By: Matthew Robinson, DO
It’s another New Year and if you’re like most people, losing weight and getting healthier may be your resolution. Considering all the indulgences of the holiday season, perhaps you’re ready to make a change. The good news is that you don’t have to go from one extreme to the other. Rarely do people stick to their weight loss resolution, because as soon as we hear the word “diet,” our stomachs begin to grumble.
Deprivation is not the answer, let UPMC Pinnacle offer a solution. From preventive care to weight loss surgery, we have options for you to reset, re-evaluate, and reclaim your health so you can achieve a healthy weight this year and maintain it.
Keeping your wellness visits, getting enough sleep, increasing physical activity, and eating healthy all are keys to optimal health. When it comes to weight loss, the formula is simple; even if it feels far from it: calorie input versus the calorie output. In other words, limiting calories consumed each day, while increasing the number burned off through exercise, is the way to shed pounds.
Too often we see calories as our enemy, but in reality they are our friend. They fuel our body to move and think every minute of every day. Without proper nutrition, our bodies cannot operate.
A calorie, simply put is energy, a unit we use to measure the food we eat. The challenge is choosing the right foods, quality fuel and not just empty calories that sabotage our efforts to maintain or lose weight. How many calories do we need on a daily basis? This varies depending upon a person’s age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity.
Generally, women should eat between 1,600 to 2,400 calories daily, and men between 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day. While it’s been said many times before, despite the countless fad diets and programs available — there is no quick way to lose weight safely. Shedding pounds and keeping them off requires a lifestyle change that does not eliminate food groups or ban occasional treats. It takes roughly two months in order to make new behaviors a habit.
Incorporating daily physical activity into your life is good not only for your weight, but also for your cardiovascular system, bones, lungs, and skin. Experts recommend exercising 150 minutes every week, which can be broken down into 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The key is finding what works for you and stick with your routine so it becomes a habit rather than a chore. If you’re just starting out, taking a brisk walk is the perfect way to move more.
Regular exercise has numerous health benefits including:
- Improved sleep quality
- Reduced stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of chronic illness and disease
- Improved memory
- Increased energy
If you have made repeated efforts to lose weight or just having trouble getting started, UPMC Pinnacle can provide the support you need to succeed. With the guidance of our doctors, nurse practitioners, and registered dietitians, we offer both surgical and non-surgical options for weight loss. Take charge of your health this New Year and explore your options at UPMCPinnacle.com/Weightloss.