Monday, October 20, 2014

National Health Education Week - Committing to getting yourself and your family Healthy & Fit

Since 1995, National Health Education Week (NHEW) has been celebrated during the third full week of October. Sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), this celebration focuses national attention on a major public health issue and promotes consumers' understanding of the role of health education in promoting the public's health.

Making sound decisions about health choices is critically important! More than 2/3 of people in the
United States are currently overweight and or obese. 9 out of 10 people lack the basic knowledge or skills needed to make good decisions. Many are to afraid to do something about it, many think if they ignore it it will go away, and many are not ready and blame their circumstances. We need to start dedicating more than just a week to giving people the proper knowledge and tools to take back control of their life.

Health Education specialists aim to improve health literacy and help consumers make informed decisions about their health. Health literacy is so crucial to understanding nutrition labels, understanding insurance forms, communicating with health care providers, health & fitness coaches, and where and when you should seek help. 

The trend in obesity is tragic. And while most admit the trend is only gaining momentum, everyone agrees there is a solution. You must change your mindset, you must change your lifestyle. 

Following a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent overweight and obesity. Many lifestyle habits begin during childhood. Thus, parents and families should encourage their children to make healthy choices, such as following a healthy diet and being physically active.

Make following a healthy lifestyle a family goal. For example:
  1. Follow a healthy eating plan. Make healthy food choices, keep your calorie needs and your family's calorie needs in mind, and focus on the balance of energy IN and energy OUT.
  2. Focus on portion size. Watch the portion sizes in fast food and other restaurants. The portions served often are enough for two or three people. Children's portion sizes should be smaller than those for adults. Cutting back on portion size will help you balance energy IN and energy OUT.
  3. Be active. Make personal and family time active. Find activities that everyone will enjoy. For example, go for a brisk walk, bike or rollerblade, or train together for a walk or run.
  4. Reduce screen time. Limit the use of TVs, computers, DVDs, and videogames because they limit time for physical activity. Health experts recommend 2 hours or less a day of screen time that's not work- or homework-related or fitness related.
  5. Keep track of your weight, body mass index, and waist circumference. Also, keep track of your children's growth.
  6. Find a accountability partner/coach. Someone who has been where you are, someone willing to help you every step of the way, and someone who is willing to take this journey with you.

Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite.

But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet.

Healthy tip: Set yourself up for success
  1. To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
  2. Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
  3. Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
  4. Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.
Need more help? It's never to late to start a health & fitness routine. To change your mindset, to change your lifestyle. 

I have a private group starting on October 27th, and would love for you to be part of it. You get daily support, motivation, and accountability. We work on emotional eating, portion control, clean eating, recipes, tips, how to stay on track on the weekends - and when you are super busy. We are even going to talk about how to survive through the holidays!