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Do I need to lose weight?How can I lose weight ? How muchweight should I lose? Why is itso difficult to lose weight?Truth is, your weight is a lot more complex thana number on a scale. And understanding why meanstaking a look at the relationship between your weight,your lifestyle and your overall health.Weight is complexThe impact of lifestyle changesWeight loss is not as simple as ‘eat less andmove more’. What you weigh is the resultof other factors as well, some of which arebeyond your control: your age, genetics,cer ta i n hea lth cond itions a nd somemedications that you might be taking,for example.Instead of focusing on losing weight,consider ways that you can improveyour lifestyle. Small changes like regularphysical activity, balanced eating and goodsleep hygiene can have a real impact on youroverall health and well-being, regardlessof whether you lose weight.Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all—3

Health  isn’ tjust  aboutweightHealthy people come in all shapes and sizes,which is why it’s important not to confuse weightwith being healthy. Your lifestyle plays an importantrole in your overall health, and it’s possible to improveyour health by making better lifestyle choices. Manyexperts agree that even if these choices don’t resultin weight loss, they can lead to a healthier you.4—A matter of physicaland mental healthIt’s no secret that excess weight can increasethe risk of certain chronic conditions,such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes,especially in people who don’t get a lot ofphysical activity. But not everyone realizesjust how much of an impact negativestereotypes and misinformation aboutweight and health can have on people withlarger bodies. Some can end up sufferingfrom feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety;others can experience discrimination atwork and at school, often with significantsocial consequences. All of this negativeenergy feeds our dissatisfaction with ourbodies and our struggles with our weight,leading us to seek out unhealthy, quick-fixweight control ‘solutions’.Let’s talk about weight — No size fits allQuick-fix is toooften no fix at allShort-term weight loss solutionsmight sound appealing, butthey rarely work to maintainyour weight over the long term.If you stop to think about it, thismakes sense: if diets were trulyeffective, would there really beso many of them to choose from?Gluten free, paleo, no sugar,raw food, food combining,blood type In the end, thewinning solution for long-termbenefits is to adopt a healthy,enjoyable lifestyle rather thanlosing large amounts of weight tooquickly through a restrictive diet.—5

Weight &the modernenvironmentIn today’s modern environment, we’re pushed to work harder,eat faster, move less and sleep when we can find the time.When we’re not commuting, we’re spending endless hourssitting in front of screens at work and at home. And every day,we’re bombarded with messages about food: ads sell to us,easily-accessible meals and snacks call our names, and largerestaurant portions crowd our plates. At the same time, beautyideals remain as unattainable as ever, with thinness perceivedas an ideal, while excess weight, and even normal weight, aredeemed unattractive and undesirable.Switch the focus awayfrom weight lossWeight stability :A healthy first stepWhile fad diets and weight loss programscan lead to impressive initial results, thefact remains that the majority of peoplewho succeed in losing weight struggle tomaintain their weight loss over time.1 Take,for instance, reality TV show “The BiggestLoser”. Participants in the popular weightloss competition quickly lost massiveamounts of weight while undergoingan intensive food and exercise regimen.However, a follow-up of a group of theseparticipants revealed that, 6 years later,they had regained on average more thantwo thirds of their initial weight loss.2Often, we’re so focused on losing weight,we lose sight of other things that we’vemanaged to accomplish—like stoppingweight gain. It’s important to rememberthat this is an achievement in itself, as isbeing able to maintain the same weightover time.Is it any surprise, then, that most of us tend to gain weightover time and have unrealistic expectations for our bodies?This is why an ongoing commitmentto healthy behaviours is important. Bychanging your eating habits and beingactive regularly, in a way that is realisticand ongoing, you’re more likely to loseweight and maintain the loss over time.6—Let’s talk about weight — No size fits allSlow and steadywins in the endIf losing weight and maintainingweight loss is your goal, considerlosing small amounts over a longperiod. It's not how much and howquickly you lose weight that makesa difference, but rather how you canmaintain the behaviour changes inthe long run.—7

