Healthy Weight

Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging. This article discusses what a healthy weight is and offers tips on how to lose or gain weight to get to your ideal and healthy weight. Keep reading to learn how diet and exercise affects a healthy weight.

One of the things that many people struggle with is maintaining a healthy weight. There are those who struggle with being overweight and trying to reach a healthy weight so that they look and feel better. Others are underweight and may recognize that they have an eating disorder. Being underweight has its own set of health problems, and eating disorders can be detrimental to one’s health. It is essential that those who are trying to lose weight do not develop eating disorders that can lead to eventual health problems due to unhealthy weight loss.

In the end, maintaining a healthy weight is about having a certain lifestyle. Diets, surgeries and other methods of weight maintenance can only give you a start. The truth is that if you want to have a healthy weight long term, you have to be willing to make lifestyle changes.

Figuring out how close you are to a healthy weight

The first thing you need to do is figure out what a healthy weight is for you. A medical professional or nutrition or personal trainer can help you with this. However, you can get an idea on your own of where you are at and where you need to be by figuring out your body mass index (BMI). There are calculators online that can do this for you when you enter your height and weight. If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are considered underweight. Between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight range. 25.0 and 29.9 represents the overweight range, and if your BMI is greater than 30, you are considered obese.

It is important to remember that BMI is a rough indicator; it does not help you see where most of your fat collects, nor does it tell you your true health status. And it can be a little bit off for those who are very athletic, or in some other cases. But it can provide good guidance to help you figure out where you are so that you can begin achieving a health weight.

Eating to maintain a healthy weight

Dieting has been shown not to work. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, you need to gradually change your eating habits so that they reflect a healthy lifestyle. Some of the things you can do to make an eating plan that is healthier includes following these food guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Try to eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains as major parts of your daily diet.
  • Eat dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free.
  • When you eat meat, try to make it lean meat (such as lean cuts of beef and chicken) or fish.
  • Include beans, legumes and nuts in your diet.
  • Look for foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar.

This is not to say that you can’t enjoy an occasional treat. But it is important to make sure that your desserts are small, and that you avoid fast food except on the rarest of occasions. You should also eat until you are satisfied, and avoid overeating. Consider whether or not you are an emotional eater. Try to find other things to do besides eat when you are emotionally challenged. Changes to your eating habits can take time, but if you change them gradually over time, you are more likely to stick with them - and maintain a healthy weight - on a long-term basis. You can find healthy recipes in a number of places. Learning to cook and make tasty meals with good ingredients is a good way to help change your diet.

Physical activity and a healthy weight

You can also help maintain a health weight through appropriate physical activity. To achieve a healthy weight if you are overweight, you will need to reduce your calorie intake while increasing your physical activity. This way, you will burn of excess fat. If you are underweight, you will still need physical activity, but you might reduce it - if you have been exercising compulsively. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional before altering your physical activity.

Here are some tips that can help you maintain a healthy weight:

  • Try to get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This breaks down to 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Try to get 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. This breaks down into 15 minutes of activity, five days a week.
  • Remember to include strength training to tone your muscles.

You may have to work up to this level of physical activity, but it is possible. As you work to change your lifestyle, you will find that a healthy weight is a reality. And you will feel better, be more energetic and have more confidence.

Related Article: Obese vs. Overweight >>