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A Holistic Viewpoint On Healthy Weight

Diet and exercise

Reaching a healthy goal weight and maintaining that healthy weight is very important to an individual’s overall health. When someone is suffering from obesity or being underweight, it can cause many other health problems and diseases to arise throughout the different body systems because it has thrown off the homeostatic balance. There are multiple different steps that can be taken to reach an individual’s weight goal, whether that is to lose or to gain.

One of the first steps I feel should be taken would be to do an overview of the current food choices that are eaten over several days, sticking with the normal foods and not purposely changing them. That way it is an honest and raw look at the dietary intake. An emphasis on eating raw, organic fruits and vegetables is important for the individual to receive vital nutrients from the best source. It is recommended to eat four servings of vegetables per day and two to three servings of fruits per day. Some examples of these are tomatoes, onions, fresh pineapple, watermelon, blueberries, artichoke, asparagus, spinach, clementine, broccoli, and mushrooms. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar such as cookies, baked sweets, candy, and sodas is important. Products that use corn syrup as a sugar substitute could possibly make you feel an increase in hunger which will lead to eating even more. Avoid foods that have been fried. These foods tend to be high in fat and are cooked in non-healthy fats. It is also important to be eating lean protein in our daily diets whether we are needing to lose weight or gain weight. According to Dorene Petersen, author of NAT 308 Holistic Nutrition, some options for lean protein include fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, beans, legumes, lobster, venison, cottage cheese, and eggs that are high in Omega-3’s. Carbohydrates are used in our body for fat metabolism and energy. Choosing whole grain is healthier than eating white carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, and crackers. Some whole grain options would be multigrain bagels, whole grain bread, and flaxseed L. usitatissimum, which can easily be added into many recipes including smoothies. You should be eating two to four servings per day of healthy carbohydrates. Dairy products are typically included in healthy food plans such as the MyFoodPlate program. But some people, such as vegans, do not eat dairy products so they need to supplement with something else in order to obtain adequate amounts of calcium and protein. One of these substitute options would be nut milks instead of cow milks. If an individual is consuming many processed foods, high sugar items, and consuming too many calories for their activity level, then that can be a root cause of weight problems.

This brings me to my next step; analyzing the activity level. Is this individual very sedentary and sits down most of the day? Does this person spend most of their time on their feet moving around at a leisurely pace? Or is this person very athletic and spends most of their time on their feet but also is participating in rigorous exercise several times a week? The physical activity level of the individual can play a role in weight gain. According to the World Health Organizations Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health in section 4.1, physical activity is “…relevant for the following health outcomes: Cardiorespiratory health (coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension), metabolic health (diabetes and obesity), musculoskeletal health (bone health, osteoporosis), cancer (breast and colon cancer), functional health and prevention of falls, depression.” As you can see, physical activity level plays a factor in obesity as well as other diseases and body systems.

An additional step that can be taken to achieve a healthy weight is to take advantage of herbal supplements. According to Dorene Peterson, author of NAT 308 Holistic Nutrition, there are some herbs that can support weight loss and the detoxification process. These herbal supplements include dandelion T. officinale, chickweed S. media, cleavers G. aparine, and parsley P. crispum. These specific herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and have diuretic properties to them which aids in fluid retention. Replacing your common table salt with kelp granules can also help in eliminating excess fluid from the body.

Another important step that can be taken, especially from a practitioner point of view, is to pay close attention to the individual’s emotions and behaviors. Asking them about their life and if they are under a lot of constant stress can also play a part in having weight management problems. An abundance of stress can trigger hormone imbalances which can affect our metabolism. Many people who are stressed out constantly or are suffering from depression tend to snack or eat more foods for comfort even when they are not hungry. This can lead to an excessive amount of calories that are not being used for energy or burned off with exercise. If a practitioner suspects that there is a mental health problem, it is important to for the practitioner to refer them to their primary care physician to get a referral to a specialist that can help in this area.

Weight struggles and coming up with a dietary plan can be frustrating for anybody. It is a lifestyle change to learn how to treat your body as a whole, made up of many systems that work synergistically. Eating organic foods and ones that benefit our body systems and encourage them to work the best they can lead to healthy results. When we pay attention to what our body is telling us, and providing it with the nutrients it needs, our body is happy and functions better which in return makes us feel better. And when we feel better, we are more inclined to make healthy decisions and to not give up on our journey to becoming the best that we can be.


Global Recommendations for Physical Activity for Health. (2010). 9789241599979 eng. Retrieved 1 March 2017, from

Petersen, D. (2016). NAT 308 Holistic Nutrition. 5005 SW Macadam Ave, Portland, OR, 97239: American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

Global Recommendations for Physical Activity for Health. (2010). 9789241599979 eng. Retrieved 1 March 2017, from

(“Global Recommendations for Physical Activity for Health,” 2010, pp. 15–15)

"relevant for the following health outcomes: • Cardiorespiratory health (coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension).• Metabolic health (diabetes and obesity).• Musculoskeletal health (bone health, osteoporosis).• Cancer (breast and colon cancer).• Functional health and prevention of falls.• Depression." (“Global Recommendations for Physical Activity for Health,” 2010, pp. 15–15)

Note (15 - 15) : Section 4.1

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