Understandingyour weightYour bones, muscles, organs and fat mass all contribute tothe number you see on the scale when you weigh yourself.In addition, your weight can fluctuate by a few pounds fromone day to the next—or even over the course of a single day—due to things like your hydration level and the status of yourbody’s digestive processes. If you weigh yourself, considerthe trend over a longer period of time rather than focusingon the day‑to-day variations.Put some muscle into your bodyBecause muscle is much denser than fat, itweighs more for the same volume—whichmeans that, even if you become moreactive, you might not end up weighingless. You will, however, improve your bodycomposition and improve your overallhealth. Plus, you’ll find you’re stronger andhave more energy.8—Boost your metabolismwith physical activityMetabolism is the amount of energy(measured in calories) that your body burnseach day. But because we all have our ownmetabolism, you could do the same amountof physical activity and eat the same foodsas someone else, only to see it impact yourweight in different ways.The benefitsof being activePhysical activity is good for youno matter what you weigh. A moreactive you is a more energeticyou. Whether or not you’re losingweight, you’re gaining somethingeven more important : an active,fulfilling and healthy life.There are a number of factors that, throughout your life, can affect your metabolism.And because muscles require more energythan fat, your muscle mass contributes toyour metabolism. As you get older, yourmuscle mass tends to decrease which, inturn, causes your metabolism to slow down.This explains why, as the years go by,you might find yourself gaining weightmore easily. But the good news is, stayingactive throughout life can help maintainyour muscle mass—and activate yourmetabolism.Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all—9

Theyo-yoeffectWhile going on a restrictive diet can result in rapid or drastic weight loss,it can also slow down your metabolism in a significant way.2 Not only can aslower metabolism and feelings of deprivation have a negative impact onyour weight, but weight loss can also increase your appetite.3 When thishappens, you’re likely to give up, start eating as before, and even experiencebinge eating, and put back on the weight you lost (and possibly more)—which will make you want to restrict your diet all over again. And so yourweight goes down, then up, then down, then up—just like a yo-yo.You restrictyour dietYou gain the weight back and possibly moreYour metabolismremains slowYou return toyour old habitsYou lose weightYour metabolismslows downYou get frustratedand give upAdapted from -ne-fonctionnent-pas-long-termeLet’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 11

Take amindfulapproachto eatingIt’s about more than just foodPaying attention to what you eat isimportant. But so is thinking aboutwhen, where and why you’re eating.Try these mindfuleating strategies–– Eat when you’re hungryMore and more, the term‘mindful’ comes up whentalking about healthy eating.But what does it mean,exactly? Mindful eating is atechnique aimed at helpingyou reconnect with yourbody’s internal hunger andfullness cues. It’s a greatway to consume the amountof food your body actuallyneeds—which is oftenless than you would eatwhen distracted.12 —–– Eat sitting down at a table–– Make what you eat lookand taste good–– Eat slowly, appreciatingdifferent tastes and textures–– Create a calm eating environment–– Minimize distractions whenyou’re eating, e.g., watching TV,working, etc.Weigh in withthe hunger scaleSize up asmaller plateWith the overabundance of food in ourenv i ron ment, i nterna l hu nger cues,l i ke feel i n g f u l l, a re of ten ig noredbecause of external influences such asfood served from large packages andoversized plates. Use the hunger scalebelow to tune into your internal cues.Larger plates can make a servingof food seem smaller, which helpsexplain why we might sometimeseat more than we need to. To helpyou get a better sense of yourportion sizes, try using smallerplates and bowls.The hunger scaleAs a general rule, you should eat when your hunger is at level 2 and stop whenit’s at level 4. Eating when you’re too hungry will likely cause you to eat too much,too quickly. But eating just as you’re beginning to feel hungry will enable you toeat more slowly and pay more attention to when you’ve had edStuffed–– Stop eating when you feel satisfiedImportant noteIf you have trouble identifying your body’s hunger and fullness signals, or if you have a poorrelationship with food, the advice in this section might not work for you. If this is the case,you should consult a qualified health professional who can help give you advice that’s bettersuited to your personal situation.Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 13

