5 steps for maintaining a healthy weight
Being overweight can make certain activities more challenging — and it can also increase your risk of developing health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
If you’re looking to get to a healthy weight, consider starting with these 5 steps.
1. Determine your body mass index (BMI)
BMI measures body fat based on your height and weight — and can help determine whether you’re at a healthy weight, underweight, overweight, or obese. Generally, the higher your BMI, the greater your risk of developing health problems. It’s important to note that BMI only tells a part of your story. For more information and to find your BMI, look to our BMI and body shape page.
2. Personalize your goals.
An approach to weight loss that works for one person might not work for you. Everyone is different. Talk to your doctor about your goals. And then work together to develop a personalized plan that balances nutrition, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.
3. Write it down.
Tracking both your activities and what you eat is a useful step in a weight-loss plan. You’ll then have a better idea of what you’re consuming each day — and can identify areas to improve. Also, try writing down your goals so you know exactly what you want to achieve.
4. Monitor your portions.
Sometimes we don’t meet our weight goals even when we eat healthy foods. One reason may be that food portions are too large. Or it’s what we do (and don’t) fill our plate with that makes a difference. Try using the MyPlate guidelines as a simple reference — it includes adding fruits and vegetables to half your plate.
5. Feel — and measure — the burn.
After talking with your doctor about what activities and levels are right for you, start measuring their impact. Determine how many calories you burn when doing your favorite activities, such as gardening, dancing, or biking. Then you can see whether you’re active enough to meet your goals — of if you need to add more activity to your day.
Remember: What’s important is your health, not a number on a scale. Check out our online resources for more information and tips on healthy living.
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