Patient Education

BMI and weight management

BMI stands for body mass index, but you'll almost always find it referred to simply as BMI. It’s an estimate of how much body fat a person has, and it's calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by his or her height in square meters. Less than 18.5 = underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 = normal weight, 25 to 29.9 = overweight, 30 or higher = obese. BMI isn’t as useful in older adults because it doesn’t account for the fact that many people get shorter as they age, which can lead to underestimated fat levels. It has been found that the lowest risk of death was among people with a BMI of around 27.5 — which qualifies as overweight. (6) The study found that in older people a BMI between 22 and 23 actually increased the risk of death, even though it's in the normal range. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight has been shown to counter the negative side effects and improve your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar — even if you still fall into the obese category post weight loss, 

At each meal, include a palm-size amount of protein, whether it’s chicken, fish, or tofu. Eat that with a fist-size portion of a carbohydrate, such as fruit, quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat bread for a well-balanced meal. Chew slowly, swallow only when the food is all chewed up, and repeat. It takes time to know we're full. Eating slowly allows us to not only enjoy our food more, but gives us better cues of satiety. When in doubt, eat a vegetable. They’re low-calorie, high-fiber, and full of nutrition. Snack on kale, lettuce, carrots, or green beans. And finally: Skip the butter and oil, but do add herbs or garlic for a great taste. Instead of chips and cookies, keep convenient and easy-to-prepare items at close reach. Such items include nuts and seeds, precut fruit and vegetables, string cheese, edamame, eggs, salmon, and yogurt. 

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