Healthy Weight Week is January 20-26, 2019
Was your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and exercise more? If so, you’re not alone. This common resolution is a top goal for many of us after the holiday revelry of rich foods and lounging. But “healthy living,” eating better and losing weight can feel like a chore, which makes it boring and hard to do.
WHAT IF you could refocus the idea of healthy eating and exercise as a way to live a fuller life, rather than a means to an end? That’s what Healthy Weight Week is all about!
Healthy Weight Week is a time reserved for commitment to your health and fitness—to reflect and commit to a plan of action. But first and foremost, a top goal of the week is self-compassion, and the realization that bodies come in different shapes and sizes. A “healthy weight” for one person may not be quite right for someone else. That’s because we can live a healthy lifestyle at any size. Eating can be a means of nourishment rather than weight loss. And you can enjoy exercise by doing activities you love, rather than “calorie burn” activities that feel tedious.
To participate in Healthy Weight Week this year, just take a closer look at your attitude toward food and exercise. The following suggestions can help you eat well naturally and enjoy activity more.
What you can do: eat well
When you find yourself too focused on eating for weight loss rather than nutrition, it takes the joy out of this simple pleasure. Eating should be enjoyable and most foods can be part of a varied, healthy menu.
• Pay attention to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
• Choose a wide variety of foods, including: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
• Don’t be afraid to try new things! Scan the produce aisle and choose something you’ve never had before, then surf the internet for a new recipe.
• Grab some cookbooks from your local bookstore or library, or ask friends and family to suggest new recipes.
• Get creative. Enhance meat dishes that require frying by baking or grilling. Replace high-fat dairy ingredients partially with lower-fat dairy. Add herbs and spices to season your food.
• Enjoy in moderation, especially if something you like is high in fat and calories. Remember to include a side of fresh fruit or vegetables.
• Don’t drink your calories. Water (flavored or not) is thirst-quenching and zero calories.
The point is to have fun, but not to deprive yourself. Healthy eating is all about balance.
What you can do: physical activity
No one likes the idea of being a slave to the gym just to lose a few pounds. Physical activity is important for strength and flexibility as we age; free movement adds to quality of life.
• Live an active lifestyle. Physical activity is anything that keeps you moving—it can occur anywhere, at any time.
• Choose activities you enjoy. Stop thinking of exercise as simply something you do on an elliptical or treadmill.
• Think of exercise as “ME” time. This is the time during your day where you can be solely focused on YOU, and making yourself feel better through exercise.
You can keep yourself active by trying a variety of different activities:
- Gardening or housework
- Rollerblading or roller skating
- Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing
- Walking or hiking: alone, with friends or with your pooch
- Dancing: ballroom, tap, night club or in your own living room
- Swimming in a pool or at the beach
- Washing and waxing the car
- Classes: yoga, Pilates, spinning, Zumba, aerobics, etc. (the choices are virtually endless)
- Sports: softball, baseball, football, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, badminton, bowling, etc.
- Fitness apps or websites
- DVD or TV exercise routines
- Helping a friend pack and move
- Shopping and mall walking
- Active sightseeing
Reframe your perception of wellness
Rather than focusing on how life could be a few pounds from now, pledge to be healthier and happier right now. Free yourself from weight bias and unrealistic weight ideals, and help yourself live more naturally. A healthier, more satisfying life is within your reach. Start today!
To learn more about Healthy Weight Week, visit: www.healthyweight.net
For more information about making healthy choices, visit: www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/index.html