As a result, Troy earned his certification as a Health Advisor through The Health Institute. As a Certified Health Advisor, Troy enjoys helping others achieve not only their weight loss goals but also to address other common weight-related health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type II diabetes.
After considerable research of the weight loss industry and working with many people to address their weight-related health concerns, Troy created a website to share his knowledge and insights with those seeking to lose weight and create health in their lives.
As you begin a weight loss program, it is important to determine a healthy goal weight to strive for. A great way to do this is using the established and accepted body mass index (BMI). The BMI index is really a simple scale that is commonly used to assess whether or not you are overweight. If the BMI indicates that you are overweight, it is very valuable in determining a reasonable and healthy goal weight to aim for.
Using your height and current weight, the BMI index indicates a number that determines what established weight range you fall into: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese. For example, an adult who has a BMI:
under 18.5 is considered underweight
between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered at a healthy weight
between 25 and 30 is considered overweight
more than 30 is considered obese
Overweight and obese are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. These terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.
You can easily determine your BMI value using a simple BMI chart or BMI calculator that you can readily find online. What you want to do is determine, for your height, a goal weight that falls in the "healthy weight" range of the BMI index.
As an example, the healthy weight range for an adult that is 5'9" tall is 126lbs to 168lbs (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, respectively). So if you are 5'9" and are currently in the overweight or obese range, simply choose a weight that is near the mid-point of the healthy range as your goal weight. In this case, a reasonable goal would be 150-155lbs, which would keep you well within the healthy weight range.
It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, the BMI index does not directly measure body fat. As a result, some people, such as athletes like body builders or weight lifters that are very muscular, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat. However, for most of us, the information from this established index is a very valuable indicator of where we fall in the healthy weight to obese weight range.
Other methods of estimating body fat and body fat distribution include measurements of skinfold thickness and waist circumference, calculation of waist-to-hip circumference ratios, and techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, for most people wanting to determine their healthy weight for the purpose of setting weight loss goals, using the BMI index is more than sufficient.
If you find yourself in the overweight or obese weight ranges, use either a BMI calculator or BMI chart to determine what your ideal weight is based on the healthy BMI range. Use this healthy weight as your goal, then select a good weight loss plan, stick to it and aim for your goal weight!
Keeping a weight loss journal can help you learn a lot about yourself in terms of what you eat, how much you exercise, and why you engage in certain activities.
Journaling the meals that you eat helps you to avoid unconscious eating. That is, eating that leads to consuming excess calories, beyond what you may have ever intended to consume. In fact, research actually shows that keeping a weight loss journal will help you not only lose weight but keep the weight off once it's gone! As you journal your meals, pay attention to the nutritional breakdown of the foods you've eaten each day - including calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
In addition to keeping track of your foods, journaling your moods (such as stress, boredom, or anger) can help you pinpoint problem areas during your day, which in some cases may serve as triggers to overeating. Once you understand the problem, you can find a solution that does not involve opening the cookie jar or the box of chocolates.
Triggers are specific situations, feelings, or foods that lead us to overeat. Different people have different triggers. For some people, being alone or bored is a trigger, for others it's stress. For some people, a trigger might be attending a party or other social event. No matter what your individual triggers are, they can be powerful and they can get in the way of your successful weight loss. If you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight before, one of the things that most likely prevented your success was that you never learned to identify or control the trigger foods, situations and feelings that cause unconscious overeating.
Everyone's triggers are different. However, there are some common ones:
Trigger foods typically include candy, chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, fries, etc.
Trigger feelings are often anger, stress, loneliness, guilt, anxiety, rejection, boredom, and helplessness.
Trigger situations commonly include watching TV, going to the movies (and eating buttered popcorn!), talking on the phone, doing homework, sitting at the computer, reading, visiting a relative, being home alone, or having unannounced visitors!
In your weight loss journal, write down everything you eat throughout the day, how you feel when you eat it, and what the circumstances are when you eat. All of this information will really help you identify any triggers that cause you to either overeat, or to eat unhealthy foods that you want to avoid. The realities are that certain foods, especially eaten at certain places or while experiencing certain feelings, have the power to control you. Don't let them!
Use your weight loss journal as a way to identify the triggers, decide that you are not going to be controlled by them, and then stop responding to them. For example, if you have a problem with eating popcorn at the movies, you don't have to stop eating popcorn. What you want to do is to recognize the association of eating popcorn with going to the movies and plan ahead. Before going to the movies, decide either that you are not going to eat popcorn, opting instead for a healthier snack before arriving, or that you are going to get the smallest size popcorn offered, with NO butter!
And last, but certainly not least, remember to log your exercise in your weight loss journal. Journaling your physical activity can be extremely helpful in identifying what works, what you enjoy, and what may be making it difficult to reach your goals. Keep track of your schedule, the time that you have to exercise, how you feel before and after you finish, and what keeps you motivated. You're certain to learn a lot about your fitness needs, and if you find yourself in a weight loss plateau, you'll be able to identify what needs changing to get out of it.
Your weight loss program does not just consist of what and how much you eat. It also requires that you make a conscious choice to change life-long habits. Keeping a weight loss journal tracking your food intake, your moods, and your exercise activity is a great way to identify what is working and what you might need to change to ensure your weight loss success!
A former Olympic distance triathlete, Troy Garrett has been an avid runner and cyclist for nearly 30 years and has always had a keen interest in health and wellness. Troy spent over 20 years as an engineer in the electronic design automation industry but had a desire to impact the lives of people in ways that his engineering career did not provide.