Keep Your Eyes on the Scale

Even Moderate Weight Gain Affects Health

It seems like a rite of passage to put on a few pounds over the years. But gaining just 20 pounds from young adulthood into your 50s increases your risk for chronic diseases, premature death, and decreases the likelihood of healthy aging. Here are a few reasons why those pounds creep up on us:

Processed foods. Sugary cereals, fast food, and microwave dinners are packed with calories, added sugars, preservatives, and unhealthy fat. Replace them with fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

Too much sugar. The largest source of added sugar in the U.S. is sugary beverages—soda, sports drinks, and sweetened coffee drinks. All those extra calories add pounds and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

A sedentary lifestyle. Not getting enough exercise (150 minutes of physical activity per week) quickly adds up. Making a few simple changes, such as adding an evening walk or a short workout every morning, can make a big difference.

Not enough sleep. People who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night have a higher body mass index (BMI), store more body fat, and lose more muscle mass. Improve your sleep by limiting screen time in the evening, reducing caffeine, and sticking to a consistent bedtime.

Chronic stress. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase carb cravings. Reduce stress with relaxation practices, like yoga, spending time in nature, and meditation.

YOUR REGENCE HEALTH PLAN CAN HELP. Go to and log in, then:

  • Rule out medical issues. At your annual checkup, ask your doctor to check for conditions and medications that are associated with weight gain. Click Find a Doctor to find a primary care provider in your network.
  • Work with a dietician. Get personal help to develop an ideal plan for you. Click Find a Doctor, then search for a Registered Dietician.
  • Get support. Click Regence Empower to learn about programs and tools tailored to your preferences.
  • Save on weight management programs. Click on Advantages Discounts to learn more.
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