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Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong journey that involves making thoughtful choices. Focus on healthy eating and regular exercise. Together, these healthy behaviors can help you achieve a weight that supports your well-being and reduces your cancer risk.

Calculate Your BMI and Understand Body Composition:

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation that uses your height and weight as a general indication for your weight status (See below to calculate your BMI). While BMI is helpful, remember that it does not consider factors like muscle mass, bone density, and overall body composition.

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Aiming for a healthy BMI range is beneficial, but understanding your body composition through tools like body fat percentage may offer a more comprehensive picture of your health.

Lean body mass, muscle mass and body fat

Lean body mass, muscle mass and body fat are good indicators of overall health and fitness. Being able to understand them is important to help you achieve a balanced body composition.

  • Lean Body Mass (LBM): Lean body mass refers to the total weight of your body minus the weight of all the body fat. It includes the weight of bones, muscles, organs, and fluids other than fat.
  • Muscle Mass: Muscle mass refers specifically to the mass of skeletal muscle in the body. Skeletal muscles are the muscles attached to bones that enable movement.
  • Body Fat: Body fat refers to the adipose tissue stored in various parts of the body. It serves as an energy reserve and plays a role in insulation and protection of internal organs. There are two main types of body fat:
    • Visceral Fat: This type of fat is stored around the internal organs within the abdominal cavity. Excess visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of various health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
    • Subcutaneous Fat: Subcutaneous fat is stored beneath the skin but above the muscle layer. It's the fat you can pinch between your fingers. While excess subcutaneous fat can contribute to obesity and certain health risks, it's generally considered less harmful than visceral fat.

Monitoring both types of body fat, especially visceral fat, is important for assessing overall health and fitness levels.

Prioritize Healthy Eating over Fad Diets

Fad diets are popular diets that commonly offer a quick fix for obesity. Anything that removes an entire food group is likely not healthy or something you can do long term. Avoid drastic restrictions that promise quick results, as they can be damaging to your health.

Rather than following fad diets, aim for a balanced and healthy eating pattern. Include a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.

Engage in Regular Physical Activity

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Starting your exercise journey with trendy fitness fads may not be the best way to go. While these trends might seem exciting, pick an exercise routine that fits your unique needs, considering your fitness level, health goals and any specific health history.

Instead of following the latest trend, focus on creating a balanced exercise routine that matches your long-term health goals.

Regular exercise is a key component of maintaining a healthy weight. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises, twice a week.

Focus on Sustainable Lifestyle Changes

The goal isn't just weight loss; it's about making long term lifestyle changes. Focus on how you feel rather than only numbers on a scale. Success may look like improved energy levels, better sleep and increased overall well-being.

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