Weight Management diagram on a whiteboard

Weight management involves maintaining a weight that’s within healthy guidelines. When you are not at your ideal weight you may notice that you do not feel your best. You may feel tired and lethargic, and become fatigued quickly.

Weight Management diagram on a whiteboard

What is Weight Management

Our body is an amazing wonder of science and requires the appropriate range of calories and nutrients to perform at its best. Weight management involves maintaining a weight that is within healthy guidelines.

When the body is not at an ideal weight, whether underweight or overweight, it can have negative effects on health.

Overweight Guidelines

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing chronic health conditions these include:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • certain types of cancer
  • joint problems
  • sleep apnea, and other health issues.

A BMI of over 25 can be an indication that a person is overweight although there are other factors that need to be considered.

Chronic diseases associated with obesity.

Underweight Guidelines

In a world that can seem obsessed with being thin, some people may wonder if there really is such a thing as being “too thin”. The answer is yes, being underweight is a serious health concern and it shouldn’t be trivialized. Being underweight can pose several health risks. Some of the risks associated with being underweight include:

  • Malnutrition, which can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
  • Osteoporosis, which can lead to brittle bones and an increased risk of fractures.
  • A weakened immune system, which can make it harder for the body to fight off infections.
  • Fertility issues, including irregular menstrual cycles and difficulty getting pregnant.

A BMI of under 18.5 is considered underweight.

Causes of Weight Instability

There can be a lot of different causes of weight instability and investigation would need to be undertaken on a case-by-case basis. Some of the common factors which can affect weight are:

  • changes in diet or exercise
  • hormonal imbalances or changes
  • medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS),
  • depression,
  • insomnia,
  • menopause
  • eating disorders that limit food intake may also cause weight instability
  • thyroid condition
  • medication side effects

It is important to investigate any sudden increase or decrease in weight. If necessary your nutritionist will refer you to your GP or other health professional to determine the cause.

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Is Yo-Yo Dieting Bad For You?

Does your weight fluctuate a little? Everyone’s weight will normally vary a kilo or so from week to week. But what if you go up and down on your bathroom scales like you’re picking out a tune on the piano?

Up, up, up, up, up… down, down, down, down, down. Yo-Yo dieting is when an individual goes on a diet and loses some weight, then comes off the diet and regains the weight again. This cycle continues as the dieter never manages to change food habits in order to shift the weight and keep it off.

Yo-Yo dieting can have a very negative effect on the dieter for a number of reasons. The first problem with this habit is that it leads to a slowing of the metabolism making your body less efficient at burning energy. This will make it even harder to lose weight long term, setting the person up for future failure.

From a health perspective, the cycling up and down of weight brings an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diet-related conditions. The aim of a diet, other than pure aesthetics should be to foster good health, yo-yo dieting is not a healthy approach to food and brings with it adverse health conditions.

Psychologically it can be very disheartening to reach a goal only to have the weight return, perhaps with even a little more weight than before. This can create a feeling of hopelessness, depression, and lack of control.

When extreme dieting measures are taken for quick results a rebound weight gain will occur.

Walking on the beach footprints in the sand

How to Manage Your Weight

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.
  2. Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. That is just 30 minutes 5 days per week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, jogging, resistance training, cycling, or swimming.
  3. Monitor portion sizes: Be mindful of how much you are eating and avoid overeating.
  4. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help you feel full and avoid overeating.
  5. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, leading to overeating.
  6. Seek support: Consider working with a nutritionist to develop a personalized weight management plan. Joining a support group or working with a health and wellness coach.

When should you See A Nutritionist?

Have you spent a period of time trying to gain or lose weight and having limited success it is important to get help. A nutritionist can help you set realistic short and long-term goals. You will have a coach and an accountability partner to keep you focused on achieving your end results

If your weight is outside normal ranges and you haven’t known how to correct this it is useful to check in with a nutritionist. Knowing the best way to handle your weight concerns will put you in the driver’s seat to regain control of your diet and maintain a stable healthy weight.

A nutritionist will always work in consultation with you. Any changes you make need to be sustainable lifestyle changes that you are happy to continue as a way of life. Working with a professional to set goals together that suits your lifestyle is the key to long-term success.

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