COVID-19, Obesity, & Weight Loss

The link between obesity and COVID-19 is scary. For people who’ve struggled with their weight for years, it might be a much-needed wake-up call. They may be ready to face the issue head-on, once and for all.

So how can we help them succeed? If you’re working with a chronic dieter, chances are the scale is not a friend. Daily or even weekly weigh-ins might do more harm than good.

Yes, research shows that people who weigh themselves frequently are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. But for some people, the number on the scale holds too much power. Whether it’s up or down, it can sabotage even the best of intentions.

Take the focus (and power) away from that daily number on the scale by looking at Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference. Our BMI 101 PowerPoint lesson teaches people how to calculate their BMI, measure waist circumference, and take steps to lower both.

Here are some tips for using BMI and waist circumference to help people get to a healthy weight:

Talk to your clients about how they relate to the scale. Does seeing the number go up cause a downward spiral of self-hate and emotional eating, followed by a vow to start fresh tomorrow? Does the thrill of seeing the number go down make you think, ‘I’ve been good, so I can afford to have a little treat today’?

Calculate your BMI: use an online BMI calculator or the Body Mass Index Table.

• BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 = overweight.
• BMI of 30.0+ = obese.
• CDC warns that a BMI of 40+ puts people at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.

Measure waist circumference accurately by following instructions found here. It’s probably worth it to measure three times and take an average.

• A waist circumference of more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for non-pregnant women increases the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases.

Set a realistic goal:

• Lowering BMI by 2-3 points is enough to improve weight-related health risks. This is equivalent to a 10% weight loss in overweight or obese individuals.
• Reducing waist circumference indicates the loss of abdominal fat, even if BMI doesn’t go down. This helps reduce your risk of heart disease.

Remind your clients to practice self-care, especially during the pandemic. Stress and poor sleep habits make it hard to lose weight, so focus on these things as you make other lifestyle changes.

Use the code MYPLATE to get 10% off plus free shipping for all items now.

\$49.00

\$19.00 \$22.00

\$19.00 \$22.00

\$16.99 \$20.00

\$30.00 \$35.00

\$19.00

\$105.00 \$125.00

\$19.00 \$22.00

Make the Most of Biometric Screenings

It seems like lots of companies do biometric screenings for their employees these days. It’s a great way to give people a snapshot of their health. But knowing those numbers doesn’t help if they don’t understand what they mean. We have two handouts that can help – the Biometrics Screening Tool Handout Tearpad and the Printable Biometrics Form PDF.

On one side of these handouts, there’s space to record BMI, waist circumference, hemoglobin A1C, blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol (including total, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides). On the other side, there’s a glossary with easy-to-understand descriptions of each measurement.

Individual instructions or goals can be written in the space on the bottom left of side one. If you use the printable PDF form, you can add a logo or message before printing.

Here are 10 ideas for lessons and messages to use with the Biometrics Screening handouts:

1. A biometric screening provides a snapshot of your health. These numbers tell where you’re doing well and areas that need attention.
2. Manage these numbers by being more active, eating more lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and eating less high fat, high sugar processed foods.
3. If you’re missing any measurements, take the handout to your doctor and ask to have blood tests or other measurements done.
4. Calculate your BMI using the formula on the handout, or search online for “BMI calculator” and plug in your height and weight. If your BMI falls in the overweight or obesity categories, losing even a relatively small amount of weight can improve your health.
5. Waist circumference can tell you a lot, but many physicians don’t take this measurement. Use the instructions on this handout to measure your own waist circumference (or ask someone to help you). If it’s 40+ inches (for men) or 35+ inches (for for women), your risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure increases.
6. Hemoglobin A1C measures your blood glucose (or blood sugar) over the past few months. Normal is less than 5.7%; prediabetes is 5.7% to 6.4%; and diabetes is 6.5% or higher. The higher the number, the greater your risk of diabetes-related complications.
7. Blood glucose (or blood sugar) is sometimes measured after you’ve fasted. Normal is less than 100; prediabetes is 100-125; and diabetes is 126 or higher. If you haven’t fasted, a blood glucose of 200 or more indicates diabetes.
8. Blood pressure measurements are given as two numbers (top is systolic, bottom is diastolic). Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. If your blood pressure is above normal, check the categories on the handout to see where you fall.
9. Cholesterol isn’t just one number! Keep track of your “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL), as well as triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the blood.
10. When your biometrics are out of the normal range, your risk increases for diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Knowing your numbers gives you something to track besides just a number on the scale.

Display our Measuring Your Biometrics poster or banner at health fairs and screenings. People can compare their biometric results to normal or optimal numbers based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

\$30.00 \$35.00

\$19.00

\$105.00 \$125.00

\$19.00 \$22.00

Nutrition Posters for the Workplace

My team and I have created tons of posters over the years, and some of my very favorite ones teach lessons that are important to showcase in the workplace.

We have posters that are designed to bring “better numbers like blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI” or to motivate in a fun way like the food art posters. There are also ones that teach great nutrition lessons and promote positive reinforcement and education.

Let’s take a tour through some of the best options, shall we?

Top Heart Posters:

Top BMI Poster:

Best Nutrition Lessons:

Favorite Motivational Posters:

And of course there is our entire collection of over 150 posters. Which ones will best brighten up your workspace?

And, as a special bonus because I love ya, here’s a free copy of the printable PDF handout that accompanies the Fabulous Fruits and Vegetables poster.

Muscle vs. Fat: What’s the Difference?

Today I want to bring you a special treat from the Nutrition Education Store! This Muscle vs. Fat poster is one of our top-selling resources, popular with a wide range of health educators. Since all of the posters we make come with a handout, now I’d like to share the handout that comes with this popular poster, for free! I hope you like it!

Weight is weight, right? Does what makes up the weight actually make a difference? Surely a pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat, right?

Well, it’s not that simple.

What makes up the weight you carry can have an impact on your health, appearance, physical abilities, and general well-being.

Muscle and fat could not be more different in terms of both structure and role.

Some muscles attach to your skeletal system. Others are key to the circulatory and digestive systems. Your heart is a muscle, and so is your bicep. Muscles are vital to the way your body runs!

Muscles use up calories in order to function, and they generally use up more calories than fat does (1). According to a paper published in the Exercise and Sport Sciences Review, “exercise improves the capacity of muscle to oxidize fat” (2). Since “reduced rates of fat oxidation […] have been shown to predict weight gain” (2), regular exercise can give muscles a boost in their fat oxidation, making it easier for you to control your weight.

Muscle is also denser than fat, which means that a pound of it will take up less space than a pound of fat. This can impact your physical appearance.

Your body does need some fat, but it doesn’t need a ton of it. Fat helps store energy, insulate organs, and can even help the messenger systems in your body function. It also stores some nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Fat doesn’t use up as many calories as muscle does. Meanwhile, fat cells store more calories than muscle cells do (1).

In terms of appearance, a person with a higher body fat percentage will appear larger than a person with a lower percentage, even though they weigh the same.

Sources: