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Natural Family Weight Control

by June Kaminski, RN MSN

The USDA Food Guide Pyramid offers an excellent guide for eating a wholesome, well-rounded diet without starving yourself. If families follow the guidelines in the Pyramid, and combine it with regular enjoyable activity and exercise, obesity would become a rarity.

This week's feature focuses on natural weight control, based on good nutrition and wise food choices. Nutritionists and health care professionals often write about the alarming amount of overweight and obese people in all age groups.

Any trip to the store, or evening of television will expose you to a myriad of advertisements related to weight loss products and super diets.

It is true that about 40 per cent of the population in North America weighs more than 20 per cent over the recommended body weight. But are all these diets and weight loss products necessary? Experts all say a resounding "NO!"

There is a simple solution to the problem of being overweight in people of all age groups, from children to the elderly. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid offers an excellent guide for eating a wholesome, well-rounded diet without starving yourself. If families follow the guidelines in the Pyramid, and combine it with regular enjoyable activity and exercise, obesity would become a rarity.

Food Guide Pyramid Review

Let's review exactly what the Pyramid suggests you eat each day:

  • 6 to 11 servings of Grains and Cereal Foods Fit together
  • 2 to 4 servings of Fruits
  • 3 to 5 servings of Vegetables
  • 2 to 3 servings of Meat and Protein Foods
  • 2 to 3 servings of Milk and Dairy Foods
  • Use Fats, Oils, and Sweets sparingly

The most important point to remember in weight control is to follow the Food Pyramid and incorporate regular activity - individually and as a family. Some fun activities are listed below, many of which can be shared as a family event.

The three main areas to develop in your fitness plan include:

Strength, Flexibility, and Endurance

A well-rounded approach to fitness is recommended to cultivate all three areas.

Strength: can be developed through weight-bearing exercises such as:

  • Weight-training Weights make you strong
  • Brisk walking, climbing, hiking
  • Isometric exercises
  • Stair climbing
  • Dance
  • Bicycling
  • Team Sports

Flexibility: can be developed through activities such as:

  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • T'ai Chi
  • Ballet and other Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming

Endurance: is built through aerobic activities such as:

  • Walking Family Weight
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming
  • Team Sports
  • Skating
  • Rollerblading
  • Frisbee

Sites to Visit for Weight Control Tips
Watch you Fat Intake

You can download a 126 page guide, entitled the Navy Nutrition and Weight Control Self-Study Guide , a very detailed, useful document to help you plan natural ways to control your family's weight.

The American Heart Association presents Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Children , with tips for adequate nutrition, weight control, and health maintenance.

Karen's Kid's Kitchen is an interesting site with tips on feeding kids well, meeting their growth needs and preventing obesity. Also features a Women's and Men's Nutrition section, plus recipes.

Are you overweight? The BMI Calculatoroffers an easy to use Body Mass Indicator form to quickly assess your BMI.

Weight Loss and Fitness offers an exercise calorie calculator to check how many calories you are burning with each exercise session, plus articles, tips, recipes, chats, and more.

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June Kaminski, MSN - 2001 - 2005 -Healing Intent.com - All rights reserved.
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