BMI: How Do I Change My Body Mass Index?

Were you surprised when you saw your body mass index results?  Don’t panic.  If you are like many Americans, you had no idea that your number would indicate that you are overweight or obese.  The fact is that according to recent data, nearly one third of us are obese and many more are overweight.  So what should you do about your BMI?  Use it as a reminder to take care of your health.

3 Steps to A Better BMI

  1. Talk to your health care provider.  Your doctor will explain that your body mass index is not a diagnostic test, but rather an indicator that further examination may be required.  This is a great time to talk to your provider about a healthy diet and exercise program.
  2. Take small steps.  Your BMI results may be a good wake up call, but if it inspires you to start a drastic fad diet or extreme weight loss program, you may be doing more harm than good. Make small changes to your diet that are easy to maintain.  For example, replace your high-calorie soda with water.  Eat at least one vegetable at every meal.  Replace high-fat snacks with fruit.
  3. Measure your progress.  Set goals for yourself and track your progress along the way.  Let your physician know that you are ready to start a healthy weight loss program and write down your numbers including your weight, your blood pressure, cholesterol as well as your BMI.  Small changes in your weight can have a big impact on your health.

Another great way to improve your health is to set yourself up to get daily tips about healthy eating, exercise, and little things you can do to everyday.  It’s easy to do: find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and we’ll take care of the rest.  We post recipes, motivational tips and answer your questions.

Tips for Eating Healthy at the Minnesota State Fair

The State Fair runs from August 23 – September 3 2012 (photo credit: Minnesota State Fair)

Are you going to the Minnesota State Fair this year?  We all love to indulge in state fair food, but the fat and calories aren’t always healthy.  Here are five tips to help you enjoy the experience without overdoing it.

 5 Tips for Staying Healthy at the Fair

  1. Don’t go hungry.  You’ll end up making eating too much simply because you’re starving.  Before you go, eat a healthy meal that includes lean protein and whole grains.  These foods will help you to feel full longer.
  2. Don’t graze.  Make a food plan!  Walk through the fairgrounds first and choose 3 or 4 foods to try.  The walk will help you burn extra calories and you’ll make better food choices.
  3. Share everything. Buy one serving of each food treat and split it among friends.  You’ll get enough food to taste without the burden of the extra calories.
  4. Drink water.  Why waste extra calories on sodas or sports drinks? Water will keep you hydrated better than the high calorie alternatives.
  5. Get informed. Get your weight and your BMI checked at the North Memorial booth on the corner of Dan Patch and Cooper streets.

Have you found us on Facebook yet?  Do you follow us on Twitter?  Join us today for more healthy tips and news.

North Memorial Health Check at the Minnesota State Fair

North Memorial logoIf you’re heading to the Great Minnesota Get-Together why not use it as an opportunity to get informed and get healthy?  North Memorial would like to help.  They’ll be offering State Fair health screenings at their booth in the HealthFair11 building at the corner of Dan Patch and Cooper Street.  Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Weight Check.  You might think that the fair is the worst place to check your weight.  It’s not.  In fact, you’ve got a built in excuse if the number is high.  Just blame it on the cheese curds.
  • Body Mass Index.  Some say that knowing your BMI is just as important as knowing your blood pressure.  It’s a simple calculation and you’ll get an answer on the spot.
  • Diabetes Screening.  According to the American Diabetes Association, many  people with the disease don’t even know they have it. Get screened and find out if this common condition affects you.

And be sure to check back here.  I’ll be posting healthy tips for navigating the Minnesota State Fair and how to find the healthiest foods while you’re there.

Quick Tips for Weight Loss

Listen to my quick weight loss tips

You may not have time to read a book, watch a DVD or attend a class to learn how to lose weight.  But you probably have 60 seconds to listen to a quick tip, right?  Last week I visited KS95 to record some easy advice for people who want to lose weight.  Give them a quick listen.  Even if you don’t need to shed pounds, each minute-long segment includes simple things that anyone can do to eat well, move more and improve their health.

Quick and Easy Weight Loss Tips

  • Body Mass Index  What is BMI and why does it matter?  Get the basic facts.
  • Design for Weight Loss  Set up your home and workspace so that you make better food choices.
  • Goal Setting  Want to reach your goals? Set yourself up for success with these steps.
  • Start an Exercise Program  Get ready to move! Even if you haven’t done so in a while, follow these steps to begin.
  • State Fair Tips  These tips will guide you through a healthy visit to the Minnesota State Fair.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our Minnesota State Fair related blog posts, including this list of Healthy State Fair Foods.

For more health tips, news, diet and exercise advice at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss or by finding us on Facebook and Twitter.

Healthy State Fair Food

Check out the Asian Salad at Veggie Pie (photo source: Minnesota State Fair)

This may come as a shock to some, but there really is healthy food at the Minnesota State Fair.  The fair runs from August 23 until September 3, and if you’re headed out to the great Minnesota Get-Together, you’ll want to print out this list or bookmark this page on your smart phone.   Once you’re there, find the location of each vendor using the State Fair Food Finder.

