Health: more than a question of weight!

Do you know people who eat full, nutritious and tasty meals, who enjoy different physical activities and who have always been overweight? Conversely, do you know of sedentary people who eat poorly nutritious foods and who still manage to maintain a “normal weight” when one relies on the calculation of their “body mass index” ( BMI)?


This type of situation clearly shows that adopting healthy eating habits does not automatically lead to the attainment of a “healthy weight” or “normal weight”. Extenso therefore wishes to clarify the issue of weight, this figure representing, after all, only one component of good health.


The multiple determinants of weight


Although diet and physical activity are often targeted as the main factors contributing to changes in a person’s weight, other causes explain the difficulty many people have in controlling their weight. Indeed, our weight depends greatly on our genetic background and also varies according to age, medication, certain diseases, psychological stress, sleep level, smoking, weight history, hormone levels, etc. In other words, the weight of a person does not depend only on his lifestyle, but on multiple biological, socio-cultural and personal factors, which are variable from one person to another, and sometimes beyond their control. This also explains why some families naturally have a slim figure, even if some maintain bad eating habits. However, this does not mean that they are in good health!


The amalgamation of all these factors ensures that everyone has what is called their own “balance weight” or “natural weight”, and their own body morphology. This weight, which is unique to everyone, can thus be outside the “healthy weight” intervals without necessarily having bad lifestyle habits. If you eat a variety of fresh foods to your fill, exercise regularly, and the number on your scale fluctuates little, you are probably at your balanced weight. You don’t need to worry about your weight in this case.


On the other hand, even if the changes made to your lifestyle do not necessarily affect your weight, these improvements offer many benefits in terms of physical and psychological health. To this end, studies show that regardless of the weight variations of the participants, the change in lifestyle can reduce blood pressure and the level of fat in the blood, while increasing sensitivity to insulin, this hormone that allows glucose (sugar) circulating in the blood to enter the body’s cells. In other words, we can all reap these benefits, regardless of our weight. With this in mind, losing weight and achieving a “healthy weight” should not be seen as the ultimate goal of being healthy.


What if we care more about our health and less about our weight?

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