January is a time when many people are thinking about their weight and trying to get into shape. A University of Northern Iowa health expert says there’s plenty of advice out there — but one thing you don’t have to stick to is a height/weight chart.
Joane Thompson says turn the charts over, as she says a healthy weight is a weight you achieve by responding appropriately to your body. Thompson says you should listen to the message your body sends and eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re satisfied, and land at a healthy weight for you.
Thompson says you don’t need to read a diet book or an exercise video to learn this. Thompson says, "It’s simple, but hard to do." Thompson says you have to pay attention to what you eat, eat what you’re hungry for, and stop when you have enough. And she says you have to realize that people respond differently, as people who eat the same amount of food are going to have different weights.
Thompson says as you learn to eat healthy, find a way to get some activity into your life. Thompson says if you don’t like exercise, find some type of movement you enjoy, whether it be walking, bowling or dancing. Thompson says something as simple as parking farther away from the grocery store can help increase your activity. Thompson says you shouldn’t stress about your weight, that only makes the problem worse. Instead, work on learning to do what your body is telling you. Thompson is a health aid coordinator/health educator with the University of Northern Iowa’s Wellness Recreation Services.