Why is it important to reach a healthier weight?
Reaching and maintaining a healthier weight is important for your overall health and well being. If you are significantly overweight, you have a greater risk of developing many diseases including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. For obese adults, even losing a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits.
How can I move toward a healthier weight?
Reaching a healthier weight is a balancing act. The secret is learning how to balance your “energy in” and “energy out” over the long run.
“Energy in” is the calories from the foods and beverages you have each day. “Energy out” is the calories you burn for basic body functions and physical activity.
Look at this chart to find where your energy balance is:
Your weight will stay the same when the calories you eat and drink equal the calories you burn.
You will lose weight when the calories you eat and drink are less than the calories you burn.
You will gain weight when the calories you eat and drink are greater than the calories you burn.
Which box did you choose? Where would you like to be? Many people want to lose weight. To do this the strategy is simple – the challenge is putting it into practice every day. If you are overweight or obese, here are some basic steps to help you gradually move toward a healthier weight:
- Learn what to eat from each food group.
- Focus on how much you eat . Watch your portion sizes!
- Choose “nutrient-dense” forms of foods . These foods are packed with nutrients, but low in “extras” that just add calories.
- Get moving! Physical activity can help you reach and keep a healthier weight.
- Follow your progress by tracking your food intake and physical activity. Check your weight weekly.
- To learn more, check here for some useful tips.