Weight management: is it just about moving more?
Weight management is a key motivator for many people in keeping active. It’s important to not only understand the role that physical activity has in weight management but also in all of the other factors that can influence our weight.
Before we delve into things, it’s important to note that working with a medical or health professional should be the first step of any weight management plan. This article, along with many other resources you will find on the internet, is generic and doesn’t take into account specific factors that might contribute to weight management.
So what is the best way to lose weight? Exercise? Diet? The diagram below shows the relationship that food and exercise have on weight management.
Calories in Food > Calories Used = Weight Gain
Calories in Food < Calories Used = Weight Loss
Calories in Food = Calories Used = Weight Control
There are many specific factors such as our metabolism, hormonal profile and genetic factors which influence how we much an unbalance energy expenditure will affect us (which is why seeking out a health or medical professional is very valuable).
While it’s not always necessary to count every calorie, there are tools that can help us stay on track of our energy in and energy out. Keeping a daily log of food eaten and exercise can help identify any areas we might need improving, calculating your energy needs, and using apps like My Fitness Pal. Here are some tips to help you managing your energy balance:
- Plan for the long term. It’s easy to make large lifestyle changes for the short term, but hard for the long term. Find an activity you enjoy doing and healthy food that you enjoy eating- this will help you keep up the positive behaviours.
- Adopt the 80/20 rule. Aim to do the healthy thing 80% of the time- eating healthy food for most meals, exercising most days. The video below goes into the importance of not trying to be perfect with our healthy (if you have time- check out the whole video as it gives some great tips on healthy eating).
- Ensure you have proper support. Having your family and friends supporting (and even joining) you in developing behaviours, that support a healthy weight, will help you keep motivated.
- Remember that weight management is only one of the benefits of healthy eating and active living. While it might take time to see some results, from day one of adopting healthy behaviours you are getting benefits including: reducing risk of chronic disease, improving mental wellbeing, and promoting musculoskeletal health.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.Lao Tzu
The famous quote above is a great mindset to have when starting with a new healthy behaviour. Try swapping over to a healthy snack for afternoon tea or begin with short walk with a friend. Setting and achieving small goals will help keep you motivated and accountable. At Move It NQ we are passionate about helping EVERYONE achieve a healthier life, so get in touch and let us know how we might be able to assist!
Where to find more support on weight management:
- Find a Dietitian to help with healthy eating
- Find an exercise professional to help with physical activity
- The Australian Dietary Guidelines
NQSF Program Coordinator