Imagine this: you’re driving home from work, stomach growling from skipping lunch to finish that last report and that usual 5:54 p.m. thought pops into your head, “What should I have for dinner?” You didn’t prepare anything the previous night due to seeking relaxation in the form of binge-watching Netflix. You feel a slight tinge of frustration and then in the near distance a magical sight arrives: your favorite fast food joint! Of course, you get your favorite meal, drive away while eating the fries from the bag to prevent them from getting cold and then you arrive at home, plop on the couch and call it a day.
Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. According to a 2016 research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, modern lifestyle is the primary culprit for obesity in America. Modern lifestyle, which includes factors like widely available, convenient and inexpensive high-calorie foods as well as fewer opportunities to walk and the invention of more indoor leisure activities such as binge watching Netflix or Hulu seem to be common barriers to maintaining and losing weight. An alarming outcome of our modern lifestyle was outlined in Adult Obesity Facts published in October 2017 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); statistics showed that 38.9 percent of the U.S. adults in 2015-2016 were classified as “obese.”
We can’t change our society in a day; however, we can change the way we choose to live our lives. It will not come without challenge, temptation, frustration and hardship, but it can certainly be done. As we change, then we can become role models for our children, our families and the people around us. Weight management, my friends, is a whole life affair. Weight management and living well begins with what we choose to devote or not devote our energy to, which then translates to the food on our plates. We all know that we should eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, exercise portion control and drink more water, but do we know that managing stress, getting a good night’s sleep and finding connection and social support is just as important? So, let’s start exploring today, shall we? Read on for more weight management tips!
Two Birds, one stone: Tips for weight management and well-being
- Eat a healthy diet
Eating a “healthy diet” can mean many different things to different people, cultures and places. There are, however, some commonalities that guide us to finding what our unique healthy diet can look like. For example, controlling portion sizes, reducing sugar, not skipping meals and eating until you feel full and then waiting 20 minutes for your brain to understand that your body is full are all good tools for managing your diet. Tracking and logging food, water and exercise can also be beneficial as well.
- Practice cooking
This tip will REALLY slow down your modern lifestyle, and in all the right ways. It will also come as a challenge, however, for those who are not used to grocery shopping, and that’s okay. Find a recipe that you’d love to try and then double the amount of ingredients on your grocery list so that you have leftovers. Grab a cart, check out, hop in your sweet ride home and get to cookin’! And, hey! Oh well, if you burn some things or they taste bad. Practice, not perfection!
- Create a self-care routine
A self-care routine can lower stress and nip temptation in the bud by preventing stress-induced cravings for sugary or salty foods. Self-care comes in many shapes and sizes making it very unique and individualized as we are. We could begin a meditation practice, say “no” and say “yes” when that feels right and/or call a friend. Psychology Today’s 17 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself post shares more self-care ideas.
- Enjoy regular physical activity
Exercise is another activity that is a gift that keeps on giving. Exercising releases endorphins, thereby relieving stress, and exercise can also build muscle elevating our metabolism and aiding in weight loss and weight management. Exercise, according to science, can also help lift depression, make us smarter and build self-esteem and body image. Take a look at 7 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Exercise courtesy of US News.
- Schedule an appointment with a health coach and / or dietitian
Conveniently, the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette Campus makes this option super easy, even if you’re on another campus! Both health coaches and the dietitian can provide telephonic wellness programs, as well as in-office appointments. CHL health coaches also offer walking health coach appointments. Simply put, employees can schedule appointments with one of the health coaches at the center and rather than sitting in a room discussing wellness goals, the appointment takes place during a walk around campus.
If you need help with any of the other tips listed above or other things related to your overall wellness, the health coaches and / or dietitian can easily be your go-to people; they have all the resources and knowledge to help you make changes to better your well-being and help you with weight management if needed. The CHL is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. To schedule an appointment with the dietitian or one of the health coaches, call the Center at 765-494-0111 or schedule via the portal. Don’t forget, appointments with the health coaches qualify for Healthy Boiler Wellness Program incentives. To stay up-to-date on all things Healthy Boiler, visit the Healthy Boiler Portal, follow this blog and follow Healthy Boiler on social media:
Be well. Be kind. Boiler up!
Blog post written by Katie, a member of the One to One Wellness Health Coaching Team at the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.