Weight Management for Lasting Health
Weight management helps service members, retirees, and their families live their healthiest lives. Finding and maintain a healthy weight can be challenging, but is worth the effort.
Quality of Life
Losing even a small amount of weight can immediately improve your health and quality of life. Being overweight or obese contributes to many serious health conditions.
- Losing just 10 pounds of weight can relieve 40 pounds of pressure on your knees.
- Obesity is often associated with other serious health conditions.
Your healthy weight isn’t the same as everyone else. Work with your health care provider to set a diet and exercise plan to manage your weight.
Wellness and Weight Management
Maintaining a healthy weight takes a balance of diet and exercise. Eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Minimize foods high in sugar and sodium, refined foods and fatty proteins.
- A good diet isn’t just healthy and nutritious, it must be sustainable.
- Trendy or gimmick diets can offer short-term success. You may not be able to sustain these diets, leading to long-term weight gain.
- Before you start a diet, discuss and make a plan with your health care provider.
- Help yourself make good food choices. Fill your grocery cart with healthy foods. If your workplace only offers junk food for snacks, bring your own nutritious snacks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends healthy adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity and at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
- Achieving an active lifestyle is more than just working out or exercising.
- Finding activities you enjoy and keeping moving throughout the day help you maintain and sustain good levels of activity.
- The CDC estimates that 1 in 10 premature deaths could be prevented through getting enough physical activity.
Service Member Readiness
Achieving a healthy weight enhances your mission performance and readiness. Each military service also has requirements for body mass index or body composition.
- Being over, or under, weight can contribute to other illness and loss of duty days due to sickness.
- All service members must be physically able and healthy enough to perform their duties.
- Effective weight management allows service members to optimize their physical, mental and technical job performance.
- Defense Health Agency (DHA) data finds that 1 in 4 service member diagnoses of obesity share a diagnosis of sleep disorders like sleep apnea or snoring.
- DHA data finds that almost 1 in 5 service member diagnoses of obesity share a diagnosis of lower back pain.
- DHA data finds that nearly half of service member diagnoses of obesity are also diagnosed with hypertension, a common risk factor for stroke and heart attack.
Finding and maintaining your healthy weight enhances your mission capability and performance.
Additional Resources for Weight Management:
- CDC Preventing Weight Gain page
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MOVE! Weight Management Program
- U.S. Department of Agriculture daily nutrition calculator tool
- Human Performance Resources by CHAMP (HPRC) Warfighter Nutrition Guide
- Army Weight Management Guide (.pdf)
- Navy Medicine Weight Management page
- Air Force Personnel Management Center Fitness Program page
If you're resolving to lose weight in 2022, make sure to do it safely by avoiding crash and yo-yo diets. Talk to your doctor to make a plan for the safest and most effective way for you to manage a healthy weight in 2022. Visit tricare.mil/weightmanagement for even more tips.
Nearly half of people making resolutions for the new year are resolving to lose weight. While there are several long-term benefits to losing weight - avoiding or managing other chronic health conditions among them - losing just a little bit of weight right now can have immediate effects on your quality of life. From less joint pain to more energy to better sleep, you can start seeing and feeling the benefits of healthy weight loss nearly right away. Visit tricare.mil/weightmanagement to learn more.
Last Updated 10/6/2022