Pregnancy is a wonderful yet difficult time for a woman. She undergoes many changes in her body as well as in her diet and lifestyle to ensure that the growing baby gets the best nutrition and health. Some women may experience pregnancy-induced hypertension, which is very dangerous for her, and the baby that she is carrying. In such cases, water retention is abnormal. She may experience abnormal bloating of hands and feet because salt retains much of the water intake and thus the result is bloating and abnormal increase in the blood pressure. The OB gynecologist may then recommend a pregnancy diet that is low in sodium. This means avoiding anything salty to improve her and the baby’s health.
Normally, the recommended maximum unit per day is below 1,200 mg during pregnancy. Overall, a pregnant woman should avoid salty and sweet foods. What to avoid are foods that contain processed components. More natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy to eat. Fish is also a good source of protein and Omega 3, which promotes a healthy heart for the mother and the baby during pregnancy.
The growing baby’s health is the most important thing during this crucial time so the mother must take all the necessary measures for the baby’s normal growth. Anything that the mother takes in, the baby retains a lot of it, so if she takes in anything unhealthy then it also affects the baby directly.
This may sound very difficult at first, but it becomes easier when it is part of the lifestyle. Low-sodium diet is also recommended for normal people, not only for pregnant women. There are many ways to add flavor and texture to food, so avoid processed and fast foods in the future, as they contain very high amounts of sodium. Avoiding such foods ensures healthier liver and kidneys.
Most Healthcare Professionals agree that too much body fat is a risk for adverse health effects. Some of the effects might include high blood pressure, increase in LDS’s or bad cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems and degenerative joint disease. The accumulation of body fat is not the only factor that affects health, but the location of it as well. The accumulation of fat around the stomach and waist has been associated with hyperlipidemia or fat in the blood, heart problems and diabetes.
Some people tend to accumulate fat in these areas as opposed to others who accumulate it in the thigh and buttocks. According to studies, people who accumulate fat around the abdomen and waist are worse off than those who do not. Men are more likely to fit this category and are more at risk than women in general. Women tend to accumulate their fat around the thighs and buttocks.
It is therefore important to consider using a measuring tape to measure body fat in different areas of the body. If you only look at how much you weigh, you could be missing out on other factors that can seriously affect your health. It is also important to determine percentage of fat in the body. This is the percentage of fat your body has compared to the rest of what is in your body. A 100 pound person with 10 percent body fat would have 10 pounds of body fat. The other 90 pounds would be made up of other tissues other than fat. These might include muscle, bone and other soft tissue.
You should not try to get rid of all of your body fat. Having a certain amount of it is important for good health. Fat helps to insulate your body and regulate body temperature. It is also stored by the body to be used in times of emergency when your body needs energy. Women normally have more of it than men because their body composition is different.
Men should normally have body fat in the range of 18 to 25 percent. If they exceed 25 percent, they are considered obese. Women’s normal range is approximately 25 to 31 percent. They should not exceed 31 percent to avoid obesity. These percentages are not normal for all people. Some athletes or other individuals may have a different normal range. Knowing your normal percentage can help you to know if your weight loss goals are realistic or not.
You should not lose weight to where your body fat percentage falls below the normal range. Two people of the same height can have different normal ranges for weight. For example one person might have a larger bone structure than another. This person might normally be heavier than the person who has a smaller bone structure because there bone mass weighs more. This could be true even though they have the same amount of body fat. Don’t put your health at risk by allowing your body fat percentage to go out of its normal range.
When was the last time you found a piece of clothing marked “One-size-fits-all” that truly was a comfortable, flattering fit, the right color, the right fabric, and the right level of warmth for anyone who wore it? Right, me either. One-size-fits-all doesn’t often work for clothing. And it works even less in health and everyday life.
Making “normal” a health goal is a faulty pursuit for the same reasons. “Normal” can be an arbitrary measurement. Just as a one-size-fits-all coat would be a bad choice for many people, “normal” is not a close enough fit for many patients. Patients of differing sizes and lifestyles, with varying medical histories and experiences, who don’t have the same tolerances and sensitivities, can’t all fit into an identical health mold. Trying to make ourselves fit can lead to choices that run counter to good health.
Recently I wrote about the top two dangers of pursuing “normal” in the last newsletter. Here are yet another three obstacles to wellness that too much focus on normal can lay in your path.
Danger #1: Settling for normal can keep your “playing small.”
This is true in health and in life, both personally and professionally. Trying only to measure up to “normal” may prevent you from being the best, most empowered version of yourself. There are aspects of you–innate traits, talents, and abilities – that you have the potential to hone to levels that far exceed normal. But you may never discover them if you let “normal” be good enough.
Nicole was afraid of standing out and hid behind a poor self-image and self-esteem. As a result, she didn’t succeed in making the new relationships that she sought or securing that promotion at work. Why? She chose what she thought felt safe and normal–in other words, her comfort zone – to avoid fear. Could that be your “normal,” too? If so, there’s good news for you: Recognizing this self-limiting pattern has allowed Nicole to begin changing her outlook. You can, too.
Danger #2: “Normal” thinking lets unhealthful patterns get passed along through the generations.
For as long as I can remember, my family has had its own set of preferences and habits and celebrations. I heard advice and wisdom about my heritage from my elders that I would never hear anywhere else. Sound familiar? There’s much to be valued in family tradition. But the fact is, not every tradition is healthful. Continuing those that are risky to health or well-being is misguided loyalty.
Frank ate bowl after bowl of pasta, bread, and dessert because he thought his Italian roots led him to those choices. Two hundred fifty pounds later, Frank is rethinking the diet that’s “normal” in his family even as his relatives say, “Mangia!” His new, updated eating plan reflects what is healthful for him now in this stage of his life, and he is enjoying experimenting with new foods that he had previously ignored. Does the change mean Frank respects his family any less? Of course not! It just allows him to better respect his own well-being.
Danger #3: When we accept something as “normal,” we can perceive it as too hard – or even impossible – to change.
Karen’s story speaks for itself. Karen came in with shoulder pain. It started with a twinge with several motions, such as brushing her hair, and then progressed to more pervasive achiness in her arm. Eventually it spread to numbness and tingling in her fingers and made cooking and computer work difficult and, at times, painful for Karen. The thought “Stress always lands there” helped her rationalize the growing discomfort in her body.
What happened was that, as Karen’s shoulder issue gradually became her new “normal” state of affairs, she grew accustomed to discomfort. She was reluctant to get the care and testing that she needed because of inconvenience and lack of time and energy. She wound up postponing the early treatment which might have prevented her condition from progressing to levels that compromised everyday activity.
These patient stories send a clear message to me: Normal might be a starting point, but maybe it shouldn’t be the end goal. We can, and should, treat ourselves better. Take a good look at the patterns in your world that you regard as normal, and ask yourself whether each “normal” offers you satisfaction and comfort. If not, stop settling. It’s time to say goodbye to emotions, comfort levels, and attitudes that are just business as usual and don’t represent what we really want–and accept instead a renewed sense of what’s really right for you, right now.