What is a Healthy Body Weight?
A healthy body weight is the weight that is right for your height and body type. This means not having too much or too little body fat. One way to tell if you have a healthy weight is the BMI score. BMI is calculated from your weight and height.
Use this online calculator to find out your BMI and if it is in the healthy range.
Why is a healthy body weight important?
Keeping a healthy body weight will lower your chances of having serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, joint and breathing problems. And it will help you feel better and have more energy!
How do I get and keep a healthy weight?
The best way to keep a healthy weight is by eating well and doing regular exercise. This means eating more fresh vegetables and fruit and less processed, fatty, and sugary foods. Here's one way to start:
At meals, try filling up half of your plate with salad or other non-starchy vegetables. Fill one quarter of your plate with high-fiber grains or fruits, and the remaining quarter with healthy proteins.
Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, squash, leafy greens.
High-fiber starches: Whole wheat pasta, brown rice.
Proteins: Beans, peas, lentils. Try to eat fish once or twice a week.
Healthy Fats: Olive oil, nuts and nut butters, avocado.
Beverages: Water, teas, seltzer with a splash of juice.
- Fried food and sweets: Try to keep these to just once a week!
- Sweet drinks: Soda, lemonade, and even fruit juice are full of sugar.
- Processed food and fast food: Premade and fast foods are high in calories. The more home-cooked food, the better.
A few more tips!
- Try different veggies and proteins to find healthy foods you like. This will help you stick to the good changes you have made.
- Don't go hungry: You should feel full after a meal. If you are still hungry you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods later.
- Make eating healthily your goal, not losing weight:
- Losing 1-2 lbs a month is good progress! Don't try to lose more than this.
- Don't keep a scale in the house: Only weigh yourself once a month. This will help you focus on what you eat and not if you are losing weight.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly will help improve your mood and have more energy. This will make it easier for you to make the changes you need to have a healthier diet and eat better food.
Aim to exercise for sessions at least 10 minutes long, for a total of 150 minutes per week. You will feel healthier as you increase the time that you exercise.
Building a strong connection between mind and body will help you to lose weight. You will learn to understand the messages your body is telling you. For example, you will become more aware of when you are full, and cut down eating too much out of boredom.
Practicing yoga teaches you to control your breathing and connect your mind and body by learning different body poses. This focuses your mind and will give a deep sense of calm. Whatever your age or fitness level, there is a type of yoga for you.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation. You will learn to relax and pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings. When a thought or feeling comes into your head, you welcome it and then let then let it go. There is no right or wrong, you are just present in the moment.
Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB.Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N. Engl. J. Med. 364(25):2392-404 23 Jun, 2011
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