How can I tell if I’m at a healthy weight?

If you’ve been thinking about your current weight, it may be because you’ve noticed a change in how your clothes fit. Or maybe you’ve been told by a health care professional that you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and that excessive weight could be a contributing factor. The first step is to assess whether or not your current weight is healthy.

How can I tell if I’m at a healthy weight?

One way to begin to determine whether your weight is a healthy one is to calculate your “body mass index” (BMI). For most people, BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness. It is calculated based on your height and weight.
To calculate your BMI, see the BMI Calculator.

•If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the “underweight” range.
•If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the “normal” or Healthy Weight range.
•If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the “overweight” range.
•If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the “obese” range.

At an individual level, BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. A trained healthcare provider should perform appropriate health assessments in order to evaluate an individual’s health status and risks.

Waist Circumference
Another way to assess your weight is to measure your waist size. Your waistline may be telling you that you have a higher risk of developing obesity-related conditions if you are:
•A man whose waist circumference is more than 40 inches
•A non-pregnant woman whose waist circumference is more than 35 inches

Excessive abdominal fat is serious because it places you at greater risk for developing obesity-related conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. Individuals who have excessive abdominal fat should consult with their physicians or other health care providers to develop a plan for losing weight.

The bottom line is… each person’s body is unique and may have different caloric needs. A healthy lifestyle requires balance, in the foods you eat, in the beverages you consume, in the way you carry out your daily activities, and in the amount of physical activity or exercise you include in your daily routine.

5 meals under 500 calories….In n Out

In n Out

Meal One
Hamburger with spread & onion-390
16oz Light Lemonade-8
Total Calories-398

Meal Two
Hamburger,no spread-310
16oz Tea-0
Total Calories-310

Meal Three
Cheeseburger with spread & onion-480
16oz Diet Coke-0
Total Calories-480

Meal Four
Cheeseburger, no spread-400
16oz Diet Coke-0
Total Calories-400

Meal Five
Protein Style Hamburger-240
16oz Lemonade-179
Total Calories-419

Cook healthier at home with ingredient substitutions

One of the best things you can do to eat healthier is to eat at home. When you cook at home, you have control over the ingredients and portion sizes at your table, which is key to maintaining a healthy weight. Cooking at home also saves money, too. Eating the leftovers makes your money go even further.

Sometimes making big changes is hard so start small. Start by planning one healthy meal at home each week. Build on that to increase the number of healthy meals you cook at home. Every small step adds up to greater overall health.

Even if you cook at home now, there may be ways to make your family favorites healthier with these substitutions.Turn your favorite recipes into healhtier meals by making one or more of these simple swaps.
Recipe calls for “ingredient” so “substitute with this”
-butter, lard, or margarine, Substitute with: olive oil, canola oil, tub spread (trans-fat free), or tub spreads made with plant stanol/sterol

-cheese, Substitute with: light cheese, reduced-fat cheese, nonfat cheese, or try smaller amounts of strongly flavored cheese

-cream (heavy) Substitute with: evaporated nonfat milk in soups and casseroles; half and half in baking

-flour (white), Substitute with: substitute 1/2 of the flour with whole wheat flour

-frying in oil, Substitute with: sautéing in small amount of oil, broth, wine, or nonstick cooking spray

-ground beef, Substitute with: 95% or 93% lean ground beef or ground turkey breast

-mayonnaise, Substitute with: light or nonfat mayonnaise

-salad dressing, Substitute with: reduced-calorie dressing or a small amount of olive oil and vinegar

-salt, Substitute with: use half the amount of salt in soups, stews, etc. and add extra herbs and spices

-sour cream, Substitute with: low-fat Greek or plain yogurt or nonfat sour cream

-whipped cream, Substitute with: well-chilled evaporated nonfat milk or whipped or light whipped topping

-whole egg, Substitute with: egg white or egg substitute

5 meals under 500 calories….Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box
Meal One
2pc Crispy Chicken Strips Kids Meal-280
1 pkg of BBQ Sauce-40
Kids French Fries-18
Kids Diet Coke-0
Total Calories-500

Meal Two
Hamburger Kids Meal-290
Kids French Fries-180
Kids Diet Coke-0
Total Calories-470

Meal Three
4pc Grilled Chicken Strips-240
1 pkg of BBQ Sauce-40
Side Salad-50
Total Calories-330

Meal Four
Hamburger Deluxe with Cheese-440
20oz Brewed Ice Tea-5
Total Calories-445

Meal Five
Chicken Sandwich-440
20oz Diet Coke-0
Total Calories-440

Fresh produce found at the farmer’s market all summer long!