Fuel your body withsatisfying foodsConsuming a variety of foods from all four food groupsnot only gives your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs,it also provides you with key nutrients that can help satisfyyour appetite throughout the day.seeds and legumes. Since fibre-rich foodsgenerally need more chewing and digestiontime, they help keep you feeling satisfiedlonger.Protein, on the other hand, can be foundin a variety of plant and animal foods likemeat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seedsand milk products. Including protein atevery meal and snack helps you feel moresatisfied throughout the day, which canhelp curb cravings for less nutritious foods.Take a look at this list of common foods andtheir protein content:FoodProtein contentChicken, beef, pork or fish—75 g (2 ½ oz)20 gPlain Greek yogurt—3/4 cup (175 g)17 gCheddar cheese—1 1/2 oz (50 g)12 gChickpeas, red kidney beans or lentils—3/4 cup (175 mL)12 gNo more forbidden foodThe power of fibre and proteinSome foods are definitely more nutrientrich than others. But all foods, even treatsand sweets, can fit into an overall balanceddiet. In fact, when you deprive yourself ofthe foods you love, you often end up cravingand even eating more of them at some pointanyway. But if you’re being mindful of howoften you eat these foods, and how muchyou have when you do, there’s no need toeliminate them from your diet.When you eat meals and snacks that are notfully satisfying, your body begins to sendhunger signals not long after you’ve eaten.Dietary fibre and protein play a key rolein satiety, or the feeling of fullness aftereating, which is why it’s important to makesure your meals and snacks provide enoughof both.Eggs—212 gTofu—150 g12 gPumpkin seeds or peanuts—1/4 cup (60 mL)10 gMilk—1 cup (250 mL)9gFlavoured yogurt—3/4 cup (175 g)8gPeanut butter—2 tbsp (30 mL)7gDietary fibre is found only in plant foods:vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts,Almonds, pistachios or sunflower seeds—1/4 cup (60 mL)7gPecans or walnuts—1/4 cup (60 mL)3gSource: Canadian Nutrition File, version 2015.14 —Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 15

Stay ahead of your hungerFor added dietary fibreFor a protein boostEat the skins of fruits andvegetables whenever possibleReplace water with milkwhen preparing oatmealAdd beans or lentilsto soups or saladsKeep some extra hard-boiledeggs in the fridge for proteinthat’s ready when you areAdd seeds, nuts or fruit toyour breakfast cerealHave Greek yogurtwith your breakfast oras a snack or dessertChoose whole grain bread,pasta, cereal and ricePair your grape and applewith a piece of cheese16 —Eliminating a food groupcan be counter-productiveUnlike what some fad diets might suggest,eliminating a food group is not necessarilya good idea. Cutting out grains, for example—especially whole grains, which havebeen linked to a decreased risk of obesity—can reduce your intake of dietary fibre.Similarly, giving up milk products canreduce you r d a i ly i nt a ke of protei nand calcium. Several studies show thatconsuming milk products as part of acalorie-restricted diet could promote fatloss while preserving lean mass, includingmuscle and bone. Moreover, milk productsprovide satiating, high-quality protein.Think moderation,not deprivationSometimes, when you imposerestrictions, it’s easy to becomeobsessed with the foods you canno longer have. And this tendsto make you want them evenmore. Instead of cutting out treatsaltogether, allow yourself to havethem occasionally. When a cravinghits, try buying single servingcakes or sweets, or put a handfulof chips in a bowl instead of eatingstraight out of the bag. And, mostimportantly, take time to savourand enjoy every bite!What you drink can makea differenceWater is the best way to keep you rhydration levels up during the day. But ifyou need something to quench your thirstand satisfy your hunger, milk is a greatchoice due to its protein content. ›Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 17

