Your healthy weight matters. Yet, once the New Year’s enthusiasm wears off, well-intended resolutions often get dumped, and extra pounds quickly rebound. If that sounds familiar (and all-too personal), it’s time to switch your thinking and your approach.
Instead embrace the message of Healthy Weight Week, the third full week of January. It’s a time to celebrate healthy living – and dieting-free habits that last a lifetime, and that promote health and prevent weight problems. Those habits aren’t the latest food fads, or weight loss gimmicks, or strict exercise regimens. Instead they’re summed up simply and sensibly: living actively, eating well, and feeling good about yourself and others.
Your Healthy Weight …
Are you tall and lanky? Short and stocky? Apple shaped or pear shaped? Muscular or not? Healthy bodies come in many sizes and shapes, directed by genes that you can’t control, as well as by lifestyle choices you can!
Your healthy weight probably isn’t the so-called “ideal weight” on a chart. Nor is it the weight implied by weight-obsessed celebrity bodies.
Instead your healthy weight depends on your total health and well-being. Wherever you tip the scale, your “numbers” (e.g. blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar levels) indicate your overall health. If your “numbers” aren’t within healthy ranges, dropping a few pounds wisely may help. And your general well-being? Simply stated, it’s a positive outlook and feeling healthy, energetic and good about yourself and others. And that includes dumping unrealistic notions about the “ideal weight” for you.
Dieting Doesn’t Work, Healthy Living Does …
Popular weight loss regimens (fad diets) may result in short-term weight loss. However, studies show that regular physical activity, wise food choices, and a healthy relationship with food more likely lead to long-term success. And enjoyment fits all three!
- Enjoy active living: Every day, your way, as a priority. Skip the self-talk (“too busy,” “too tired, “too boring”), and find ways to move. Being active not only improves health, relieves stress, builds stamina and strength, keeps bones healthy, and improves sleep; it also helps regulate hunger signals.
- Take pleasure in eating well: Make time to savor the flavors and celebrate nourishing food – with family and friends, and even when you eat alone. Try to eat regular meals and snacks … with a variety of nutrient-dense foods from all five food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, protein foods, dairy). Listen to your body signals: eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Eat mindfully; control your portions. Enjoy the simple pleasures of preparing and sharing a meal at home; click the Dreamfields’ recipe file for nourishing main dishes, salads and sides, including lower-calorie recipes.
- Value and accept the uniqueness of you -- and of others. Set aside unrealistic notions of appearance and body size. Enjoy life; learn to deal with stress. Make healthy lifestyle changes one small step at a time. If you need to shed body weight, go slowly and gradually. Make overall health and well-being your goals, not unsustainable weight loss. Then enjoy ... how good healthy living feels!