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Mommy Medicine: Exercising, eating right and not losing weight
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Weight loss is not always part of the diet and exercise process, so getting frustrated about not losing weight is a waste of time. There are three main reasons people have a hard time losing weight even when theyre dieting and exercising. - photo by Suzanne Carlile
Weight loss isnt all its cracked up to be.

A combination of diet and exercise is widely considered the best way to lose weight but that is not true for everyone. A more accurate statement would be: A combination of diet and exercise is the best way to stay healthy.

Weight loss is not always part of the diet and exercise process, so getting frustrated about not losing weight is a waste of time. There are three main reasons people have a hard time losing weight even when theyre "doing everything right."

Differing metabolisms

Metabolism rates differ from person to person and from one stage in life to the next. Knowing the importance of eating right and exercising is critical to a healthy lifestyle, as is sleep, hygiene habits, where you live, work/life balance, relationships, medical history, heredity, etc.

Over-exercising is as harmful as not exercising at all. Being too strict with your diet is less healthy than drinking a soda daily. Our focus needs to be on a weight that is healthy and makes us feel good physically.

Heredity

Heredity and medical history are very important components to weight loss. Metabolism rates are greatly affected by family and medical history neither of which can be changed.

If you come from a family that is overweight, you will more than likely struggle with weight issues all your life. If you have medical conditions that affect your metabolic rate, you will always have weight concerns no matter how hard you exercise and restrict your diet. For example, heart patients are challenged with diet restrictions as well as weight restrictions. If too much weight is lost or too much weight is gained, the heart condition will get worse.

BMI isnt everything

When evaluating a patient for normal height and weight, most practitioners use Body Mass Index (BMI). However, the measurement has its flaws.

The BMI mathematical formula (weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared, multiplied by 703) was developed in the early 19th century by Belgian scientist Adolphe Quetelet. Stanford University mathematician Kevin Delvin recently told NPR Quetelet produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources and it should not be used to measure an individuals fatness.

Another problem: the equation is based on body weight and not body composition. As Dr. Subhashini Ayloo, a bariatric surgeon at the University of Illinois Hospital, told Everyday Health, BMI is a useful number in general terms, but it doesnt tell us where the fat is distributed or distinguish between fat and muscle.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says while BMI is a reasonable indicator of body fat it should not be used as a diagnostic tool.

What now?

What is a considered a normal weight for your height is not always the healthy weight for you. Remember, if you are built like a St. Bernard you should not look like a Teacup Poodle, and if you are built like a Teacup Poodle you should not look like a St. Bernard.

It is not my intention to discourage diet and exercise as being part of your lifestyle; rather, it is to help you understand that diet and exercise alone is not the answer to weight loss. No two people will encounter the same issues or solutions to achieving a healthy weight, so to simply say diet and exercise will work is wrong.

Restricting your life by starving or over-exercising is wasting precious time. Life should be fun and exciting, not full of gaining or losing five to 10 pounds. I have never seen the weight of a person on their headstone, so lets not make it so important that we lose focus on the really important things in our life.

Contributing: Jordan Ormond
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