Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week 5: Weight Control For Your Heart

Very Important – Know Your Body Mass Index (BMI)BMI indicates if you are at a healthy weight for your height. It's important to know your BMI number since obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Visit the BMI calculator to get your number.

BMI 18.5 or less = underweight
BMI 18.5 to 24.9 = healthy
BMI 25 and 30 = overweight
BMI 31 and above = obese

If your BMI is in the overweight or obese category, don't be discouraged. You are working now, by following the BetterU program's physical activity and eating recommendations, to improve your health. Keep it up and you can get that number to go down!

Choose A BetterU WeightHere's how you can get on track for an improved weight:

Know Your Calories. Find out your recommended number of daily calories. To start losing weight, you'll need to reduce your food intake by 250-500 calories per day.

Set a Weight Goal. If you are overweight, a good goal is to lose 5-10% of your body weight. A safe rate for weight loss is ½ to 2 pounds per week. 

Stay Balanced; Calories in = Calories out. Weight is a matter of energy balance. To keep your weight the same, your calories in must equal the calories your body uses. To lose weight, you have to either increase your calories out, reduce the calories you consume, or both.

Get Active! Move more. All movement burns calories. Increase the intensity of what you already do. You burn about the same number of calories per mile walking or jogging. But you burn them faster if you pick up the pace.

Don’t “reward” a workout with food. Go for a walk to help you fight non-hunger urges to eat. Keep track of your physical activity! Here is a log you can use.

Eat Healthy! Watch your portions. Try pre-portioned meals and snacks. Don’t drink your calories. Reach for water first. Pay attention to hunger. Eat before you get too hungry; stop eating before you feel full. Keep track of your eating!

Did You Know?A number of risk factors for heart disease and stroke can be addressed by improving your physical fitness – no matter what your size. Focus on making healthy food and physical activity choices. For substantial health benefits do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. It's important to remember that a healthy weight doesn't necessarily mean your heart is healthy.

Don't Fall for Traps and Trip-Ups - Traps and trip-ups include emotions, situations, places, or even people that influence you to get off track. You've got to recognize and address these triggers for less healthy choices. For example, you may have a cookie-eating weakness when you get stressed, or avoid physical activity because you're too tired after work.
Once you've discovered your traps and trip-ups you should plan how to avoid them. Remember, even if you can't control your situation, you can control your choices. And the more healthy choices you make, the more likely you'll achieve your A Better U Course For Success!

Think about the goals you have worked toward in your weekly Course for Success. What barriers have you discovered? What has worked to help you overcome them?

Check In With Your Choices – Stop Emotional Eating - Many women let their emotions get in their way of their choices. Here are suggestions for avoiding this common trap:

Recognize how your mood affects your food. Stress, sadness, boredom, and even happiness can lead to unwanted calories and weight gain. Just a handful of potato chips every day can add about 1,000 calories per week. That could make you gain 4-pound in three months and 16-pounds in a year! Some women, on the other hand, lose their appetite and have poor nutrition during emotional times. It is important to know how your moods influence your food so you can make healthier choices.

Use healthy coping skills. After you understand your emotional eating patterns, develop an action plan. Think of ways to cope with emotions that don't involve food. For example, if you've had an intense day at work or you've been juggling carpools for your kids, avoid flopping down on the couch and flipping the remote control while eating your favorite chips at night. Instead, give yourself a 15-minute timeout and take a walk, do some stretching exercises or call a friend for support. Chances are you'll feel better and will have forgotten about those chips that were calling your name.

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