Healthy Weight Week
Healthy Weight Week has been celebrated since 1994 and begins each year on the third Sunday of January. This year, Healthy Weight Week will take place From January 16-22. This observance was not created to encourage dieting. In fact, its main concept is that dieting is not only harmful to your body, but your self-esteem. They want to make it clear that setting a strict calorie count and goals for each week isn’t a healthy way to approach weight loss. A positive body image and establishing a healthy relationship with food is the first step in attempting to live a healthy lifestyle.
Importance of Healthy Weight Week
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of states with high obesity rates nearly doubled over two years. Experts say these CDC findings represent an alarming trend because obesity is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many types of cancer. It also increases the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death.
Nadine Gracia, CEO of Trust for America’s Health and Fatima Cody Stanford, a Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School obesity medicine physician and scientist, explains that stress often causes a change in eating habits. Obesity undoubtably increased during the coronavirus pandemic because stressed Americans lost jobs, reduced physical activity and had higher rates of food insecurity. That is why Healthy Weight Week is more important than ever this year.
How to Participate
Listed below are activities and ideas to help you participate in Healthy Weight Week. Pick a few to focus on this week, but don’t stop there! Use this as a starting point to begin making long-lasting healthy changes in your life. Each week try adding on a new focus until you have incorporated all of the aspects of healthy living!
- Put Away Your Scale: Being hyper focused on your weight isn’t healthy. Not to mention that everyone has a different body type, so some weight goals are unrealistic and unhealthy. Instead, focus on how you feel and your measurements.
- Eat Well: Your goal should be to have balance, variety, and moderation. Incorporate whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats, and avoid processed foods and added sugar as much as possible.
- Stay Hydrated: Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger, causing many people to overeat. Ensuring that one’s body is getting enough fluid is hugely important to maintaining a healthy body and weight. Keeping hydrated also helps the body regulate temperature, rid itself of waste, and even keeps the brain more focused.
- Get Quality Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for your body and mind to recover and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. Ensuring at least 8 hours of sleep each night can even reduce one’s risk of many diseases.
- Stay Active: Regular physical activity is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself lacking motivation to exercise, focus on making physical activity fun again! Choose something you really enjoy, such as hiking or riding your bike. You can even make it fun for the whole family by playing sports in the yard or catching up on your days while walking the dog.
- Take Small Steps: Whatever your goals may be in terms of achieving and/or maintaining a healthy weight, remember to take things slow. When you set small, achievable goals overtime, you are more likely to continue your healthy lifestyle.
- Be Kind to Yourself: Many people begin extreme dieting as a result of negative self-images. Work on changing your self-image and practice positive and compassionate self-talk. You will be surprised just how much this impacts your desire to live a healthy lifestyle!
To learn more, check out this article from the Southeastern Medical Oncology Center!