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.
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.