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Steps to a Healthier Weight


Why is it important to reach a healthier weight?

Reaching and maintaining a healthier weight is important for your overall health and well being. If you are significantly overweight, you have a greater risk of developing many diseases including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. For obese adults, even losing a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits.

How can I move toward a healthier weight?

Reaching a healthier weight is a balancing act. The secret is learning how to balance your “energy in” and “energy out” over the long run.

“Energy in” is the calories from the foods and beverages you have each day. “Energy out” is the calories you burn for basic body functions and physical activity.

Look at this chart to find where your energy balance is:

Maintaining weight Your weight will stay the same when the calories you eat and drink equal the calories you burn.
You will lose weight when the calories you eat and drink are less than the calories you burn.
You will gain weight when the calories you eat and drink are greater than the calories you burn.

Which box did you choose? Where would you like to be? Many people want to lose weight. To do this the strategy is simple – the challenge is putting it into practice every day. If you are overweight or obese, here are some basic steps to help you gradually move toward a healthier weight:

1) Learn what to eat from each food group.
2) Focus on how much you eat. Watch your portion sizes!
3) Choose “nutrient-dense” forms of foods. These foods are packed with nutrients, but low in “extras” that just add calories.
4) Get moving! Physical activity can help you reach and keep a healthier weight.
5) Follow your progress by tracking your food intake and physical activity. Check your weight weekly.
6) Visit these sites for more information.

    Why move toward a
healthier weight?
    What to eat food choices
    How much to eat portion sizes
    Choosing “nutrient-dense” forms of foods
    Increasing physical activity
    Tracking food intake and physical activity
    Websites for more information


The Steps to a Healthier Weight information is for adults who want to move toward a healthier weight. Children or teens who are overweight should consult with a health care provider who can track their rate of growth and check for other health problems.

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