The Weight Loss Puzzle

Most people who are trying to lose weight focus on just the weight loss portion of that goal. Setting the right goals and focusing on things like a healthy eating plan are just as important as the weight loss. Other ideas like watching your portion sizes and getting regular activity are also helpful. Being overweight has become a key health issue and some people who need to lose weight for their health don’t realize it, while others simply want to be thinner to look better.

Woman Running

Weight and Health

Although an important sign of health status, your weight is different from your cholesterol level or blood pressure. You can’t tell by looking at someone that they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Weight can affect a person’s self-esteem. They may not get the help they need because of it.

Surprisingly, research has shown that your health can be improved if you lose a relatively small amount of weight, which is between 10 to 20 pounds for most people.

Changing Your Behavior

The key areas to focus on are the dietary and physical activity changes that will lead to long-term weight change. You should focus on two or three attainable goals at a time. Useful goals should be: 

  • specific
  • reachable 
  • forgiving (less than perfect) 

“Exercise more” is a good goal, but it’s not specific enough. “Walk five miles each day” is specific and measurable, but is it realistic? “Walk 30 minutes each day” is better, but what happens if you need to miss a day? “Walk 30 minutes, five days each week” is a specific and realistic goal.

Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer