When most people hear the term ‘healthy weight,’ they immediately think of the D-word — yes, diet. However, Healthy Weight Week was established to encourage people to stop dieting and understand that health really isn’t about a number but living your natural weight supported by healthy living.

Each January, Healthy Weight Week encourages healthy, diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems. A healthy weight is not weight achieved through restricted eating. Typically, the opposite happens.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily caloric needs

Each person’s body is unique and has different caloric needs. If you are maintaining your current body weight, you are in caloric balance. If you need to gain weight or lose weight, you’ll need to tip the balance scale in one direction or the other. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an interactive tool to monitor food intake and physical activity called the SuperTracker. You can also use tools on your mobile phone or low-tech tools like a food or physical activity diary.

If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to get to a healthy weight, or are just looking for tools to maintain your health, visit TRICARE’s Healthy Living section on the web. There are tools to help with adopting a healthy lifestyle and information about your health and wellness coverage.