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Healthy, Sustainable Weight is Possible

healthy, sustainable weight matters because
Healthy, Sustainable Weight is Possible

A healthy, sustainable weight matters because

A healthy, sustainable weight is possible, and taking those first steps matters because excess weight increases our risk for chronic conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, physical pain, and mental disorders (1).

It is also true today, that most American adults struggle to achieve and maintain a healthy weight (2).

However, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t have to be a constant challenge.  With some information, a plan, support, and follow-through, a healthy weight is achievable and sustainable with the right lifestyle adjustments!

Achieving a healthy weight

A healthy body means more than the numbers on the scale, but maintaining a healthy weight is important because being overweight, or underweight, can increase our risk for illness, and chronic conditions like heart disease and depression, and can reduce our quality of life (3) (4).

Weight loss and dieting is not a new concept, the first-ever diet is said to have been created back in the mid-1800s as the Industrial Revolution was spreading throughout the world (5) (6).

When restrictive diets are used for short periods to lose weight quickly, research shows that most individuals gain the weight back within the first year, which can indicate that the individual is not consuming the proper foods for their body (9).

Understanding a few key principles as to why we gain and are unable to lose excess pounds can help us create a plan to move toward a healthier body and weight.

A few key principles for a healthier weight

Removing ultra-processed foods from the diet and replacing them with whole food

options will help to reduce calories and improve our nutrient intake, which over time helps to reduce weight and heal the damage that can lead to disease (7).  Consuming protein helps us feel full longer and reduces hunger and cravings, which makes this macronutrient an important part of a balanced meal plan for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight (8).


First, start small and work up to your ideal.  For example, set goals like increasing your vegetable intake at each meal until you’re consuming a wide variety and several cups of vegetables each day.

While the food we eat each day may be the major influence on our weight, daily movement is important for maintaining a healthy weight and improving overall health (10) (11).  And, while a structured exercise program is not always necessary, making sure we’re moving throughout each day and incorporating some resistance movements into our weekly fitness plan helps to keep the body healthier (11).

Insufficient sleep has also been identified as a contributor to excess weight (12).  Studies show that when we lack sufficient sleep hormones, like leptin and ghrelin, become imbalanced and the endocannabinoid system can be activated, which leads to more hunger and an increased intake of calories that lead to weight gain (12) (13).

As we incorporate these three lifestyle changes into our daily routine, making them our “new normal” over time can help us to achieve and maintain a healthier sustainable body weight.

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