NAPLES, Fla. — January 16th-22nd is Healthy Weight Week. It's a time to look at your own weight, how you're feeling, and your health history to see if there's a way to better manage it. Typically, diet and exercise come to mind when you think of losing weight, but a Dietitian with NCH Healthcare System said there are two other factors that play a big role.
“According to the CDC, greater than 40 percent of Americans have obesity," Audrey McKernan, a Registered Dietitian at the NCH Von Arx Nutrition and Diabetes Health Center said.
She said people who are obese are at a higher risk for hypertension, high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, and cancer.
McKernan said the New Year and Healthy Weight Week can motivate people to evaluate their own health, but sometimes they go about it the wrong way.
"They get really motivated, and they're too strict with their meal plan and they can't maintain it. And then we get into the yo-yo dieting," she said.
McKernan said she teaches behavior modifications and how to incorporate lifestyle changes in your household. She said diet and exercise are key to maintaining a healthy weight, but there are two other important factors: stress management and sleep.
"Because usually, when people have poor sleep patterns or they're highly stressed, they're making poor choices, and it makes it difficult to stay on the plan long term. When they feel better, they're feeding their body better and they have more energy to do the meal prep and to cook at home, so that way, they're less likely eating out," she said.
McKernan said the most important thing to emphasize during Healthy Weight Week is how you feel and how much energy you have.
She recommends planning ahead and for the whole week when it comes to food and exercise to stay on track.