From the GIC Winter 2001 Newsletter
It's that time of year again. The pounds have crept on during the holidays and you're ready to take them off. Half of the population is now overweight, and if you're too heavy, and can stay motivated, losing weight reaps many rewards. Being overweight is strongly associated with a greater risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, stroke, and some cancers. Obese people have a significant risk of dying early, even if they don't smoke and are otherwise healthy, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine study.
Tips to Lose Weight:
- Talk with your doctor about an appropriate diet and exercise program - one that suits you and that you can maintain.
- Exercise is essential - exercise builds muscle, which burns more calories than fat, even when not exercising. Also, people who exercise are most likely to keep weight off. And, exercise can reduce anxiety and stress, raise self-esteem, which will make you less likely to overeat.
- Get up and move - walk instead of driving short distances. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Be active instead of watching television.
- Reduce your portion size -if it's not on the plate, you're less likely to eat it. Consider smaller meals throughout the day.
- Include adequate sleep time in your schedule - sleep deprivation leads to lower sugar metabolization and higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
- Keep a journal of what you eat.
Keep in mind that half of the population is not overweight. If you have body self image problems or an eating disorder, contact your health plan for support. Commonwealth Indemnity Plan and Navigator by Tufts Health Plan members should contact United Behavioral Health (access code: 10910) directly.
If you are a manager or supervisor and need eating disorder help for an employee, contact Susan Cooper for Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Benefits. (The GIC provides EAP benefits to all state managers, and in some instances entire agencies, at no cost to the individual agency.) Ms. Cooper can provide assistance with managing problem employees, stress management seminars, critical incident debriefings, and mental illness or substance abuse assistance.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.