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- Health Screenings for Older Black Men
- Healthy Man of the Month for July 2016
- HIV Testing is HIV Prevention
- Your ‘Mental’ Endurance
- Bisexual Health Priorities
- Entertainment CEO DonJuan Clark
- New Drug Helps Men with Melanoma
- ‘Really, Really Messed Up My Life’
Lose Weight and Live Your Healthiest Life
Are you comfortable with your weight? If not, it’s never too late or too soon to do something about it. The key to achieving a healthy weight isn’t about short-term, quick fixes in your diet but about your overall choices. It’s about a lifestyle adjustment that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the amount of fat and calories you consume with what your body burns.
And even for me in my forties, staying in control of my weight is challenging but I know it also contributes to good health as I age.
Evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. But it’s also about making the ‘decision’ to commit to change. Sometimes that’s an emotional choice as well, something we rarely talk about.
To lose weight, one must think longterm and specifically address ‘triggers’ that might derail your goal. Always consult with your doctor when you embark on a weight loss program. But the formula is very simple, you must use up more calories than you take in- exercise will likely be part of everyone’s weight loss goals. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500—1000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week. Once you’ve achieved a healthy weight, by relying on healthful eating and physical activity most days of the week (about 60—90 minutes, moderate intensity), you are more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off.
The good news is that no matter what your weight loss goal is, even a modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10% of your total body weight, is likely to produce health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.
For example, if you are five feet tall and weigh 200 pounds, a 10% weight loss equals 20 pounds, bringing your weight down to 180 pounds. While this weight may still be in the “overweight” or “obese” range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity. Translation, it’s a helluva start for the overall goal you set for yourself.
And remember you didn’t gain all of the wight in one week, so it likely won’t be lost in 7 days. But starting is key. So join me in getting healthier, shedding the unwanted pounds, and rediscovering the best of life.
Walker Tisdale, MPH, MA, LMSW is a public health and social work professional based in Atlanta, GA. He’s an advocate to end health disparities for black males worldwide and publisher of healthyblackmen.org.