Summer is the best season for ripe produce. One easy way to buy fresh produce is through a farmers market in your neighborhood. Farmers markets sell produce from local farms to nearby communities. Locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables are a healthy, cost-effective option for healthy eating, especially during the summer months.

In addition to making it easier to find healthy food, farmers markets offer:
•Great tasting food. Local food doesn’t travel far, so what you buy at a farmers market is fresh. This freshness brings out the incredible natural flavors. There is also plenty of variety, so be adventurous and try something you haven’t eaten before.

•A sense of community. Farmers markets are a great place to meet and gather with your neighbors and learn about the local environment—all while shopping for healthy food.

•Lower costs. Farmers markets often provide fresh, local, and delicious options at a lower cost than grocery stores. A 2011 study found that farmers markets were about 12% less expensive than supermarkets.

•Support for the local economy. By selling produce directly to local communities, farmers can lower their costs for shipping.

•EBT/ Debit cards accepted. Many of our local farmers markets offer EBT and other card transactions making it even easier to buy yummy fresh fruits and vegetables.

To find a local farmer’s market near you visit our website

5 meals under 500 Calories…Arby’s


Meal One
Jr. Roast Beef Sandwich-210
Value Curly Fries, no ketchup-240
Medium Brewed Ice Tea-0
Total Calories-450

Meal Two
Jr. Ham & Cheddar Sandwich-210
Value Curly Fries, no ketchup-240
Medium Diet Pepsi-0
Total Calories-450

Meal Three
Jr. Chicken Sandwich, no mayo-260
Value Curly Fries-240
Medium Diet Pepsi-0
Total Calories-500

Meal Four
Jr. Deluxe, no mayo-210
Value Fries, no ketchup-240
Medium Brewed Ice Tea-0
Total Calories-450

Meal Five
Jr. Turkey & Cheese Sandwich Kids Meal-210
Kids Curly Fries, no ketchup-240
Kids Diet Pepsi-0
Total Calories-450

 To check out all the 500 calorie meal suggestions click here

Healthy Family Foundation

The habits built as a family are often the same habits that follow kids into adulthood. One of the most important things you can pass along to your child is a healthy lifestyle. It is never too late to teach your kids what it means to be healthy. Often times it is hard to stick to your goals on your own but together as a family it can be easier to make choices that will lead to a healthy foundation for the years to come.

Here are some tips and ideas for how to encourage your family to be healthier:

Family Meal Time. The family dinner hour is an important part of healthy living. When families dine together, they tend to eat more vegetables and fruits — and fewer fried foods, soda, and other unhealthy foods. When younger kids frequently eat dinner with their families, they are less likely to be overweight than other children. You don’t have to eat every meal together, start with twice a week and build from there. Keep it simple. You don’t have to make a four-course meal every night. Making a veggie pizza or heating up leftovers counts! Add a salad or side of fruit for a complete meal.

Get a dog or borrow one.  A dog is a live-in playmate that never gets tired of walking or chasing the ball or wrestling on the grass. Dogs need daily activity and so do kids. Together your child can learn responsibility of taking care of an animal AND get in some daily physical activity.

Always have toys with you. Keep active items like balls, jumprope, or frisbee in the back of your car and be ready to have fun anywhere at anytime. If you are waiting to pick up the carpool, grab a Frisbee from the car and pay catch until it’s time to go. If you are waiting in line while your child jumps rope you will probably not hear those famous words “how much longer?”.

Family walks or bike rides. Parents are the role model for their kids. You can’t just instruct a child how to be healthy. You need to show them!  Make sure your child sees you being active and eating healthy food. What you say might not always stick but certainly what a child sees you do will. After dinner get the whole family out for a walk around the block. Or ride bikes to the nearest park before dinner. Whatever activity your family chooses to do, do it together!

Turn off the technology. We often feel like there is never enough time for everything. One of the best ways to find time in our day is to turn off the technology. You will be surprised at how much more time you have on your hands if you don’t have the TV or computer on. Even turning it all off for even one hour can give you a big window of time to take a walk or play a game.

Walk to school. Choose at least one day a week where you walk your child to or from school. Use this time to not only get some activity in but also use it as time to talk to your child about their day. It is a great way to unwind from a crazy day and relax.
Take some time to think about some of the little ways your family can become more healthy.Sit down with your family and discuss some goals. Every change counts and becomes motivation to make more changes in the future.