Excess body weight puts you at risk for many health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Maintaining a healthy body weight can lower your risk of developing these problems and give you more energy to enjoy life.

How is body weight measured?

Body weight is best measured using body mass index (BMI), which is based on both height and weight. Having a higher BMI can put you at a higher risk for developing a weight-related illness. You can calculate your BMI here. You can get your height and weight measured at your doctor’s office.

BMI Chart

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Keys to maintaining a healthy body weight

Get Active

  • Walk more
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Limit time spent watching TV or online
  • Join a gym and take some classes
  • Start or join a walking group with family, friends or neighbors

Focus on Variety

  • Make healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups:
    fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy

Focus on Amount

  • Choose smaller portions

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Focus on Nutrition

  • Eat foods that are high in nutrients including: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat free and low-fat dairy, lean meats and poultry
  • Avoid sugary drinks including soda, energy drinks and juice. Instead of a glass of orange juice, slice up an orange

Plan Ahead

  • Even if it’s just for you or one other person, planning meals ahead of time to cook at home can help you avoid a “fast food” meal

Grab and Go!

  • Keep nutritious snacks on hand so you can take them with you. Try apples, bananas, chopped carrots or cucumbers, low-fat plain yogurt, almonds, or seeds (add link to building health snacks article)

Get Support

  • Talk with your friends and family to build support into your weight management plan

Don’t give up, weight loss takes time.

Many people have tried dieting and haven’t succeeded. If you’re feeling stuck, try:

  • Seeing an nutritionist
  • Joining Weight Watchers
  • Eating bigger breakfasts and smaller dinners