As a society, we often tend to equate weight loss with health. Every new year, the dieting, cosmetic, and fitness industries ring us to remind ourselves of the weight that we need to shed. There are many of us who have tried the next fad diet or one of many programs and advice from “health” gurus and celebrities without getting any results.
All these commercials and advertisements touting the latest revolutionary programs or products focusing on weight are pointless and have become ironic in a way that is causing a lot of stress and depression and unhealthy habits and behaviors.
Weight is a factor to our health, but focusing on weight alone ceases us to look at the bigger picture of our overall health. Here are 8 reasons why I think a focus on health, rather than weight, makes more sense for anybody’s personal health goals.
Reason #1: Short-term vs. long-term goals
Generally speaking, when we think about weight-loss, we are thinking about attaining a certain goal weight, which suggests a short-term goal. However, once achieved, all there is left is a sense of relaxation followed with the wishful thinking of hopefully maintaining that weight. Instead, if you focus on health and being healthy, you have a lifelong goal that can bring about a holistic lifestyle change. To be healthy means more than just losing weight, including giving up smoking, reducing alcohol intake, exercising more regularly, going to bed earlier, and drinking more water as well as eating healthier.
Reason #2: Confusing the standard of beauty with health
You see it in magazines and on television and movies, of models and celebrities looking inordinately skinny and frail. There are many people who are trying to live up to what they see around them and then suffer from many health-related issues such as bulimia and anorexia because of it. As a culture, we tend to have a single standard of beauty which, unfortunately, has also assumed to be the single standard of health we must emulate to become healthy today and that is just plain wrong.
Reason #3: Nutritional cleansing
Nutritional cleansing is a way of dumping the junk out of your body while putting some grade A fuel into the body. In other words, skipping food products, chemicals, sugar and alcohol and caffeine and replacing them with organic vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. By feeding your body with specific nutrients, they can help you release harmful impurities that cause more serious health issues. A cleansed and revitalized body is stronger and resists illness better.
Reason #4: Losing weight does not equal health (weight loss is the wrong goal)
Every new year, many people have resolutions in which they make weight-loss a priority through searching for various weight-loss programs or new celebrity diet plans. But most of these fads diets only focus on reducing weight and eliminating much-needed nutrients found in certain foods that our bodies need. The truth is, in order to have our bodies at its optimum level, we need to have certain balanced amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, fats, proteins, and others. Any diet that is restrictive and excludes too many foods is not healthy and could have unwanted side effects on your health.
Reason #5: When you focus on health, you naturally lose weight (eating habits, lifestyle changes)
By taking care of your body through with watching what you eat and changing unhealthy lifestyle habits, you will naturally lose weight as a consequence. With health as your long-term goal, all you need to do is start to make gradual small changes each day. For instance, start by cutting out sugary food and drinks and increase food intake that contains vitamins and minerals, reduce portion sizes and increase exercise time, drink more water and going to bed early. By doing so, you and everyone around you will start to see a big difference.
Reason #6: Health at every size
Being healthy comes in all different shapes, sizes, and bodyweights. The world is diverse. When we try and compare ourselves with others, we are just putting ourselves through needless physical and emotional abuse in pursuit of some number. Everybody’s different and they are healthy in their own unique way. A skinny person can be unhealthier than an “overweight” person through other objective standpoints such as blood pressure, liver enzymes, heart rate, and other lab values.
Reason #7: There are other reasons for weight gain
There are a variety of reasons for weight gain. For example, if you exercise and lift weights, you will build more muscle. Later when you step on the scale and see that you haven’t progressed at all on shedding some pounds off your weight, or maybe that you’ve put on weight, you would get discouraged when, in fact, you shouldn’t because it is a gain of muscle, not fat.
There can be other reasons for gaining weight from medical issues to a rise in stress and lack of sleep or getting old, that can put your body out of balance. It’s best to look at it from different perspectives, not just weight-loss, to find the underlying cause.
Reason #8: Health is wealth
This old adage is a simple phrase but its wisdom and meaning are immense and deep. It’s true that wealth matters and that people have put much superior value on wealth among all other things in the world. However, in recent days, health has become equivalent to the value of wealth in all societies around the world. Health is wealth because, without it, no one can enjoy anything in life. Without health, no one would be able to work productively and therefore would be slim to no-chances opportunities for earning and making money. Health is extremely necessary for generating income as one has to work and that cannot be done if he or she is ill and is incapacitated to do physical activities.