During the week of Jan. 15-21, Americans will celebrate the 20th annual Healthy Weight Week. This is a time to recognize the importance of achieving a healthy weight for life, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. It is also a time to recognize our uniqueness as an individual and appreciate everything our body does for us.
I am often asked, “What is a healthy weight for me?” This is such a difficult question because what really determines the weight we should be at? There are many different height and weight charts available. Newer charts break down the body types to small, medium and large frames. The numbers indicate a compilation of weight averages of people between the ages of 25 and 59 who have the lowest mortality rate. The website www.lifemana.com/weight-chart.html demonstrates this type of chart.
The BMI (Body Mass Index) chart has become widely used as a weight guide based on health disease risk. The higher your BMI, the more at risk you are of getting diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancers. BMI is based on your height and weight, and does not factor in frame size. The BMI weight ranges classify individuals as either severely underweight, underweight, optimal, overweight, obese, and severely obese based on their height and weight. In rare cases the BMI chart is misleading, as with an athlete with a very high muscle mass. The athlete may be labeled as “obese” on the chart because of the muscle mass. Overall, the BMI chart as well as other weight charts available can be used as a guide in assessing your desired weight. Go to www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi for help in calculating your BMI.
When I answer my clients about where their weight should be, I often tell them to aim for a weight they feel good at, a weight at which energy level is high, health is good and you feel comfortable in your body. This may or may not be at a weight that is considered “normal” according to weight charts.
Achieving a healthy weight reduces disease risk and can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and increase your energy level, to name a few.
Guidelines for a healthy weight
Enjoy living actively
Be active your way, every day. Take time to care for yourself. Be creative and enjoy movement through the day. Move for the sheer joy and power of it.
Enjoy eating well
Eat at regular intervals, typically three meals with 2 or 3 snacks per day. Watch portions and learn to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are content. Enjoy variety; learn to like new foods. Meet your body’s nutrient and energy needs from all the food groups.
Respect yourself and others
Celebrate and enjoy your unique self. Relax and relieve stress in your life. Identify and build on your strengths, talents and interests. Remember – beauty, health and strength come in all sizes.
Thinking about your Super Bowl menu? Here’s a quick and healthy appetizer to try:
Appetizer chicken kabobs
Makes 10-12 servings
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 to 8 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ pound medium fresh mushrooms, stems removed
In large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Pour half into a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat. Pour remaining marinade into another large plastic bag; add onions. Seal bag and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Drain and reserve marinade from onions. On soaked wooden skewers, thread a piece of chicken, onion, mushroom and another chicken piece. Place on broiler rack. Broil 5 inches from heat, turning and basting with reserved marinade after 3 minutes. Broil for 3 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink.
Nutrition information for 2 kabobs: 58 calories, 1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 21 mg chol, 278 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 9 g protein.