Written by VA MOVE! Program
For the 5 million U.S. Veterans—78% of whom are overweight or obese—who annually get care in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities, maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge.
Fortunately, they have the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MOVE! Weight Management Program to help them eat healthier, be more physically active, and achieve even small weight losses that can reduce health risks, prevent or reverse certain diseases, and improve well-being.
As the program nears its 10th anniversary, 650,000+ MOVE! participants have shed a total of 2 million+ pounds, and thousands have lost weight and kept it off, creating their own “Success Stories.”
MOVE! Veterans are following these five tips—which are applicable to all Americans—to achieve stable weight loss and improve their health and well-being:
- Be ‘SMART’ about goals. Veterans work with their local VA MOVE! team to set achievable weight and health goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-based.
- Write it down. Veterans can track their daily diet, exercise, and weight using the MOVE! Coach mobile app, an easy-to-use, self-guided, multi-week program that provides everything needed to set, monitor, and achieve their goals.
- Make a plate healthy. Veterans enjoy their food, but eat less and better at meals by creating a healthy plate—a 9-inch plate that’s one-half non-starchy vegetables and fruit, one-quarter grains and starchy vegetables, and one quarter lean meat/protein.
- Keep moving. Based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, Veterans aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and work towards 300 minutes/week for enhanced weight control.
- Get support. One of several different treatment options designed to fit Veterans’ unique needs and preferences, MOVE! Group Sessions offer the peer support and motivation to make the lifestyle changes needed for maintaining a healthy weight.
Spread the word!
Sample social media post: 2 million pounds & counting! Here’s how Veterans are losing weight and keeping it off with VA’s MOVE! Program. #MOVE! #VAhealth