Watch Your Weight

The Basics: Overview

To stay at a healthy weight, balance the calories you eat and drink with the calories you burn (use up). Calories are a measure of the energy in the foods you eat. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat.

A healthy diet and physical activity can help you control your weight. You burn more calories when you are physically active.

How do I know if I’m at a healthy weight?
Finding out your Body Mass Index (BMI) is an easy way to learn if you are at a healthy weight. Use this Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to find out your BMI and what it means for you.

  • If you are overweight and have risk factors for heart disease (like high blood pressure or high cholesterol), or if you have obesity, try to lose weight. You can lose weight by eating fewer calories and getting more physical activity. 
  • If you are at a healthy weight, take steps to stay at the same weight. You can stay at the same weight by getting regular physical activity and eating the right number of calories.
  • If you think you might be underweight, talk to your doctor or nurse about how to gain weight in a healthy way.  

How do I know if I’m eating the right number of calories?
Use the MyPlate Plan to get an idea of how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. 

  • If your weight stays the same for several months, you are eating the right number of calories to maintain your weight.
  • To lose weight, try eating 500 to 750 fewer calories each day.  

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