While a lot of people are resolving to lose weight in 2017, others are asking, “do I really need to lose weight?”
I think that is one of those questions that’s best answered by asking more questions.
Has it been hinted or suggested by friends, family, or rude strangers that your weight is a problem? Yes or no?
Some people who are completely happy with their weight decide to lose weight to please somebody else. It could be a friend (some friend, huh?) who makes cracks about their weight. Sometimes spouses complain, “you’re not the hottie I married.”
Are you getting informed that you’re letting yourself go in subtle or obvious ways? Yes or No?
You might want to ignore these people? Their opinion doesn’t matter.
Sometimes, the suggestion to lose weight isn’t about looking better, but rather someone near and dear to you is concerned about your health. A spouse or partner may become concerned about snoring or shallow or paused breathing when asleep which can be signs of sleep apnea. About half the people who have sleep apnea are overweight. Sleep apnea can kill. Weight loss can cure the condition.
Have you been told you stop breathing or snore? Yes or No?
Are you having trouble sleeping, particularly staying asleep or feeling extremely tired during the day? Yes or No?
Has it been pointed out to you that you’re out of shape because you’re breathing hard or slowing down when engaged in low intensity activities? Yes or No?
Have you noticed it yourself that it’s hard to catch your breath when climbing stairs or even walking a short distance? Yes or No?
Their concern could be justified. You might agree your weight is a problem for you as much as you’d like to think that it’s not.
Some people are okay with their weight but their doctors are not. Excess weight and obesity can be the cause of a variety of health problems. Many of these can be deadly and can be avoided by losing weight.
Your doctor may consult a chart and tell you that you should lose weight even though all of your important health numbers are are well within the normal range. Charts are great for accessing healthy weight ranges for a group of people in general. They are useless when applied to individuals who don’t conform to the group.
Has your doctor declared, “you’re in good shape, except that you’re overweight?” Yes or No?
Have you been diagnosed with any of these diseases that can be directly caused or improved with your weight: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or high blood cholesterol Yes or No?
Your doctor may comment that you could stand to lose weight, but you’re very healthy. You could take that to mean you don’t need to change a thing including your weight. Maybe you don’t.
A lot depends on your age even when you’re a little overweight. It’s common to be able to ignore basic, healthy habits without any repercussions except maybe a little extra chubbiness in the belly, hips, thighs or chins when you’re young. Some people are so lucky as to live completely unhealthy lifestyles and avoid extra weight. It sounds great, but it may also be fatal. While they look fine on the outside, they’re not doing so well on the inside. Age can exacerbate the negative health consequences.
You may have come to the conclusion you don’t need to lose weight even if you acknowledge you could stand to lose a few pounds. As long as your check ups keep saying you’re healthy there’s no need to change, but that could be a fool’s paradise.
Even if you don’t want to lose weight, it’s a good idea to make a few simple changes improve your habits to maintain your good health. Try picking a few of these suggestions or do your best to follow all 10.
- eat more fruit and vegetables
- pay attention to portions
- snack smart by eating foods that improve your overall quality nutritional intake (foods that are naturally nutrient dense and low in energy density)
- order wisely when dining out (the more you dine out the more important this is)
- eat sweets and fats sparingly
- limit alcohol
- avoid long periods of sitting
- get some for of moderate to intense activity for 30 minutes every day (doesn’t have to be 30 consecutive minutes)
- walk, and walk some more, get between 6,500 to 10,000 steps daily and never fewer that 2300 unless you’re confined to rest
- Make quality sleep (7-9 hours every 24 hours) a priority