Two women on exercise mats working their core muscles.

Steps for Healthy Living

Healthy Weight Week

Happy New Years!  Have you set a New Year's Resolution this year? Many people do set resolutions each year and the most common ones are around health and wellness.  More Exercise, healthier eating habits or losing a certain amount of weight are all resolutions that are commonly talked about around the turn of the New year.  In 1994 a public health initiative was launched in January about maintaining a healthy weight. Each year public health educators rally around helping people to change their mindsets to attain healthy living goals.

Photo of a worksheet about healthy living

One goal of the campaign is to help people to stop relying on fad diets, which tend to not result in long-term healthy weight maintenance. Through implementing sustainable habits the hope it that lives can be changed. Unfortunately, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity affects more than 40% of Americans, which puts them at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. These diseases will only be remedied by sustainable habit changes, not fad diets.

In more recent history, lifestyles have become more automated, we sit at computer desks more than reaping or sowing in fields. We move our bodies less even for recreation by watching TV and movies rather than taking walks or bike rides. We opt for fast food because it is easier rather than making a healthy meal to nourish our bodies.

A large bowl of healthy salad full of greens

Interested in making a real change? It has been proven that  desire and willpower are not enough to see real lasting results.  For this reason these tools can be helpful when wanting to adapt new lifestyle habits:

Reducing temptation: Implementing measures such as eliminating unhealthy foods at home or work helps to attain healthy eating goals.

Sleep: Sleep quality and duration of sleep time are important for our bodies. Adults should try to get 7-9 hours per night where as children under 18 should be getting between 10-12 hours of sleep each night to maintain healthy body balance.

Tracking: Tracking your food through photos, pencil and paper or apps has been shown to help maintain a healthy weight. Tracking and writing down everything you eat helps us self-reflect on our portions, most frequent choices and the quality of them.

Motivation: People who maintain a healthy weight tend to be motivated by more than just the desire to be thinner. For some, motivation could be a health issue, or being able to be more active with others in their life.  Focus on a goal that is meaningful to you and you will be more likely to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Women moving their bodies in a healthy way in a group class.A group class that shows healthy body movement.

But where to start? What aspects should we consider when wanting to make changes in our eating habits? The most important thing is to consider these three aspects in order to think about guaranteeing these changes safely:

  1. Know your body type and the B.M.I.

The healthy natural weight of each person is different,  it depends on the type of body, genes, environment, etc. Body mass index is a good parameter to define body weight. Understanding the optimal weight needed for your size is the first step toward a healthy weight.

A woman making healthy eating choices pictures with a tray of vegetables.

  1. Consult with an expert

When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, there are no shortcuts. It is always best to consult an expert on how training sessions and diet should be handled. Specialists are there to support the start of a new lifestyle and it takes more than a momentary burst of passion and energy to ensure success.

  1. Find support groups

It's not easy to start a habit on our own. Finding people with similar struggles or intentions in a support group can help keep you on track.

Maintaining healthy weight is not easy.  However, experiencing the benefits of having a healthy weight and lifestyle is worth it. You can do it!

Group of children eating together with healthy choices.

Written by Jazmin Hernandez


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