Weight management means keeping your body weight at a healthy level. Your specific weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are both essential in controlling your weight.
To successfully manage your weight, follow these basic guidelines:
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine.
- Adjust eating habits to encourage/increase healthy foods
- Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation.
To maintain your weight, determine the number of calories you should consume daily depending on your activity level. Low activity means you have no regular physical activity or only occasional weekend or weekly activity. Moderate activity includes 30-60 minutes daily doing activities such as swimming, biking or fast walking. Strenuous activity is defined as vigorous physical activity for an hour or more a day, at least four or five times each week.
- Ideal Weight and Body Mass – Body mass index (BMI) is determined using a combination of your weight and height. It is an indirect measurement of your body composition.
- Male Weight – 106 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height plus 6 pounds for each additional inch. For a small frame, subtract 10% and for a large frame, add 10%. BMI – recommended amount of body fat is 13 – 17% (the average American man has 17 – 19% body fat). Men with 25% body fat or higher are considered obese.
- Female Weight – 100 pounds for 5 feet of height plus 5 pounds for each additional inch. BMI– recommended amount of body fat is 20 – 21% (the average American woman has 22 – 25% body fat). Women with more than 30% body fat are considered obese.
- Underweight – Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are eating disorders associated with a negative body image. Anorexics limit their food intake to the point of starvation. Bulimia is binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting. Many people with bulimia don’t lose a lot of weight. Excessive intentional weight loss can cause a person to be dangerously underweight. People with eating disorders must eat enough food to prevent them from losing the weight they have gained.
To achieve a well-balanced, healthy diet, follow these tips:
- Do not eat red meat more than once a day. Eat fish and poultry more often than red or processed meats because they are less fattening.
- Avoid frying food. Fried food absorbs the fats from the cooking oils, increasing your dietary fat intake. If you do fry, use polyunsaturated oils, such as corn oil. Instead, bake or broil food.
- Reduce your salt intake. Limit table salt, or other spices that contain salt such as monosodium glutamate.
- Include adequate fiber in your diet from fruits, leafy vegetables, beans, bran flakes, nuts and whole-grain foods.
- Choose fresh fruit for dessert, rather than cookies, cake or ice cream.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Too much of anything — calories or a particular type of food – is not healthy.