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Source:  US Department of Health and Human Services 

8 Health Tips 

  1. Eat breakfast every day.  You’re going to be less likely to overeat if you don’t skip it.  
  2. Eat whole-grains more 
  3. Eat a mix of colorful vegetables every day.  They all provide different nutrients so the more variety the better. 
  4. Keep low-fat, low-sugar snacks within easy reach 
  5. When eating out, only eat half the meal then take the rest home for later 
  6. Go out more to visit museums, the zoo or aquarium.  You and your family can walk for miles and not even realize it as you’re having so much fun.   
  7. Instead of watching TV after you eat dinner, go out and take a walk in the neighborhood 
  8. Sleep more 

What Happens if You’re Overweight? 

According to BMI (body mass index) scales, you are considered overweight when you get a score of over 25.  You are considered obese with scores over 30.  If you are female and have a waist measurement of 35 or over, that’s not healthy.  For men, it’s 40 inches.  When overweight your risk for all sorts of health issues greatly increase. 

  8 Potential Risks 

  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Heart disease/stroke 
  • High cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Fatty liver disease not related to drinking alcohol 
  • Pregnancy issues 
  • Certain types of cancer 

The Pregnancy Issues 

  • Gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy) 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Increased risk for having to get a C-section 

Why Do You Become Overweight? 

  • Eating and drinking more calories than you burn off 
  •  Where you live and work.  Sometimes there aren’t the safest areas to go and work out, or you don’t eat healthily.  You might sit around too much.  There are numerous reasons the world around you can affect your weight. 
  • It’s hereditary.  Weight issues run in families 
  • Certain medicines can make you gain weight  
  • Emotions can affect weight too.  You eat when you’re bored, stressed out, or sad to name a few. 

How to Change Your Lifestyle to Lose Weight 

Eat Healthily 

  • Eat more nutrient-rich food 
  • Fruits and vegetables 
  • Whole-grains like oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread 
  • Seafood, lean meat, poultry, and eggs 
  • Fat-free, low-fat milk, and cheese or substitute with soy/rice milk 
  • Beans, nuts, seeds 

Eat Less of These Foods  

  •  Sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts 
  • Foods that have butter, shortening or fats that are solid at room temps 
  •  Foods made from refined grains like white bread, rice, and pasta 

How much you should eat depends on how active you are.  Younger people tend to need more calories when older people do not.  But anyone who leads an active lifestyle needs to eat more calories depending on how active they are. 

Losing Weight 

Use these tools in order to better lose weight. 

  • Keep a food diary 
  • Write a shopping list and make sure to stick to it when you get to the store 
  • Try to get rid of as much food that has high sugar and fat from your home.  The temptation will be much less then. 
  • Smaller Servings 
  • Eat at the table 

Behaviors to use to help lose weight

  • Be realistic about your weight-loss goals 
  • Seek support from family and friends 
  • Expect setbacks 
  •  Add exercise, first slowly, building up to moderately vigorous workouts 

Types of Exercise 

Aerobic includes brisk walking or jogging, biking, swimming, playing basketball or soccer 

  • Do this at least 2.5 hrs a week 

Benefits of Aerobic Activity 

  • Controls weight 
  • Prevents heart disease and stroke 
  • Maintains strong bones 

Do this type of exercise at least twice a week

Strengthening exercises needs to be done also.  When you do it, make sure to have at least one day of rest for which muscle group you worked with last.  The muscles need the time to repair and grow. 

This includes: 

  • Lifting weights 
  • Using canned foods or books as weights if you have to 
  • Do push-ups or pull-ups 
  • Resistance bands 
  • Heavy gardening like digging, carrying and lifting things 

Benefits of strengthening exercises 

  • You use more calories to perform the actions 
  • It reduces the possibility of injury 
  • You maintain strong bones 

To begin start small 

  • Create a specific goal 
  • Keep an activity log book 
  • Choose parking spots further away 
  • Use the mall to walk in when there’s bad weather 
  • Rake leaves, wash the car, clean your house fast 
  • Take breaks from sitting by taking short walks or stretch 
  • If you have to, do 10 minutes at a time and break it up throughout the day instead of all at once 

Lastly, try these things to both relieve stress and stay on track for your healthy lifestyle changes. 

  • Get a lot of sleep 
  • Meditate through deep breathing and relaxing your muscles one at a time 
  • Take breaks and go for walks 
  • Add short stretch breaks to your day  
  • Find a hobby or some sort of activity that’s interesting to you 
  • Hang out with people you enjoy being with 

A balanced diet, doing regular physical activity and stress relief will help you to stay healthier.  Therefore, you’ll live a longer, healthier, happier life.  

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