Maybe it's just me, but it seems like everywhere I look in health-related magazines and books, weight loss is the theme. Since recently having my second son, losing weight has definitely been on my mind; how much to lose, when to start, what plan to follow, etc?
Unfortunately, much of the popular press is no help. There seems to be no consistency in what nutrition plan or "diet" works for the long term. Between cleanses, fasts, very low calorie diets, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, etc, it can be very confusing. Naturally, this hodgepodge of diet advice is usually accompanied by images of underweight models and other body types that aren't realistic - or healthy - for most people. Frustrating, right?
Is this what every woman's supposed to look like??
I don't think so.
The reality is that we all come in different shapes and sizes and health cannot be defined exclusively by numbers on a scale. Striving for a "perfect" weight can not only lead to disordered eating, but it can take the focus away from the real purpose of being healthy - to enjoy your life!
According to an article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there is no "ideal body weight". Living a healthy life can be achieved by following a few simple principles:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Get regular physical activity
- Look at your health habits and find ways to change those that are unhealthy
- Make time for regular physical check-ups
- Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides checked regularly
Interestingly, following these principles often leads to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, that is, a weight that allows you to enjoy life and be active. I keep all this in mind as I embark on post-baby weight loss round two! My goal is not to get wrapped up in the numbers-game, but to eat well, exercise regularly and enjoy my life. Here I go...