Managing weight with a healthy lifestyle

Losing weight can feel like an uphill battle. Evernorth Care Group is here to help.
Weight management

Prescription weight loss medications are rising in popularity, particularly among those experiencing persistent struggles around weight and weight-related health conditions. 

However, maintaining a healthy weight and becoming healthier overall results from a combination of healthy habits—not just a single solution.

Making the following key lifestyle changes will support reaching your weight loss goals, no matter where you are on your journey.

Eating a balanced diet

Instead of empty calories, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods, or foods that are significant sources of the vitamins and minerals we need to live. For a 2,000-calorie diet, the recommended amounts include:

  • Vegetables (2.5 cups per day)
  • Fruits (2 cups per day)
  • Whole grains (6 oz per day)
  • Low-fat dairy products (3 cups per day)
  • Lean meats (26 oz per week)
  • Seafood (8 oz per week)
  • Nuts and seeds (5 oz per week)

Empty calories” are categorized as foods that are high in added sugars, saturated fat and sodium, which should all be limited as much as possible. 

For more in-depth information about making healthy eating choices, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.

Getting regular exercise

Physical exercise supports weight loss and helps keep it off. Exercise also provides a range of health benefits beyond shedding pounds, such as reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, regulating blood pressure and preventing chronic illnesses. 

You don’t have to be an athlete to experience the benefits of exercise. Starting with 10-15 minutes of activity a day or walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and gradually working your way up has proven advantages. 

Improving sleeping habits

How well you sleep can affect the hormones in your body that tell you when you are hungry or full. Research has shown that when you don’t get enough sleep, you can experience an increase in the hormone that triggers appetite and fat storage and a decrease in the hormone that regulates hunger. The result is an imbalance that makes it harder to feel satisfied after meals and an increased feeling of hunger throughout the day.

To restore this balance, it’s recommended that adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night. 

Mitigating stress

Stress has a significant impact not only on mental health, but on our hormones and behaviors around food. Stress elevates cortisol, a hormone that, when released, slows our metabolism and raises blood pressure. People also often respond to stress by eating more or less than usual, leading to fluctuations in weight.

There are many activities that can help manage stress, including:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Spending time with friends
  • Engaging in creative activities

If you’re looking to lose weight and are considering ways to achieve your health goals, working with your doctor to determine if certain lifestyle changes, medications or procedures are right for you is an important first step. 

Talk to your Evernorth Care Group Primary Care Provider (PCP) today to find a treatment plan that’s right for you. Visit our website to schedule an appointment or call 800.233.3264.