Salt Lake City, Utah (Good Things Utah) — People are setting New Year’s resolutions for things they want to improve, and one of the most popular is losing weight. Often people fall short of this goal because they set unrealistic expectations and only use the number on the scale to determine success, according to an Intermountain Healthcare sports medicine expert.

While a healthy weight is important for people to maintain, Jake Veigel, MD, a sports medicine physician at Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well Center, says there are several measurable factors that can determine a person’s improving level of health.

“Weight can fluctuate for a lot of reasons and just because someone is losing pounds doesn’t mean their overall health is improving,” said Dr. Veigel. “By measuring success beyond just weight, people can reach more health goals even when their weight loss stops.”

Intermountain Healthcare aims to help people change the way they measure and achieve their health goals with the LiVe Well Center Assessment Plus.

Using state-of-the-art testing, caregivers get precise measurements of a person’s levels of body composition, metabolic rate, and fitness. This base level is used as a starting point to prepare a better overall health plan, which may include weight loss.

One step of the assessment is body composition which measures the balance between lean mass and fat mass, which is essential for achieving optimal fitness. Experts then use a machine to test a person’s resting metabolic rate which determines how many calories their body needs to function. This gives a starting point for measuring calorie intake to match fitness goals.

The functional fitness test is used to assess a person’s flexibility, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness. This helps caregivers plan exercises no matter their current strength levels.

Using this information, counselors, nutritionists, and exercise specialists develop a more personalized plan which meets people’s individual goals. The LiVe Well Center Assessment Plus also includes a lab panel to test other health levels including cholesterol and blood sugar.

“Everyone’s body type is different, and a LiVe Well Center Assessment is a great first step in setting realistic and achievable goals,” said Dr. Veigel. “People are more likely to stick to a plan that’s unique to them and not one size fits all.”

Along with an assessment Dr. Veigel says there are tips people can use to improve their health:

  • Picking obtainable goals will keep people motivated, and allow them to change slowly over time. Picking health goals that are too big can leave people frustrated and often give up. Do exercises you enjoy because people are more likely to stick with them if it doesn’t seem like a chore.
  • Avoid diets and look at nutrition as a long-term change to adopting healthier eating habits. By avoiding heavy restrictions on food people are more likely to stick with healthier eating if they can still enjoy other food they like in moderation.
  • Remember that consistency is more important than perfection. People will hit bumps along their health journey but sticking with it and making even small progress will lead to better overall habits in the future. 

To book a LiVe Well Center Assessment or see other programs offered click here.

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