Maintaining a healthy weight is important to prevent obesity, and decrease your risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and more.
So what is a healthy weight?
Every body is unique. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that your body mass index (BMI) can be used as a screening tool for weight. This is the calculation of a person's weight divided by their height. However, be aware that a BMI does not diagnose the body fat or health of an individual. For example, an individual with osteoporosis may have a lower BMI because of low bone density, but they may not be healthy. BMI's will vary and so will body weight, depending on an individual's health conditions, age, gender and ethnicity.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for all adults. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight will improve your health. Below are a few tips to stay healthy.
- Have healthy, balanced snacks between meals. Do not skip meals. Eating at regular intervals keeps the metabolism going and helps to prevent overeating at meal times due to excess hunger.
- Calorie quantity counts, but so does quality. Focus primarily on incorporating more whole, unprocessed foods into your diet and limit any foods that are fried, processed, or packaged.
- Eat a well-balanced meal. Carbohydrates break down more quickly, so it is important to pair a high-carbohydrate food with a lean protein or a healthy fat to maximize satiety and prevent spikes in blood sugar that can lead to fat storage.
- Adequate water intake is key in weight management as many people mistake thirst for hunger. Make it your goal to drink eight, 8oz. glasses of water (average recommendation). This number can vary depending on climate and level of activity.
- A healthy rate of weight loss is generally one-half to two pounds per week. This will vary depending on each individual's metabolism, current weight, and goals.
- Many restaurants provide nutritional information (either on the menu or by request). Use this information while making a food selection. Ask for a box when ordering, to take half the meal home if the portion looks large.
- Make physical activity a daily routine. It is not always easy to dedicate time to getting in your physical activity, but making small conscious choices to increase activity adds up. Choices like taking the stairs, walking from a farther parking spot, or walking at lunch or on breaks make getting enough activity attainable even on a tight time schedule.
- Focus on setting small, attainable goals. This can be adding one extra serving of vegetables daily, or taking the stairs at work.
Community Wellness Programs and Support Groups
We encourage you to speak with your doctor about your weight to ensure you are at a healthy bodyweight, or to gain tips on how to achieve it. To learn more about weight management, click the button below.