Maintaining a healthy weight for life is a great goal to set. Keep these simple tips in mind to help you and your family achieve this goal. You will also feel great about making positive changes to your eating, physical activity, and screen time habits.
- Make a commitment- You need to make a commitment to yourself and your family to eat nutritious foods, get regular physical activity, and reduce recreational screen time. All of these actions will help keep your family in energy balance.
- Create a support network-It helps to have a network of family, friends, and colleagues who will support you in your new lifestyle habits. Families can serve healthy meals for gatherings and your friends can limit drinks with added sugar. You can also limit TV watching time when your children are playing together. At work, go on short power walks with colleagues and talk to co-workers about making healthier choices at the cafeteria or vending machine. Let as many people as possible know what your goals are and, hopefully, they will not only support you, but join you!
- Set realistic goals. The best goals are specific, attainable, and forgiving (not perfect). "Eat three servings of fruit a day" is a better goal than "eat more fruit."
- Track progress- Tracking progress can help you and your family feel good about your successes and can show you where you may need to make some changes if everyone is not meeting their goals.
- Be ready- Having a list of ideas for eating well and moving more will help your family stay in energy balance.
- Learn how to handle setbacks- Expect them. Setbacks usually happen to those who are overconfident and say, "It won't happen to me!" Being committed, setting realistic goals, and being prepared with alternative ideas will help you handle "slacker moments" with good cheer and a "let's keep going" attitude.
- Reward yourself- One way to help you and your family stay motivated is to regularly reward yourselves. Choose non-food rewards as much as possible. A day at the local lake or beach—or a trip to the park to ride bicycles, roller blade, or fly a kite—are family-friendly rewards. You also can buy the family gifts to help them stay physically active, such as new workout shoes or clothes, a ball, racket, or other piece of sports or active play equipment.