Healthy Food at the Minnesota State Fair

Quick Snacks, Fruits &  Veggies:

  • Almonds, mixed nuts and dried fruits at Simply Nuts, located in the Coliseum
  • Frozen fruit on-a-stick at Veggie Pie, located in the Food Building
  • Fruit and vegetable smoothies at Caribbean Smoothies, located on Liggett St., near the horse barn or at Moe and Joe’s Coffee booth, located on south side of Judson Ave.
  • Minnesota-grown apples at Minnesota Apples, Inc., located in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building
  • Carrots (in a veggie platter) and fruit platters or bowls at Andre’s Watermelon, located on Underwood St.
  • Wholesome dairy at Midwest Dairy Association located north side of Judson as well as Greek yogurt, honey vanilla and strawberry, fresh cheese curds (not deep fried), located in the Dairy building

Lean Meat and Fish:

  • Turkey jerky and beef jerky at Smokin’ Joe’s Smokehouse, located on Cooper St. in The North Woods
  • Grilled shrimp on-a-stick and clams at Fish & Chips, located in the Food Building and on Liggett St.
  • Crawfish at Ragin’ Cajun, located in The Garden
  • Simple chicken tacos at Tejas, located in The Garden
  • Sushi at Shanghaied Henri’s, located in the International Bazaar
  • Chicken on-a-stick at Chan’s Chicken on a Stick booth, located south side of Judson Ave.

Tasty Meals:

  • Freshly made salads  including Asian Salad, Classic Tossed Salad and Garden Salad at Veggie Pie, located in the Food Building
  • Coushari rice with lentil, hummus, tabouli salad, and kabobs, at Holy Land Deli
  • Wrap sandwiches at That’s a Wrap, located in the food building
  • Chicken on-a-stick, rice bowl, and other healthy offerings at Midtown Global Market located in the International Bazaar
  • Fish tacos and vegetarian tacos at San Felipe Tacos located in the Food Building
  • Northwoods salad, salmon wrap at Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on Cooper St. and Lee Ave.

And while you’re at the fair, don’t pass by the health screenings provided by North Memorial at the corner of Dan Patch and Cooper Streets.  Check your weight, BMI and get a diabetes screening.

Get more health tips, news, diet and exercise advice at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss or by finding us on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Foods You’re Probably Overeating

One serving of cereal

How often do you measure your food portions? If you don’t occasionally measure your food, you’re probably overeating some of them.  And if you are trying to lose weight, portion awareness and portion control are essential skills.

To get a handle on correct portions of food, download the North Memorial guide for  estimating serving sizes.  This will help you to make sure that the food portion you put on your plate is a reasonable serving size.  Then check this list of foods that people often over consume.

5 Foods that People Often Overeat

  1. Cereal.  A single serving of Cheerios is one cup.  A single serving of Grape Nuts is ½ cup.  While many people might eat the correct portion on the first bowl, many of us refill the bowl a few times before finishing the meal.
  2. Chips/pretzels.  Snack foods are often eaten right out of the bag.  It’s nearly impossible to know how much you’re eating when you are grabbing from a large container.  A single serving of Baked! Lays is 15 chips.  If you’re watching your weight, count them out before eating.
  3. Meat.  Over consuming meat is especially easy in restaurants where large portions tend to be popular. A serving of meat is only the size of a deck of cards.
  4. Coffee creamer.  A single serving of most coffee creamers is usually only a tablespoon or two depending on the brand.  The next time you sit down with your java, measure how much you actually pour into the cup.  You might be surprised.
  5. “Healthy” foods.  Studies have shown that people are more likely to overeat foods if they believe that the food is healthy.  Don’t fall victim to this trap.  A loaf of whole grain organic wheat bread certainly has some nutritional value, but you’re not doing yourself any favors if you eat half of it in a single sitting.

Get more health tips, news, diet and exercise advice at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss or by finding us on Facebook and Twitter.

BMI: Understand Your Body Mass Index

BMI helps determine how your weight affects your health

Do you know your BMI?  Your BMI, or body mass index, is a number that will help you determine how your weight affects your overall health. It is not a direct measurement of body fat.  It is a tool that can be used by you and your health care provider to see if your weight puts you at higher risk for certain diseases or early death.

How to Calculate BMI

BMI is calculated using your height and weight. To determine your BMI, use the formula below or use the North Memorial Health Calculator to figure it out for you.

BMI formula:  weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

You can also get your BMI checked at the Minnesota State Fair.  You’ll find the North Memorial booth at the corner of Dan Patch and Cooper Streets inside the HealthFair11 building.  Children and teens can check their BMI scores at the Centers for Disease Control website.

What Does Your BMI Mean?

A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal.  A BMI between 25 and 29.9 falls into the overweight category and a number over 30 is considered obese.  If your BMI falls in the overweight or obese categories your weight may put you at higher risk for chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea or stroke.

If you determine that your body mass index is too high, talk to your health care provider.  Together you can discuss your family health history, diet, and physical activity level. You might find that simple changes to your daily habits can make a big difference in your overall health and wellness.

Have you found us on Facebook yet?  Do you follow us on Twitter?  Join us today for more healthy tips and news.