By Carly Peterson, PA-C
Winter’s cold grip has loosened. The sun is shining warm and bright. You’re ready to step out in less clothes with confidence, right? If you’re one of the more than 78.6 million Americans who are struggling with obesity/being overweight, you’re probably shouting, “WRONG!” What if I told you that you could lose excess weight and feel your best with 3 simple lifestyle changes? Diet, exercise, and good supplements are the key to vitality, both inside and out.
Obesity is classified by a person’s body mass index, or BMI. This is a calculation of weight compared to height. I find this a pretty good indicator for the average person. This is not, however, a good tool for athletes or those who have higher muscle mass. In order to calculate your BMI, multiply your weight x 704.5 and divide by your height in inches. Then divide by your height in inches again. A BMI of 19-24 is good. 25-29.5 is overweight, 30-34 is mildly obese, 35-39.5 is moderately obese, and over 40 is considered morbidly obese.
Besides looking good in a bikini, why does this really matter? Over 80% of type II diabetes, 70% of all heart disease, and 42% of all colon and breast cancers are related to obesity. The decisions that YOU make each day can lead you down a path of health and wellness or to a life of chronic disease. So what can you do? First, you must be conscientious about the food you put into your body. What we eat directly communicates with our genes. A body that is fed with GMO’s, antibiotic- and hormone-laden meat, high-inflammatory wheat, and gluten will not age as gracefully as a body fed with clean, organic, free-range food.
Here at the NHIC, we recognize the role that inflammation has on the body as well as on the quality and longevity of life and we strive to reduce this harmful by-product. Inflammation is a normal body function that has spun out of control due to the processed foods and chemicals to which we are exposed. When it comes to diet, I have three recommendations. Let me preface these recommendations with a guarantee that you will not only feel the best but you will also look the best if you choose to follow these. I recommend that you eliminate gluten products (wheat/barley/rye), dairy products, and refined/processed sugars from your diets. This sounds like a tall order, I know. However it is these three diet components that will impact your health, and your looks, the greatest.
In addition to removing these offending agents from your diet, it is important to be sure that you’re eating enough protein. Protein is the basic building block for muscle. Protein also helps to keep you feeling full longer. A typical adult weighing 150 pounds requires 88 grams of protein per day, translating to approximately 30 grams per meal. Even more protein (up to 115 grams) is required for someone who weight trains. UltraMeal Advanced Protein by Metagenics is a medical-grade food and protein supplement that makes getting extra (healthy) protein into your diet easier. One scoop of this powder into water or a milk alternative is only 80 calories and supplies 15 grams of protein with a comprehensive spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals to support protein utilization. Another great choice for on-the-go protein is Metagenics Ultra Energy Bars which also provide 15 grams of protein plus 9 grams of fiber per bar! A diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein help support an ideal body composition, or the amount of relative fat to muscle in your body.
Exercise is also a key component to optimal health and wellness. 20-30 minutes of dedicated time to exercise daily is vital for proper body. I recommend a visit to the Natural Health Improvement Center to have a bioelectrical impedance analysis, or BIA. A BIA is an easy and painless tool that we use to calculate your current ratio of fat mass to muscle mass. The BIA will also tell you your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns a day without any physical activity. This is important to identify how many calories you should be consuming daily to reach your desired weight loss/fat loss goal. The BIA is performed in our office and is done in minutes.
Lastly, high-quality supplements protect you from the wrath of unavoidable inflammation. We recommend every person take a high-quality multivitamin, purified fish oils, and calcium/magnesium daily. I also highly recommend a daily probiotic to stave off infection and illness to keep you on track with your workouts and weight loss goals!
Losing weight and feeling great takes the right knowledge and support and this is exactly what the NHIC provides for our patients. Contact us today to get started on the path toward a happy and healthy future!