Six steps to improving your health and weight

Obesity is a contributing factor for a number of health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Even a small 5% weight loss can have major benefits! Here are a few helpful steps.

Step 1: Set a realistic goal

It can sometimes be difficult to understand certain concepts such as ideal weight, healthy weight, and body mass index (BMI). Here is some information on the subject.

First of all, the concept of ideal weight is used in the medical community. It is calculated based on several different formulae that take into account a person's sex, height, and sometimes their age. Having said that, aside from these technical considerations, would it not be fair to say that a person's true ideal weight is the one that reflects the body image that the person is most comfortable with?

A person's healthy weight is often established based on BMI. This tool calculates a weight range for optimal health according to height. The further you are from this range, the higher the risk of developing health problems. BMI is determined using a very simple calculation—a person's weight (in kilograms) is divided by their height (in meters squared). A number of factors such as age, sex, heredity, and bone structure are not taken into account. Normal BMI is usually between 18.5 and 25.

You should therefore consider consulting a nutritionist before making dietary changes or starting a weight loss program. And if you have any health problem and take medications, talk to the pharmacist before making any changes.

And keeping weight off is an accomplishment on its own! It’s best to set a realistic goal and to celebrate your successes instead of setting a major weight loss goal and then being disappointed when you don’t achieve it. Adopting healthy habits and making long-term dietary changes is best instead of focusing on a number on the scale.

Step 2: Define your motivations

It isn't always easy to get motivated to change your habits, including eating habits. To stay motivated, it is important to clearly define the reasons why you want to lose weight or make dietary changes. Make a list of your motivations and place them in strategic places. This will help you to always keep them top of mind.

Step 3: Think strategy

When we want to achieve a goal, we need to think of concrete ways to achieve and maintain it over the long term in order to maintain a goal weight. Forget those "miracle diets" focused on deprivation. The adage that says that you have to suffer to lose weight is not true. This belief is not likely to get you the results you had hoped for.

To reach your goal, you should adopt this winning combination—change your diet and increase your physical activity. Here are a few examples of strategies that really work:

  • Adopt a diet that is low in fat and sugar.
  • Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and other fibre-rich foods.
  • Increase physical activity in your daily routine. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day at least five days a week. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity.

Step 4: Develop a list of resources

There are more resources than you may think that are likely to help you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about appropriate resources that can provide guidance: nutritionist, doctor, kinesiologist, etc.

Step 5: Write up your action plan

Once you have set your goal and specified your motivations, strategies, and resources, it would be a good idea to record all of this information in a document to use as an action plan.

Your plan should contain information about your diet and physical activity program. This plan will help you stay on track.

Step 6: Take action!

There you have it! Now that you are properly prepared, it’s time to take action. Make changes in your habits gradually or more quickly. It’s up to you. But above all, celebrate your successes and don’t lose sight of your initial motivations.

In conclusion, it is easy to make good resolutions—keeping them is something else entirely. We wish you all the best and remind you that when it comes to decisions about health, your pharmacist is always there to support and encourage you!

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Six steps to improving your health and weight

Obesity is a contributing factor for a number of health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Even a small 5% weight loss can have major benefits! Here are a few helpful steps.
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