Healthy Weight Week encourages you to be healthier!

Many veterans like to make New Year’s resolutions to improve their health and well-being. For those looking to make healthy lifestyle changes, MOVE! The weight management program is ready to help you manage your weight, eat wisely and be more physically active. To help you in your efforts, VA is promoting the third week of January as Healthy Weight Week.

Moving! The program offers helpful tools to help you build lasting habits that allow you to manage your weight and health more effectively than short-term diets.

Define your goals

Start by writing down your motivation for managing your weight and improving your health. You may find it easier to maintain healthy habits if you stay aware of your reasons for changing. For you, it may be as simple as wanting to be more active with your children or grandchildren. Others might want more energy to pursue favorite hobbies, work, or household activities.

Ask your healthcare professional what you can do now to stay healthy. Managing your weight can help you manage other health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is important to set a realistic goal that you can achieve. Losing 5% of your body weight can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases.

We are all different, so your goal weight will be unique. So will the actions you take to improve your health.

Make a plan

Next, consider the lifestyle changes you want to make to improve your health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many veterans are experiencing stress, isolation, and reduced availability of healthy food and exercise resources. GO MOVE! clinicians will help support you and encourage you to find creative ways to be more active and make healthy food choices.

Making time for walking, joining a gym or yoga class, or doing household chores like gardening are simple ways to reduce stress and boost both your activity and your self-esteem. When you cook with vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins, you can take pride in the meal you’ve made and limit the highly processed foods you eat.

Keep track of your progress

Once you’ve established your weight management goal and plan, you’ll be ready to track your progress. Keeping track of the food you eat and the activities you do each day will make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals. You may also find that tracking helps you build confidence and focus on ways to reach your health goals.

Reward yourself

When you achieve a goal, find a reasonable way to reward yourself. Your reward could be a new workout outfit, participating in a fitness competition like a 5K walk/run, or attending a sporting event. It’s important to reward yourself for your hard work and to keep yourself motivated and engaged.

A new year – better health

Having a healthy body also involves maintaining a positive self-image. Accepting your body is important. Your move! will help you find the right tools to empower yourself and gain a positive mindset about your body. Remember that people come in all sizes, shapes and colors. When you take care of your body and mind, you improve your quality of life and live longer!

Are you ready to take the next step towards healthier weight and health?

Speak with your local MOVE! Coordinator today. For more information, visit: www.move.va.gov and watch this video.

You can also read MOVE! Success stories from veterans like you at https://www.move.va.gov/SuccessStories/index.asp.

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