If you like juice, limit yourself to a ½ cup(125 mL) serving of 100% fruit or vegetablejuice, keeping in mind that eating wholefruits and vegetables is a better way tosatisfy your hunger. Juice contains lessdietary fibre than whole fruits and vegetables, which makes it less satisfying.As for sugar sweetened beverages, theynot only contain very few nutrients, butare also much less satisfying compared tonutritious foods.Snack on thisTo give your body all the nutrients it needsand help keep your hunger in check all daylong, it’s important to eat at least threebalanced meals every day and, if you’rehungry, nutritious snacks in between.Snacks, especially ones that contain proteinand fibre, help you avoid being too hungryfor your next meal and eating more thanyou need to.18 —Here are a few quick snack ideas :FibreProteinHomemadeoatmeal muffinMilkAppleNuts or seedsRaw vegetablesHummusFrozen raspberriesYogurtWhole-grain crackersCheeseHandy home cooking tipsDon’t give up on eating out–– Plan your meals and snacksahead of timeEating in restaurants is a simple pleasurewe all enjoy, as is the occasional take out ordelivery. And so they should be. But sincerestaurant portions tend to be a lot biggerthan homemade meals, it might be helpfulto recall some mindful eating strategies.Here are a few other things you can try:–– If possible, set aside timeon the weekend to cook a fewmeals for the coming week–– Use a slow cooker : put it onbefore you leave for work, andcome home to a ready-to-eat meal!Put a positive spinon ready-to-eat meals–– Wash, cut and measure recipeingredients ahead of time,to speed up meal prep later onHome cooking is an important aspect ofeating well; ready-to-eat meals tend tocontain more salt, fat and sugar, and lessfibre and protein. Unfortunately, we all havedays when our busy schedules just don’tallow us to cook, and we need to rely onsomething that’s good to go—and that’s OK.–– Double up on recipes and freezethe leftovers in single-servingcontainersWhen a 100% home-cooked meal just isn’tpossible, you can still put a positive spin onready-to-eat meals by adding protein (e.g.,grated cheese, hard-boiled eggs, cannedlegumes, etc.) and fresh or frozen vegetables.–– Instead of ordering an appetizerand an entrée, order two appetizers–– Request a half portion or a smallerportion (often more than enough!)–– Share a dessert–– Bring leftovers home–– Keep canned fish and legumeson hand for quick salads orpasta dishes–– Save time by using alreadyshredded cheese and precut freshor frozen fruits and vegetablesLet’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 19

The importance ofphysical activity and sleepMuch like a healthy diet, being active and getting enoughsleep every day can have a significant impact on your healthand weight. But more than this, it can give you the energyand stamina you need to get more out of your daily life.Staying active does a body(and mind) goodTry to make physical activitya part of your daily routineRegular physical activity can help reducethe risk of several health conditions, as wellas lead to improved self-esteem. Aim for atleast 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderateto-vigorous aerobic activity—like walking,jogging, bike riding or cross-country skiing—per week, broken down into sessions of10 minutes or more. And to increase youroverall strength, add activities that targetyour muscles and bones like yoga andPilates at least twice a week.Not sure where to start? Here are a feweasy ways to help keep you on the move:20 —–– To ensure you stay motivated, chooseactivities you enjoy–– Try to take the stairs instead of theescalator or the elevator–– Try to use active transportationwhenever possible, e.g., walk or bike–– Join a team or take part in groupactivities—you’ll make new friendsand get active at the same time!What’s sleep got to do with it?Tips for a good night’s sleepGrowing research is finding that insufficient sleep can contribute to weight gain.It seems that the less sleep you get, themore likely you are to choose calorie-densefoods, snack more often and eat more mealsthan necessary.4–– Set a regular sleep scheduleSleep is an important part of a healthylifestyle. But our increasingly busy livesand demanding work schedules are leadingmany of us to suffer from some form ofsleep deprivation on a daily basis. Worstpart is, we often don’t even realize it.–– Avoid intense physicalactivity at nightHow much is enough?–– Establish a relaxing bedtimeroutine, like taking a bathand reading–– Limit the distractionsin your bedroom–– Avoid drinking coffee orother caffeinated beveragesin the evening–– Avoid alcoholand nicotine beforegoing to sleepAccording to the Canadian SleepSociety, adults require anywherefrom 6 to 9 hours of sleep at night,but it’s different for everyone.5To figure out if you’re gettingenough sleep, pay attention towhether you feel rested in themorning and are able to remainalert throughout the day.Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 21

