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What is Your Healthy Weight?

by dietitian Clare Wood

Over 65% of adult Australians are overweight (same goes for the USA). It is an increasing trend over which we all have some control. For each of us there is a recommended weight range linked with positive health consequences.

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Studies have shown that if you are within your healthy weight range you are less likely to have a heart attack or a stroke, develop diabetes or other disorders, or experience an injury compared to those who are either overweight or underweight. As a result you are more likely to live a longer and more active life.

Calculating your healthy weight range is a simple process. See details below.

Minimum Weight

Your minimum healthy weight is determined by multiplying the square of your height (in meters) by 20. For example, if your height is 1.6 meters, your minimum healthy weight would be 1.6 x 1.6 x 20 = 51.2kg

Maximum Weight

Your maximum healthy weight is determined by multiplying the square of your height (in meters) by 25. For example, if your height is 1.6 m, your maximum healthy weight 1.6 x 1.6 x 25 = 64.0kg.

The healthy weight range from these calculations is only a guide, as this range will vary for certain populations. See more details about measuring your healthy weight range.

If you are above your maximum healthy weight you should begin immediately to make lifestyle changes and get your weight into the healthy range. Effective weight loss is all about reducing the amount of energy you eat relative to the amount of energy you burn up in your daily activities. The best way to lose weight is therefore to combine low-fat nutritious eating with regular exercise. The same principles apply for maintaining your weight once it is lost.

Not only are the right foods necessary for good health and weight loss, but also to improve your ability to perform exercise. A common problem for those 'dieting' is the feeling of fatigue due to reduced energy levels. You need energy to exercise and without exercise it makes it all the more difficult to lose weight. It appears to be a Catch-22 situation. However, you can overcome this by including in your diet low fat and high carbohydrate foods that give you the energy to exercise.

By reducing your weight to the healthy weight range, exercise should become easier, and with exercise also stimulating the release of endorphins in the brain, your regular exercise program will be an enjoyable addition to your lifestyle. So not only will you be eating well and staying active, you will be feeling better too.

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