Fad diets rarely work, but it can still be tempting to try them. The fact is, the way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to build healthy lifestyle habits. National Healthy Weight Week, which is recognized every January, is a great time to adopt some new healthy habits and leave those fad diets behind.
Why Maintain a Healthy Weight?
Many serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, joint issues and colon cancer, are linked to obesity. Being overweight or obese does not always result in immediate health issues, but it does increase a person’s risk of serious diseases in the future.
What is Your Healthy Weight?
Many factors affect ideal healthy weight: age, height, ratio of muscle to fat, bone density and more. It is helpful to understand how your body is composed to determine a healthy range. For example, if you are very muscular, you may weigh more that a person who is of identical height. That person may be considered overweight while you may not, since muscle weights more than fat.
If you are not sure what a healthy weight is for you, talk to your doctor and set a realistic weight goal together. Your doctor can help you focus on how to attain a healthy weight range.
What Lifestyle Changes Work for You?
During Healthy Weight Week, take the time to determine what healthy lifestyles are most likely to work for you. Some people are motivated by tracking their calorie intake (food) and output (exercise) with an app or wrist device. However, others may have more success with strategies such as using smaller plates or eating frequent, small portions throughout the day.
How can You Start the Year Off Right?
Here are some tips to help you start the new year off right:
- Adopt realistic expectations for yourself and your weight. If you are not sure what “healthy weight” means for you, talk to your doctor
- Focus on healthy lifestyle changes versus following the latest weight loss fad
- Walk and move whenever you have the opportunity
- Relax and get good sleep
Finally, keep in mind that developing a positive mindset and awareness about your body can contribute just as much to a healthy weight as other steps you may take. So, embrace who you are right now, make a decision to become more healthy, and then enjoy the process of moving toward better health!