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How many of you have walked passed the monstrous looking scale at your grocery store?  You know deep inside you should step on it, but you dodge it in fear of what it might read or who will see you.  How many of you eat out twice a week and assume Caesar Salads are low in calories?  How many of you walk 4 days a week and assume that’s enough exercise despite eating more calories than you can burn off?  Do you actually know how many calories you’re taking in and burning off everyday?

Guessing calories over so many years can turn into unwanted belly fat.  How many of you are shocked and in disbelief when you can no longer fit into your baggy jeans, or when your doctor tells you that you’re 50 pounds overweight?  How did it get to that point you wonder?

It’s very easy to get lost in time.  I mean who wants to walk around with a food scale all the time or a food calculator?  What’s it worth to you if you took a few months to actually document your calories?  What’s the worse thing that could happen?

According to the Surgeon General’s Report, Healthy People (2010), more than 50 percent of the causes of premature death in this country are attributable to lifestyle choices.  Many of the health behaviors that increase long term risk of death, such as smoking, inactivity and poor eating habits, can have more immediate and very important near term impact on health, absenteeism and productivity compared with more frequent but less serious illnesses such as colds, flu or injuries.  Isn’t that amazing and so simple to understand?

I will be the first to admit I love food and I love to stuff my face!  Yes, I can turn into a ravenous beast when it comes to good food.  I’m thankful I’m in the Wellness Field.  It keeps me accountable.  After all these years, I still monitor my calories because I know my behavior sometimes will influence me to make the wrong choices.  Stress and rushing around can contribute to poor food choices and consuming more than you need.

What are some Lifestyle Indicators that will impact your health numbers and lead to possible disease?  Here are a few indicators listed below according to the last class I was in presented by the World Health Organization.  Check them out.

Lifestyle Indicators:

Physical Activity

Tobacco Use

Dietary Fat Intake

Fruit Intake/Vegetable


Alcohol Intake

Seatbelt Use

If 50 percent of premature death is by personal choice, than what can you do to increase your quality of life and life expectancy?  I think you should start by knowing your numbers.

Weight and Calories-

Weighing yourself on a weekly basis and monitoring your daily calories through myfitnesspal.com is the easiest way to keep track of your weight and what you’re taking in without hiring a Personal Trainer.  You can purchase an affordable scale at Walmart or Target.  Weigh yourself once a week to keep yourself in check.  Keep in mind this won’t show you lean muscle mass verses body fat ratio, but it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be taking in and what you need to burn off based on your weight.  Try this so you’re not in the dark anymore. It’s very simple to do.


Biometric Screening:

You can get this screening done through your doctor or even a private lab in your local area if you don’t believe in going to doctors.  The screening can be whatever you choose it to be.  The typical screening consists of the following:

  1. Blood Pressure
  2. Blood Glucose
  3. Total Cholesterol-HDL Ratio
  4. Triglycerides
  5. Weight

Don’t like to weigh yourself?  How about measuring your waist circumference?  A high waist circumference and too much abdominal fat puts you at high risk for type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.  It means you need to lose weight.  I had a client tell me that she felt great because she was doing Yoga.  I’m all for people stretching, but she was 80 pounds overweight and had a tremendous amount of belly fat.  She needed to add cardio to her diet and monitor her food calories.  Abdominal fat consists a lot of Visceral Fat and Visceral Fat will restrict your organs and makes you more prone to disease without a doubt.  If you’re doing Yoga that’s wonderful, but please make cardio an important part of your exercise regimen to decrease and prevent abdominal fat. Knowing your waist circumference, gives you a way to track your body composition before, during, and after your weight loss efforts.

A high-risk waist circumference is:

  • A man with waist measurements over 40 inches (102 cm)
  • A woman with waist measurements over 35 inches (88 cm)

To measure your waist circumference, use a tape measure . Start at the top of the hip bone, and then bring it all the way around-level with your navel.  Make sure it’s not too tight and that it is parallel with the floor.  Don’t hold your breath while measuring it.

waist line measure pic

These are all easy ways for you to monitor your progress and get an honest plan in going forward about your health.  Good luck!

Here’s the one of very few pictures I will share with you of me eating like a complete animal.  I was eating in the city of Boston.  I was enjoying my vacation and someone wanted to catch evidence of me eating totally off my diet.  I did make my eating partner that day walk 10 miles after!  Enjoying life in balance….

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Jaime Arto


With more than 24 years of diverse experience in the health and wellness industry, Jaime has
dedicated her life to caring for and enabling people to increase their overall wellness.

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