Healthy Weight Philosophy

 

A healthy weight for you is the point at which your body naturally balances after a period of eating as well as you reasonably eat and exercising as well as you can reasonably exercise.

 

To understand how the healthy weight approach can lead you toward healthy, permanent weight management, consider the following.

 

  • Recognize how your body balances.  Your body responds to changes in circumstances.  Weight is a fairly accurate reflection of the kinds and amounts of exercise you have done and foods you have eaten over the last six to 12 months.  Make changes in your lifestyle and your body will respond.  If you make changes that are drastic, subtle, or temporary, your body will naturally respond in dramatic, subtle, or temporary ways.
  • Develop a pattern of eating that works well for you. This pattern should be neither undereating nor overeating, both of which are extremely common in our society.  Under-eating or traditional dieting both cause a decrease in lean body mass which directly slows metabolism. It also appears to trigger eventual overeating.
  • Overeating can also undermine you.  We eat for many reasons other than hunger: emotions, habit, because we are just not paying attention, because God gave us chocolate and, of course, because food is simply so available.  Becoming aware of your triggers to overeating can help overcome this problem.
  • Practice listening to and trusting your internal hunger signals.  Your body can tell you how much to eat.  We suggest becoming familiar with the degrees of hunger you experience and learning to eat until you feel satisfied (rather than until you are full).  Begin to pay more attention to your internal cues.  You and a dietitian can develop a pattern of eating that is right for you based on your calorie needs and lifestyle.
  • Learn your lean body mass.  Your body’s lean or muscle mass is directly related to your metabolic rate.  If you learn through a body composition analysis that your lean mass is low, you can work to increase it.  Maximize your metabolism by building muscle through a program of strength training,
  • Develop an effective exercise program.  Lean mass is not the only factor to consider in developing an appropriate exercise routine.  A high priority is finding types of exercise that you enjoy enough to keep doing regularly.   A good program includes aerobic exercise, stretching, and strength training.  Our bodies were meant to be active and we cannot expect to maintain a permanent healthy weight without regular physical activity.  You and an exercise specialist can develop an exercise program that is right for you based on your lean mass goals.
  • Do the best you can each day.  Most of us have some room for improvement, and only you know when you have done your best.  Set goals, but have those not be daily or weekly goals regarding eating and exercise, rather than a specific body weight.
  • After you’re sure you doing the best you can, practice self-acceptance.  If you eat and exercise as well as you can for six month to a year and still are not happy with how your body has changed, you have two choices.  You can examine your lifestyle to see where you can make additional improvements, or you can begin to practice the sometimes difficult task of self-acceptance.  This is particularly challenging for people who express dissatisfaction with their bodies regardless of weight.  Acceptance is a condition of grace and appreciation for the great range of body shapes and sizes we see in healthy people.

 

Canyon Ranch