What does it mean to be at a healthy weight? It's a question so
many of us ponder, especially at this time of year. That's why the
Network created Healthy Weight Week, which occurs between
January 19 and 25 this year. During this week, people celebrate
ways to have a healthier life by implementing good eating and
exercise habits. According to the Healthy Weight Network, this week
"is a time to celebrate healthy, diet-free living habits that last
a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems."
Most people, at some point, have been concerned about losing
weight. The problem comes when you decide to try to lose weight
fast and go on a "diet."
Then, a week later you've gained your weight back and wonder why.
Maybe you went on a
Healthy Weight Week is all about reaching a healthy body weight,
in a healthy, sustainable way. One way to determine your
healthy weight is to calculate
your BMI. But keep in mind that although the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other medical
organizations, consider BMI "
a reasonable indicator of body fat, it doesn't recommend it as a
diagnostic tool." Use it as a first step, but remember that
waist circumference can also be a good guide.
As health communicators, it's important to think about what this
actually means. A healthy weight calls for a healthy mindset; this
means it also calls for self-compassion, not self-criticism. In
addition, a healthy weight:
- Is part of a healthy lifestyle and not a quick fix for a
- Is not defined by what's shown in the media
- Will help you be more active and healthier
So, you may ask yourself, which is the healthiest way to lose
weight? I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but I'd like to suggest
something radical like not going on a diet. Check
out this video from
neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt who explains why dieting often fails
Here are some tips that I recommend and am implementing on my
own journey to reach a healthier weight:
to your body. Your body will tell you when it's hungry and when
it's full. Use these cues intelligently to better satisfy your
- Be active. Look at exercise as a way to achieve a
healthier you instead of as a punishment.
not fall into emotional eating. High levels of stress about
losing weight end up sending many of us to food to cope, simply
because food is such a great source of pleasure.
- Set short-term and long-term goals. Setting smaller, short term
goals is a great way to establish milestones on your way to better
Above all, remember that better health is a journey. There is no
secret, dieting is not the key, and anyone can make a few changes
in an effort to be healthier. As it just so happens, a healthy
weight is a great place to start.