Do you have trouble losing weight or do you lose weight and then put it back on again straight away?  The research says that losing weight then regaining the lost weight is not good for your health.  Maybe the “health at every size” philosophy is something which might appeal to you?

When we lose weight, we lose both fat and muscle.  Losing fat is good; fat is how we store excess food energy for times of need – in modern times this doesn’t usually happen.  Losing muscle tissue is not so good – a reduction in muscle content in the body means the body needs less energy to run therefore reducing our metabolic rate.  So, when we ‘weight cycle’ – lose weight and put it back on again, perhaps repeatedly – we lose fat and muscle but only regain fat.  This means we end up having a higher body fat content overall; this definitely isn’t good for our health.

Some women find the health at every size or HAES (pronounced “haze”) philosophy works well for them.  What is HAES?  It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, you eat well and exercise for good health according to your needs, and are respectful of all people of all shapes and sizes.  By treating yourself and everyone with respect and care, and being positive about enjoying life regardless of your shape many women get more enjoyment and good health out of life.

HAES is about following healthy behaviours…

And how does weight loss fit into the HAES approach?  Sometimes, following healthy behaviours will result in weight loss but other times it does not, however, healthy eating and exercise can result in improved markers of health including blood pressure, cholesterol and blood fats, and improved mental health.  You may decide to be healthy and be positive about your body as it is.

Alternatively, you may decide to follow the HAES approach and still aim for weight loss by following internal hunger and fullness cues, eating mindfully and moving your body more with exercise you enjoy.

So, what is your weight loss philosophy?  Does HAES appeal to you?  We’ll talk about other philosophies another week.

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Post byDale Cooke

I'm a nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer with 29 years of experience helping people improve their health. I really like using a non-diet philosophy to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Can I help you improve your health?