We all need certain things to survive and flourish, shelter, sanitation
and other basic needs. Nutrition is one of the things we need, and mostly, we get it from food. The first nurturing
a healthy new born babe receives is being held and fed. That is the very beginning of our relationship, so
to speak, with food. If we are fortunate, food is a part of our daily lives, and part of our celebrations, and rituals.
Certain foods can immediately connect us with fond or unpleasant memories. Having candy or baked goods may
remind you of a visit to your Grandparent's home, while being served spinach may cause you to recall a very different
type of experience.
Some weight problems are related to medical issues. Some people's
problems with weight come from falling into a pattern of using food as a way of feeling good or nurturing themselves.
We even refer to some foods as "comfort foods". The biggest problem comes when people start
using food to feel differently, and develop a pattern of living to eat, instead of eating to live.
What Causes Problems With Weight?
There are many reasons
people are overweight according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP):
- Having weight problems in your family
when lonely, sad or stressed
- Being pressured to eat by friends or family
- Using food for recreation
medicine that makes you feel hungry
- Having a low metabolism (the rate you burn calories)
- Having problems
with hormone levels
Of Being Overweight
According to the National
Institutes Of Health, if you are overweight, you are more likely to develop health problems, such as heart disease, stroke,
, certain types of cancer, gout, and gallbladder disease. Being overweight can also cause problems such a sleep apnea
and osteoarthritis. The more overweight you are, the higher your risk is for developing health problems. Weight loss
can help to improve the harmful effects of being overweight, but many overweight people have difficulty reaching their "ideal"
weight. Studies now show that people can improve their health by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds, or 10% of their
Regular physical activity is an important part of effective weight loss and weight maintenance.
It also can help prevent several diseases and improve your overall health. It does not matter what type of physical activity
you perform-- sports, planned exercise, household chores, yard work, or work-related tasks-- all are beneficial. Studies show
that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they accumulate 30 minutes or more of physical
activity per day.
Research consistently shows that regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits, is
the most efficient and healthful way to control your weight. Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain it, you should
understand the important role of physical activity and include it in your lifestyle.
Change The Way You Think And Feel About Food
It is important to examine your attitude towards food in general. A qualified therapist
can help you to do that in a productive way. Do you see food as an enjoyable source of nutrition and sustenance for your
body? Or do you equate food with other things? By working to develop a healthier attitude about food in general, you can increase
your commitment to maintaining healthier eating habits.
is helpful to break your weight and lifestyle goals down into smaller, more manageable ones. You may begin by adding
more fruits and vegetables to your diet; then work on reducing the amount of fried foods being eaten. By making small,
but permanent changes in nutrition and lifestyle, overweight people can become lighter and smaller at a healthy rate.
Another strategy for success, is to stop thinking
in terms of a short-term "diet," and start thinking about making a permanent change in your eating and lifestyle
behaviors. Before setting out on such a change, it can be useful to examine your current eating and exercise habits. Keep
a journal for a few weeks to help determine, for example, the times you're most likely to eat for reasons that have nothing
to do with hunger, times when you eat out of frustration, for example, or boredom.