There is the actual weight, there is the desired weight, there is the healthy weight and now there is the natural weight…
Weight is a primary concern of the vast majority of people, men, women and kids! For many years, we have relied on the healthy weight, but as time goes on, you
will hear about natural weight or weight balance.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index was invented by Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian scientist, to estimate a person body size. In 1997, the World Health Organization defined it as the standard for assessing the risks associated with obesity in adults.
Body Mass Index is especially useful to raise awareness of the increased risk factors for health. On the other hand, as BMI does not take into account body fat, muscle or bone mass, we must take the results with caution and do further evaluation, if necessary, with your doctor.
Natural Weight versus Healthy Weight
The expression: to have a healthy weight, comes from the Body Mass Index seen previously. Since this index omits several factors influencing a person’s weight, such as age, gender, muscle mass, bone mass and ethnicity, the term “natural weight” begins to take more and more space in the health care environment.
The natural weight is your TRUE weight! This is the weight that allows you to stay fit and healthy, physically and mentally. The one that your body maintains without dieting, without restriction and with normal physical activity. It is the weight where your body feels good.
After a diet, what do you usually do? You start to eat “normally” again and presto, you put on the lost weight and sometimes more!
Stop playing yo-yo with your weight and eat healthy and normally. Stop focusing on the numbers that appear on the scale and enjoy the pleasures of life and food. Think of newborn babies. From birth we can observe that they all have a different appearance. Why change it by becoming adult? We are unique! Second, when a baby needs to eat, he lets you know and when he has eaten enough he also lets you know! But why have we forgotten these natural reflexes? Several answers are possible, but let`s return to our bases.
How to reach my natural weight
To achieve and maintain your natural weight, you must listen, eat healthy (including all food groups) and allow yourself to enjoy small pleasures from time to time.
Listen to the signals your body sends you to know when to eat and when to stop eating! Easier said than done, we tell you! When should you eat? At one particular time, or when you begin to feel the hunger signals such as the stomach beginning to rumble? During your meal, you must stop when your plate is empty or take the time to enjoy your meal and perhaps ask the question at some point if you have eaten enough or if your hunger is not yet fulfilled?
After meals or between meals, you feel hungry… Is that a real hunger or simply a habit that has settled? Ask yourself the question, and if you are not sure, take a sip of water and give yourself a few minutes to see if you are still hungry. If it’s a real hunger, it will increase. Otherwise, your mind will probably be attended to other business.
Eat all the food groups
According to Canada’s Food Guide, your meal should contain the four food groups such as vegetables and fruits, cereal products, meat and alternatives and milk and its substitutes.
Your plate should consist of:
1/2 vegetables and fruits
1/4 cereal products (rice, pasta,
bread, preferably whole grains)
1/4 meat or alternative
And a serving of milk or a substitute.
As a snack, go for vegetables and fruits along with food that are high in protein (Greek yogurt, cheese, nuts) to better support you until the next meal.
Enjoy simple pleasures from time to time
Have you ever eaten a satisfying meal, but have the impression of still being hungry? At such times, it is your body that gives you a false impression of not being full; it is your sense of taste that has perhaps not been fully satisfied.
« False hunger is a psychological need to eat at the sight, smell or thought of appetizing foods. […] Surrendering to false hunger from time to time is not serious in itself. If we make it a habit, it can, however, contribute to weight gain.» Fannie Dagenais, Nutritionist
Two things here, first, have you taken the time to savour each bite of your meal or have you swallowed without taking the time to taste or even feel the texture of the food? Taking the time to enjoy your meal is taking the time to enjoy and rediscover the pleasures of eating and tasting. This also gives time to send the messages from your body to your brain and know when you are full.
Second, do you sometimes let a little piece of chocolate tempt you? Give yourself the right to have a diversified, balanced and no restriction diet. By removing restrictions, you will be less often tempted to eat regularly or too often treat foods.
Finally, learn to listen to your body, eat well and stay active.
For more information on natural weight, visit EquiLibre.ca whose mission is to prevent and reduce problems related to weight and body image in the population, through actions encouraging and facilitating the development of positive body image and the adoption of healthy lifestyles.