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Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight

Tips and tricks on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight

We all know how difficult it is to ‘stay healthy’ whilst balancing all the other things that are going on in our lives. During tough or busy times, health often falls into the back of our minds because of how overwhelming it can be. Luckily, one of the easy ways that we can keep track of our health is by monitoring our weight!

What is a healthy weight?

BMI is the most common approach to assess whether our weight is within a healthy range. It is used by doctors to measure our risk for diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Calculating BMI is easy, simply divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres) squared.

BMI categories for adults are as follows:

  • Under 18.5 - underweight and possibly malnourished
  • 5 to 24.9 - healthy weight range for young and middle-aged adults
  • 0 to 29.9 - overweight
  • Over 30 - obese

What does maintaining a healthy weight involve?

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can be a simple equation: sufficient physical activity + nutritious food and drink to meet energy needs.

Physical activity can be structured activities such as organised sport and recreation, and unstructured activity such as incidental activities at work or at home. According to the Department of Health, adults should be aiming for 150-300 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week. Moderate intensity requires some effort, but conversation is still possible. This includes activities such as brisk walking, dancing and social tennis.

Now, 150 minutes seems like quite a lot of time to be spending on just exercise, especially if you are currently at zero. But keep in mind that this is just a goal! Set realistic goals for yourself and slowly work your way up. If you are already achieving the recommended amount of weekly exercise, see if you can go any further!

The second part of this equation is the food and drinks that we put into our body. This can be a little bit more complicated than exercise and we will be discussing different food groups in the coming weeks. Put simply, we need to make sure that we are choosing nutritious foods from the five food groups and limiting ‘discretionary’ or unhealthy food.

What are the benefits to maintaining a healthy weight?

Maintaining a healthy weight can improve our quality of life and reduce the risk of disease. In adults, a healthy weight range can reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, knee pain, back pain, anxiety, depression and heart disease! Children who are of healthy weight are also more likely to have high self-esteem and are less likely to be bullied.  

Conclusion

Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging. However, if we focus on increasing our weekly exercise and eating the right food, we can take steps to overcome these challenges and live our best, most healthy lives. Protect your body from disease by going for that 30-minute swim, by choosing strawberries over that chocolate cake, or by doing both!

Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. This information is of general nature and for educational purposes only.  

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