Now that we’ve kicked off the new year, 40 percent of us have made New Year’s Resolutions — and many people have vowed to lose weight or know someone with the same goal.
TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds SensiblySM), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss.®” philosophy, knows it’s a challenge to lose weight – especially with the short days, grey skies, and colder weather that comes with the month of January. That’s why the organization is a proponent of National Healthy Weight Week, celebrated this year January 21-27. National Healthy Weight Week encourages those trying to lose weight to stay off fad diets, and instead take steps to eat well and live actively, not only to shed pounds now but also to sustain a wellness lifestyle for years to come.
Today, more than 42 percent of American adults are obese. Obesity can cause an array of medical conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. By committing to a healthier lifestyle, people can achieve weight loss and overall wellness.
The following are some tips to commit to a healthier lifestyle during National Healthy Weight Week and beyond:
A new year is a perfect time to try something new and find out what exercise activity excites you. After all, the CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week – you might as well spend that time doing something you like. Give dancing, swimming, lifting weights, walking, playing sports, or joining a fitness class a chance. You might find yourself looking forward to moving your body.
You don’t have to go out and run a marathon tomorrow or spend 150 minutes on a treadmill each week. Start small by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking/biking short distances instead of driving them. Make it a habit to incorporate movement into your day.
Eat fruits & veggies:
What your mother told you as a kid still holds true today. Eating 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day gives your body the nutrients and the vitamins it needs. Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter that you can grab when you get hungry. Roast vegetables to bring out their flavor and include them in soups, stews, salads, and pasta.
Catch some Z’s:
Sleeping well has several health benefits. Those who sleep for 6-8 hours at night have lower blood pressure, less stress, and a reduced risk of disease. Get the most out of your time in bed by going to bed and waking up around the same time each morning.
When you’re thirsty, your body can mistake it as hunger, which can lead to overeating. Ensuring you’re drinking enough water or low-calorie juice – and cutting back on your alcohol intake – will help you maintain a healthy body weight.
Take a beat:
Constant stress makes it impossible for you to maintain your healthy figure. Exercising, eating well, and sleeping will help lower your stress level. When you find yourself frustrated, pause, and take a deep breath. You could even try yoga or meditation to establish a sense of calm.
Find a support system:
Life is better with friends. Grab some pals and establish a healthy routine together. Tell each other your goals, hold one another accountable, exercise together, share healthy recipes, and encourage each other along the way. Better yet, find a TOPS chapter in your area and attend a meeting together – you’ll meet others who are supporting their neighbors in living their healthiest lives now and into the future.
TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded in 1948, TOPS is the only non-profit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. TOPS promotes successful weight management with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss.®” philosophy that combines support from others at weekly chapter meetings, healthy eating, regular exercise, and wellness information.
Today there are about 65,000 members, including men, women, and international members who join chapter meetings in-person or online, with thousands of chapters in all 50 states and across Canada. Online resources include, news and information from the health and inspirational community, meal planning ideas, workouts, chapter resources, and more.
Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. Membership is affordable, starting at $49 per year in the U.S. and $59 annually in Canada, plus nominal chapter fees. Join TOPS, visit www.tops.org, or call (800) 932-8677 to learn more about TOPS and to find a local chapter.