Four Ways to Manage Your Body Weight

Thursday, July 6, 2017

By Dr. Ted Jablonski, family physician

As you age, maintaining an optimal body weight helps with your overall health and wellbeing. For example, older adults are already at an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. This risk increases if they have an unhealthy body weight.[1] There are a number of methods to assess body weight, the World Health Organization and Health Canada use Body Mass Index (BMI) which can be calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared (BMI = weight (kg)/ height (m)2). Check here to calculate your BMI.[2]

There are many ways you can achieve a healthy body weight:[3]

Stay fresh with a mix of healthy foods

Canada’s Food Guide is a good tool to use to make sure you’re getting your daily vitamin, mineral and nutrient needs through fruits and vegetables, grains, milk and alternatives, and meat and proteins.[4] When at the grocery store, aim to do most of your shopping from the perimeter of the store where you can find the majority of these fresh and healthy items.

 

Control portion sizes

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Larger portions, the size of pre-packaged foods, and bigger plates and bowls can all contribute to overeating.

 

Pack in some protein

To stay satiated longer, make sure you include protein on your plate. Consider a small portion of fish, meat or poultry, or try alternatives like eggs, beans or tofu. Dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt also add a protein “punch.”[5]

 

Exercise regularly

Adults should be getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week, including muscle and bone strengthening activities.[6] Brisk walking, cycling and swimming are all great ways to stay active and manage your weight. Pick something you enjoy doing, and strive to do it on a regular basis.

Dr. Ted Jablonski Family Physician Dr. Ted Jablonski is a Calgary based-family physician. He completed his medical education at the University of Manitoba and has practiced and taught medicine in rural Manitoba, Northern Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario. In addition to his duties as a family physician and educator, Dr. Jablonski is also a clinic associate at the Men’s Sexual Health Clinic at the Southern Alberta Institute of Urology and does consultant work in sexual and transgender medicine for Southern Alberta.

 

[1] Health Canada. “Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults.” Retrieved from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/cg_quick_ref-ldc_rapide_ref-eng.php (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[2] Statistics Canada. “Adjusting the scales: Obesity in the Canadian population after correcting for respondent bias.” Retrieved from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2014001/article/11922-eng.htm (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[3] Sunnybrook Health Sciences. “Reach and keep youth healthy body weight.” Retrieved from: http://sunnybrook.ca/content/?page=occ-prevention-pv-ync-healthyweight-how (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[4] Health Canada. “Food and Nutrition – Choosing Foods.” Retrieved from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/index-eng.php (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[5] Dietitians of Canada. “The 100 Meal Journey – Week 3: Prioritize Portion Size!” Retrieved from:

https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Healthy-Eating/Week-3-Portion-Size.aspx (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[6] Health Canada. “Food and Nutrition – Be Active.” Retrieved from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/maintain-adopt/weights-poids-eng.php (Accessed June 2, 2017)