The first step towardsa healthier lifeCelebrate your success when you achievea goal, and don’t be too hard on yourselfif you fall short. Slip ups are a naturalpart of change, so don’t feel bad—just getback on track. Changing your habits can bechallenging at first but, with persistence,healthier habits will soon become secondnature.These examples can give you an idea of SMART goals:If you’re looking to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle,you might want to ask yourself, “Is now the right time for me?”Remember that even small lifestyle changes can improveyour health—regardless of whether you lose weight.When it comes to healthy life changes, the first step involvesfinding a few realistic habits that you can maintain over time.And the best way to achieve a big goal like “I want to adopta healthier lifestyle” is to break it up into a number of small,specific goals.When it comes to setting goals,think SMARTThe way you eat and live now didn’thappen overnight, so don’t try to make alot of major changes all at once. People whomake realistic changes over a longer periodare much more likely to succeed.22 —The SMART method involves setting goalsthat are Specific, Measurable, Actionoriented, Realistic and Time-framed. Andsince SMART goals are measurable, it’seasier for you to track your progress andstay motivated. It is also recommended tofocus on only one or two goals at a time,especially at the beginning.From your original goal to a SMART goalI’m going to eat breakfast.I’m going to eat breakfast at home 3 times this week.I’m going to be more active.I’m going to go for a 15-minute walk with a friendtwice a week after dinner.I’m going to eat more fibre.I’m going to eat brown rice instead of white rice this week.I’m going to eat more protein.I’m going to include a source of protein (e.g., milk, Greek yogurt,cheese, eggs or nut butter) at every breakfast this week.I’m going to get more sleep.I’m going to make sure I go to bed before 10:30 pm at least4 times this week.I’m going to eat out less often.I’m going to bring a packed lunch 3 days this week.Focus on behaviour, not weight lossWeight is not a behaviour. Rather, it’s influenced by your lifestyle and manyother factors that can be beyond your control. This is why it’s important to setlifestyle goals instead of weight loss goals.Let’s talk about weight — No size fits all— 23

10,000 people did itA little professional supportgoes a long waySince 1994, the National Weight Control Registry hastracked more than 10,000 people who have lost asignificant amount of weight and maintained the lossover the long term.6 Here are some interesting factsrelated to their success :Just as you need to ensure that now isthe right time to think about achieving ahealthier lifestyle, you also need to ask,“Can I live and eat this way for the rest ofmy life?” This is where the support fromhealth professionals can help.98%94%90%modified their foodintake in some wayincreased theirphysical activity,mostly by walkingare physically active,on average, about1 hour per day78%62%eat breakfastevery daywatch less than10 hours of TVper week24 —swimjoglaughyogawalkLet’s talk about weight — No size fits allbikeswimYour family doctor can assess and help youmanage medical conditions or concernsyou might have related to your weight.A kinesiologist can evaluate your goals asthey relate to physical activity.A registered dietitian can take a look atyour eating habits and personal situationand help you set achievable goals that fityour needs.A psychologist, mental health professionaland occupational therapist can help youaddress some of the barriers for healthyliving by giving you ongoing support andaccess to resources.Note that the content of this brochure is notintended to replace the advice of your familydoctor, kinesiologist, registered dietitian,psychologist, mental health professional oroccupational therapist. If you have any healthproblems related to your body weight or yourrelationship with food, or if you are seekingpersonalized information, make sure to consulta qualified health professional.— 25

Reach outto reach yourgoalsMaking lifestyle changes can be challenging. But havingsupport and encouragement helps. So let your close friendsand family in on your goals. They can help keep you motivatedand even accompany you on your journey to a healthier you.

References:1. Reed JL et al. The maintenance of energy balanceis compromised after weight loss. Can J Diabetes2013;37:121-127.2. Fothergill E et al. Persistent metabolic adaptation6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition.Obesity (Silver Spring) 2016;24:1612-1619.3. Doucet E et al. Appetite after weight loss byenergy restriction and a low-fat diet-exercisefollow-up. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord2000;24:906-914.4. Chaput JP. Sleeping more to improveappetite and body weight control: dreamor reality? Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101:5-6.5. Canadian Sleep Society. 2003. Normal sleepand sleep hygiene. l sleep.pdf.Accessed January 11, 2017.6. National Weight Control Registry. NWCRfacts. http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm. Accessed January 11, 2017.April 2017Revised and approved by

active regularly, in a way that is realistic and ongoing, you're more likely to lose weight and maintain the loss over time. Weight stability: A healthy first step Often, we're so focused on losing weight, we lose sight of other things that we've managed to accomplish—like stopping weight gain. It's important to remember

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