you enjoy: brisk walking or jogging bicycling with a helmet swimming playing basketball or soccer Benefits Of Aerobic Activity Regular aerobic activity may help you … Control weight. Aerobic activity burns calories, which may help you manage your weight. Prevent heart disease and stroke. Regular aerobic activity can strengthen your heart muscle and lower your blood pressure.

    It may also help lower "bad" cholesterol and raise "good" cholesterol. Maintain strong bones. Weight-bearing aerobic activities that involve lifting or pushing your own body weight, such as walking, jogging, or dancing, help to maintain strong bones. Activity to Strengthen Muscles These activities make you push or pull against something, such as gravity, weights, or exercise bands. Aim for at least 2 days a week.

    Diabetes Update Eating Right

    Try these options: Lift weights. Use canned food or books as weights. Do push-ups or pull-ups. Work with resistance bands large rubber bands. Do heavy gardening digging, lifting, carrying. Not only do strengthening exercises burn calories, but having more muscle means you will burn slightly more calories throughout the day—even when you are sitting still.

    192 Healthy Habits: The Ultimate List of Healthy Lifestyle Activities

    Reduce injury. Stronger muscles improve balance and support your joints, lowering the risk of injury. Doing strengthening exercises regularly helps build bone and may prevent bone loss as you age. How do I get started? Free weights at home 20 minutes Tues. Yoga video at home minute video Yoga helped me relax. Free weights at home 20 minutes Sat. Stretching 15 minutes Sun. Try these activities to add more movement to your daily life: Choose parking spots that are farther away from where you are going and walk the last few blocks.

    Make sure the places you park and walk are well lit. Walk around the inside of a mall in bad weather. Rake the leaves, wash the car, or do brisk housecleaning. Visit museums or the zoo. Many of these places are free. You and your family can walk for hours and not realize it. Take a break from sitting at the computer or TV. Go for a short walk or stretch.

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    If your time is limited, do 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Spread these bursts of activity out throughout the day. Every little bit counts! Being Good To Yourself Many people feel stress in their daily lives. Try some of these other ideas to help relieve stress and stay on track with improving your health: Get plenty of sleep. Practice deep breathing while relaxing your muscles one at a time.

    Take a break and go for a walk. Add short stretch breaks to your day. Try a new hobby or any activity that sparks your interest. Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy. Try whole-wheat breads and pastas, oatmeal, or brown rice. Solutions: Plan ahead. Join an exercise group or class and seek others in the group to help motivate you and keep you accountable to attending. Solutions: Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope or calisthenics.

    Identify inexpensive, convenient resources in your community, such as parks and recreation programs, worksite wellness groups, walking clubs, etc. Solutions: Exercise with your kids -- go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, get an aerobic dance or exercise tape for kids. You can spend time together, occupy the kids and ensure they're getting the daily physical activity they need to stay healthy. If you have a specific class you like to attend, try alternating babysitting time with a neighbor. Pack a jump rope and resistance bands in your luggage.