I need to drop a few pounds!
Article by: Dr. Darrell Menard MD Dip Sport Med
Q: I was recently told by my medical officer that if I gain another 5 pounds I’ll be considered obese. I have always been husky and was never bothered by my ‘Molson Muscle’ but an injury last year caused me to be less active…and I really packed on the pounds! Now my health is starting to suffer and my cholesterol and blood pressure are both creeping up. Other than busting my butt in the gym, does the CAF have any programs to help me lose some weight? Nick
A: Dear Nick: The simple answer is Yes! Obesity is a complex issue and it increases your risk of developing health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, cancer, elevated cholesterol and heart disease. The good news is that research shows making healthy lifestyle choices through diet and exercise, getting adequate sleep and good stress management can help you manage your weight.
Strengthening the Forces (STF) is the CAF’s Health Promotion program and it is geared towards people looking to make healthy lifestyle changes. STF offers quality programs with evidence-based research and skill building that you would likely find very helpful.
Here are some programs I would recommend for you:
- Weight Wellness Lifestyle Program – focusses on setting realistic goals for losing weight and keeping it off. You will learn how to:
- Develop a healthy eating plan and adjust portion sizes for healthy weight loss;
- Understand and interpret nutrition labels and restaurant menus;
- Meal plan and choose healthier snacks;
- Manage hunger and food cravings;
- See the effect alcohol and other beverages have on weight gain;
- Tackle common weight loss myths and fallacies; and
- Monitor your progress to help you stay on track with
- Injury Reduction Strategies for Sports and Physical Activity – provides the latest scientific evidence on injury prevention in the CAF culture and may help you avoid future injuries.
- Stress: Take Charge! – offers an effective approach to managing stress. Through self-awareness, behaviour change and skill building, you will learn about the stress response and how it can affect your health. This is an interactive program where various relaxation and stress management tools are explored and practiced.
The bottom line is that STF is an excellent program that has a lot to offer you in terms of your weight loss goals. Contact your local health promotion office and take advantage of what they have to offer. https://www.cafconnection.ca/Cold-Lake/Adults/Health/Health-Promotion/Strengthening-the-Forces-(STF)-Health-Promotion.aspx
Contact Nicole Houghtaling, RD – who may be able to point you in the right direction: Nicole.Houghtaling@forces.gc.ca
Dr. Darrell Menard OMM, CD, MD (former Physical Education Officer at RMC) now a Sport Medicine Physician