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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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Weight loss and exercise safety

methods of safe exercise
By Rene' Jacob, MBA, RD, LD - STVHCS HPDP Program Manager & MOVE! Coordinator
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June is National Safety Month and there are many ways to be and stay safe.

One of the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention 9 Healthy Living Messages is "BE SAFE." Be safe in all aspects of your life...to include trying to lose weight.

What is a "safe" amount of weight to lose? A gradual weight loss of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week is recommended.

Be safe and Avoid Fad Diets! They do not work. They may help you lose a short-term weight, but you'll gain it right back. This is because these fad diets do not help you change your eating or physical activity for the long haul. Signs of a fad diet include:

  • miraculous claims and testimonials
  • promises of fast weight loss
  • rules that make you avoid certain food groups
  • a food plan that does not consider your personal preferences or lifestyle.

(www.move.va.gov M01 Skip the Fad Diet - Go the Healthy Way)

What is a "safe" weight loss diet plan? Remember - there are no good or bad foods. Key is not making foods "off limits," but to eat with:

  1. moderation (eat slowly and only until you are satisfied; not stuffed)
  2. balance (balance what you eat/drink with how active you are)
  3. variety (choose a variety of foods; include vegetables and fruit rich in color)
  4. slow your eating (take time to enjoy what you eat; you'll get full on less)

(www.move.va.gov N01 All Foods Can Fit)

Be "safe" when you exercise.

  • choose a safe location (e.g., not heavy traffic areas)
  • wear safe clothing (e.g., appropriate for weather, reflective at night, footwear in good condition)
  • drink plenty of water (before, during and after exercise)
  • listen to your body and stop exercising if you have troubling symptoms (e.g., chest pain, severe shortness of breath, cold sweats, severe nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, dizziness)

(www.move.va.gov P19 When to Stop Exercising)

All 9 Healthy Living Messages can be found at www.prevention.va.gov 

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