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    HomeLifestyleLifestyle Matters: Aspirus Health’s Guide to a Healthy Weight

    Lifestyle Matters: Aspirus Health’s Guide to a Healthy Weight

    Madeline Oestreich, MD, Aspirus Family Medicine Physician

    WAUSAU, WI (OnFocus) – More than 40 percent of Americans grapple with obesity, putting them at a higher risk for serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, as highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    With efforts to reduce this percentage, Aspirus Health recognizes Healthy Weight Week (January 21 through 27) and aims to empower individuals with practical knowledge to make informed choices about their nutrition and activity levels.

    “We can define unhealthy weight as being underweight, overweight, or obese,” says Madeline Oestreich, MD, Aspirus Family Medicine Physician. While factors such as weight and Body Mass Index play a role in an individual’s health, she asserts, “A healthy weight is not just a number. It’s a dynamic balance unique to each person.”

    Dr. Oestreich offers practical guidance for individuals looking to make positive changes to their overall health.

    Make informed food choices: Dr. Oestreich encourages patients to consider using a food tracking app. This simple practice allows people to have a better understanding of the calorie count of their meals. “That way they can make more educated choices on what types of foods they’re eating. Diet is really important,” says Dr. Oestreich. “Then once you add physical activity, you’ll need to tailor your diet to make sure you’re able to maintain your activity level.”

    Move your body: Dispelling common misconceptions is important. Dr. Oestreich suggests, “You really don’t have to do the craziest, next best thing in exercise.” Instead, she recommends straightforward approaches like a 30-minute daily walk or a basic home exercise program.

    Be consistent: Dr. Oestrich advises at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week, totaling 150 minutes weekly. “Consistency is key,” she emphasizes.

    Prioritize sleep: Sleep, often overlooked, plays a crucial role in metabolism and weight management. She recommends getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

    Go easy on yourself: Dr. Oestreich acknowledges that family history can influence the ease or difficulty of weight loss. However, she reassures patients that health care professionals are available to address questions about medications, lifestyle changes, and other factors affecting weight.

    “Weight loss is not always a linear process. Setbacks are normal. Just take them in stride and get back on with your weight loss journey when you can,” says Dr. Oestreich.

    Talk to your primary care clinician for personalized guidance tailored to your unique health needs. They can offer insights, answer questions, and support you on your journey to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

    We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!

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