” In 2012–13, more than two-thirds (69%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were overweight or obese (29% overweight but not obese, and 40% obese). Indigenous men (69%) and women (70%) had similar rates of overweight and obesity (ABS 2014a).
One-third (32%) of Indigenous men and more than one-quarter (27%) of Indigenous women were overweight but not obese, while 36% of Indigenous men, and 43% of Indigenous women were obese ”
If you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution that will improve your health, here are the resolutions we recommend:
The Healthy Weight Guide has been developed to provide you with the information you need to help you understand the importance of healthy eating and physical activity in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Whether you already have a good understanding of what is required or if you are just starting out, the Healthy Weight Guide can help.
You might find achieving and maintaining a healthy weight easier if you break it down into the following seven steps:
An important first step towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is to understand what your journey will involve. You might like to start by finding out if you are a healthy weight. Setting goals and planning are also important steps. Once you are on your journey, it is important to monitor what you do to ensure you can maintain the healthy habits you set up. Registering with the Healthy Weight Guide can help you with all of these steps.
It’s a good idea to set yourself some goals to help keep focused. Your goals might be related to your weight or about changing your behaviour, such as increasing your fitness or eating more healthily. In the set goals section you will find some useful tips and ideas to help you decide on your goals and how you will achieve them. You will also find a downloadable goal setting form in this section. Alternatively, the My Goals section in the My Dashboard registered area will help you to set up and keep track of your goals.
Creating opportunities to be physically active every day can help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. In the get active section you will find helpful hints on finding out what physical activities you like and how to incorporate them into your day. For some people, planning to do physical activity at a regular time every day or week is more likely to make it a habit. Get active also has a downloadable Physical Activity Planner to help you plan what physical activity you will do and when. The My Planner section of the My Dashboard registered area also has great tool to plan and monitor your physical activity.
Developing healthy eating habits is important to being a healthy weight. You might like to start with a few small changes and gradually incorporate more. In the eat well section you will find some great suggestions on healthy shopping, cooking and eating out. You will also find a downloadable meal planner to help you plan and monitor your meals. The My Planner section of the My Dashboard registered area also has great tool to plan and monitor your meals and calculate your energy requirements.
Keep in check
Some people who keep track of their progress are more likely to make the changes that over time become new healthy habits. The keep in check section will give you some suggestions on how to continue to keep track of the healthy habits you have set. You might find the My Dashboard registered area useful to help you monitor your progress.
Managing the challenges
There may be times when you find managing your weight a challenge. The managing the challenges section has useful suggestions to help manage some of the common challenges you might face along the way.
Get informed and get support
In the get informed section you will find information related to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight from the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. There is also information on different weight loss methods. You might find all this information helpful when setting your goals and making your healthy eating and physical activity plans. The getting support section has useful information on who you might be able to reach out to and how they might help. After all, everyone needs a helping hand.
If you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution that will improve your health, here are 7 resolutions we also recommend: Adapted from
- Drink 8 glasses of water per day. 8 can be substituted for however many your body needs .Be sure to track your progress – find a way to track how many glasses you’re drinking per day, and to “check off” the days when you achieve your goal!
- Eat 2 servings of fruits and vegetables with every meal. You could also choose to try for 4 different types of fruits and vegetables every day, or to try a new vegetable every month, or to achieve the recommended 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Any specific target that increases your vegetable consumption is a great resolution!
- Fit in some movement (or stretching) every day. We are not saying you don’t need rest days, or you need to push yourself to exhaustion every day. But even on your busiest days, try for a quick lunchtime walk, 10 minutes of stretching before bed, or even a quick interval workout
- Learn a new type of exercise, or achieve a new fitness goal. Working on a new skill can be a great motivation to get active. Set a resolution that you’ll learn a new activity Or, set a specific goal in a mode of exercise you already practice (with interim steps along the way!). Is there a certain weight you want to be able to deadlift, a certain KM time you’ve been hoping for, or a certain pose in yoga you’ve been dying to achieve? Figure out how you’ll get there this year!
- Reduce added sugars (and/ or artificial sweeteners). This is a lofty and hard-to-measure target, so I recommend you do this in smaller mini-goals. For example, reduce the 2 tsp of sugar in your coffee to 1 tsp, or go for plain yogurt with fruit instead of sweetened, fruit-flavored yogurt.
- Eat at home 4 nights per week, or pack your lunch 2 times per week. Of course, the numbers are arbitrary, so set a goal that works for you. The point is to increase the number of home-cooked meals you prepare … so much better for your wallet and your health!
- Commit to a small, incremental change every month. In January, you may order a side of veggies instead of french fries every time you go out to eat. In February, you may switch from coffee with skim milk. In March, you may add 5 minutes to your daily 30-minute walk. Whatever it is, choose a small change that you can add on every single month.