National Healthy Weight Week promotes healthy habits, discourages dieting

Posted at 7:30 AM, Jan 21, 2020

You go from diet to diet, obsess over scales and calories...but nothing seems to change.

You've probably seen this happen with someone...or maybe you experienced it yourself.

It's that kind of mentality that National Healthy Weight Week, which falls during the third full week of January, challenges.

National Healthy Weight Week celebrates lifestyle changes that lead to weight loss: healthy eating habits, being active and self-love.

Dr. Karen McGeehan works in family medicine at Princess Anne Medical Associates, a Bayview Physicians Group practice, and says she takes this approach with her patients.

"Not dieting, which is a very temporary, short-lived event for most people and hard to maintain," she said. "Trying to change habits is more important."

Dr. McGeehan says she talks with patients about weight every day, with people who are under and overweight. Changing habits and lifestyle can seem daunting. That's why it's important to start small.

“Take baby steps and pick one thing you want to change. Keep in mind it has to be consistent for at least two weeks to become a more permanent part of your lifestyle. If you don’t exercise, the baby steps of parking far away, walking to your office, taking steps instead of elevators," said Dr. McGeehan. "Take a day and decide we're going to eat more vegetables and fruits. If you have a choice between a donut and a healthy snack, choose the healthy snack."

That's not to say you can never enjoy a donut. In the end, it's more about how you're feeling, she says, and pushing yourself to make those small changes that can have long-term benefits.