Healthy Weight Week, which is observed in January of each year, is not about crash dieting, dramatic weight loss or a number on a scale. Instead, it is intended to challenge everyone to develop some healthy lifestyle habits that can be sustained over the long term – and perhaps over the course of a lifetime.
Of course, no habit can be established overnight, or even within a week’s timeframe. The goals of Healthy Weight Week are to (1) inspire people to begin one or two activities that can be maintained comfortably during the week, (2) learn how to keep those activities up throughout the year and beyond and (3) continue to gradually add other healthy activities on an ongoing basis.
If this sounds like a good idea, but you’re not sure where to start, here are some suggestions:
- Promise yourself that you’ll stop dieting – for good. Forget about setting weight-loss goals and thinking in terms of “when you get thin you’ll do this, wear that, be happier,” etc. Instead, starting immediately, commit to living your life to the fullest by being the best you can be at all times.
- Eat well. Every day, try to consume some foods from all five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy, breads and grains and meats. When you consciously choose a balanced variety of food items and eat in moderation, all types of foods can fit into your nutrition plan.
- Learn to enjoy eating. Pay attention to your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals; eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. For most people, eating several small meals a day is best.
- Be physically active in some way every single day. Don’t worry about burning calories; rather, focus on the pleasure and energy you can derive from simply moving, and the health benefits that you’ll earn as a result. Don’t try to overdo it; if you do, you’ll be less likely to make fitness a habit. If you’re currently inactive, start with five minutes of daily activity, and as your comfort permits, gradually increase your workout routine to five 30-minute sessions a week.
- Reduce your stress level. Every day, take a few minutes to clear your mind and relax your body. If you learn to be flexible and “go with the flow,” you’ll be better able to handle the inevitable challenges that life sends your way.
- Learn to feel good about yourself. Discover and build upon your own unique talents and share your gifts with others. Enhance your self-esteem by accepting and respecting yourself and maintaining a positive body image.
- Foster good relationships with others. Commit to spending quality time with family members and friends. Always extend – and expect – respect, acceptance and tolerance.
- Appreciate diversity. Recognize that strength and beauty come in many forms, and that healthy living is possible in a wide range of body shapes and sizes.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we firmly believe that, in addition to promoting overall health and wellness, proper nutrition plays a key role in the cancer recovery process. At every step of a cancer journey, enhanced dietary care can have positive and lasting effects on a patient’s body and mind. That’s why we have an experienced team of registered and licensed dietitians who are dedicated to providing comprehensive medical nutrition therapy to our patients.
If you’d like to learn more about the services available at Moffitt Cancer Center, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.