How do you know if you are carrying extra weight?
Most adults can use the following graph as a guide to the healthiest
weight for their height. Draw a line across from your height without
shoes in centimeters and a line straight up from your weight in kg with
light clothes but no shoes. The point where these two lines cross will
land in a BMI range.
Your weight will be classified as ‘underweight’
(less than your healthiest weight), ‘normal’ (healthiest weight),
‘overweight’ (above your healthiest weight and at greater risk of some
health problems) or ‘obese’ (significantly above your healthiest weight
and at greatest risk of health problems).
You can also use the graph to work out what is the healthiest weight
for your height. The graph cannot be used for children or people under
eighteen years of age because they are still growing and developing.
If you are carrying extra weight losing even 5kg can make you feel better and lower your risk factors for health problems.
Everyday there are new ideas, diets, programs and books telling us
how to lose weight. It can be very confusing and hard to know what to
It’s easier than ever before to gain weight
and harder to take it off. Discretionary foods are cheaper and tastier,
portion sizes are larger and we are less active at work and in our
So to lose weight that stays off we need to
make small changes that turn back the clock. We need to limit
discretionary foods, down size our portions, and find ways to be more
active in our everyday lives.
lose weight, we need to eat and drink fewer kilojoules that we use.
Choosing foods from the Australian Dietary Guidelines will help us
choose foods that provide the most nutrients, without the extra kilojoules. For example eating more coloured vegetables
and salad will keep us feeling fuller for fewer kilojoules. In fact
making half our meals coloured vegetables or salad and having smaller
portions of the other foods, we can reduce the kilojoules by up to half.
There recommended number of serves
can be used to plan meals and snacks for weight loss. Following the
serves from the Five Food Groups and avoiding discretionary foods will
help most people lose weight while staying healthy. Younger men, people
who are taller than average or more active may find they need to include
the ‘additional serves’.
is the secret to successful weight loss. By thinking ahead about meals
and snacks we can spread the number of serves from the five foods groups
over interesting meals and snacks and avoid unplanned eating of extra
serves or discretionary foods.
Making a plan for meals and snacks will also make food shopping
easier and quicker and cheaper and avoid unplanned extra kilojoules,
because then we can buy exactly what we need. Also, knowing a few tips
for getting the most out of food labels when shopping can help avoid extra kilojoules.
Eating away from home can be a challenge
when wanting to lose weight, but again, thinking ahead and knowing some
useful strategies can make it work.
If we eat more ‘mindfully’, turning off the TV, slowing down and
savouring food, we can enjoy food more, be more in touch with how hungry or satisfied we are and eat less.
You will find plenty of great information and tips to help you with
goal setting, increasing physical activity and making other lifestyle
changes to help with weight loss at The Healthy Weight Guide website.
Photography: Great Ideas in Nutrition