As women, we know the goal of the “skinny jeans” all too well. While fitting into those old size 6’s would be nice, there are important health benefits to maintaining a healthy weight as well … and reducing risks of heart disease and cancer totally beats buttoning those pants from high school.

What Healthy Weight Can Do For You

Being overweight puts you at higher risk for many serious illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Studies have shown that excessive weight gain can increase the occurrence of arthritis, sleep apnea, gallstones, and cataracts. Research has also shown that women have lessened their chances of breast cancer simply by getting to or maintaining a healthy weight before and into menopause. Healthy weight is also associated with better mental health. People who are overweight tend to fall into a sedentary lifestyle because of low energy, lack of motivation, or even feelings of hopelessness when it comes to their weight. This creates a vicious cycle of low activity leading to weight gain, and weight gain leading to low activity. Breaking this cycle becomes more important than ever when it starts affecting a person’s self-esteem or self-worth. Studies have also shown that exercising leads to decreased rates of depression and anxiety, and people who exercise regularly are more likely to report being generally happy. This means that even before you actually lose the weight, you will experience the wonderful added bonuses of improved mental health, which will help spur you on to reach your weight goals. What next? What can you do to make some positive changes in your health and weight?

What You Can Do To Reach And Maintain A Healthy Weight

Start simple: exercise instead of watching one tv show each day; skip sugary drinks; always pack a healthy snack like veggies or nuts when you’re on the go, so you don’t get tempted. Small changes each day will add up in the long-run, and will help you start to break the bad habits. 

Do it with a friend. It can be hard to change bad habits and maintain motivation and especially hard when you’re going it alone. Making a change in diet and activity will be easier and more fun with a supportive friend or spouse by your side to hold you accountable, help you through the tough days, and celebrate the small wins along the way. Are you both trying to achieve a weight loss or general health goal? Make it a friendly competition with a fun, healthy reward at the end!

Get help! The Woman’s Clinic is waiting to help you reach your weight goals. With our Healthy Me program, staff dietitian, and Ideal Protein, we offer options to help you start eating healthy, form good and lasting habits, and ultimately change your life!