Maintaining a Healthy Weight

When it comes to weight loss, there’s no lack of fad diets promising quick results. But such diets limit your nutritional intake, can be unhealthy, and tend to be a temporary fix. Americans are collectively gaining weight at an alarming rate, with the average adult weighing about 15 pounds more than 20 years ago. In defining obesity, nutritionists focus on body mass index (BMI): a healthy person has a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, while an obese person has a BMI above 30. Today, about 40 percent of U.S. adults and nearly 20 percent of children are obese, a surge reflected worldwide, with more people now overweight or obese (1.9 billion) than underfed (800 million).

A high amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues and being underweight can also put one at risk for health issues. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. Calculating your BMI is an inexpensive and easy way to assess your weight. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fat content and having a low BMI can be an indicator of have too low body fat content. Visit to calculate your BMI and learn more about weight loss surgery at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

There are two main factors that affect your weight: healthy eating and physical activity. A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. An important decision one makes daily is choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan: emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugar, and stays within your daily calorie needs. Since high-calorie foods are everywhere, it’s important to take the time to plan ahead to make sure you have healthy options available. Meal planning can help you work toward your ideal weight by planning to add in plenty of healthy ingredients to fuel your body each day.

Regular physical activity is important for your overall well-being and is especially important if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight. When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need. If you haven’t been physically active in a while, you may wonder how to get started again. Start slowly and work your way up to more physically challenging activities. For many people, walking is a particularly good place to begin. Look for opportunities to reduce sedentary time and to increase active time. For example, instead of watching TV after dinner, try taking a walk. When necessary, break up your daily activity goal into smaller amounts of time. For example, you could break the 30-minutes of activity per day recommendation into three 10-minute sessions or two 15-minute sessions. People with chronic diseases, such as a heart condition, arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure, should talk to their doctor about what types and amounts of physical activity are appropriate.

Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. Maintaining a healthy weight through weight loss or gain is essential for your overall well-being. To learn more about weight loss visit: