A Healthy Weight Matters 

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your health. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Many factors contribute to a person’s weight such as nutrition, physical activity, age, genetics, hormones, and certain medications. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Being at a healthy weight provides optimal health results such as lowering your risk for developing chronic diseases, better self-image, helps you sleep better, and gives you more energy.

Assess Your Weight 

Are you at a healthy weight? Use one of the following tools to assess your current weight: Body Mass Index (BMI) BMI measures weight based on an individual’s height and weight. 

Calculate your BMI now:

If your BMI is:

  • Less than 18.5 = Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9 = Normal or Healthy Weight
  • 25.0 – 29.9 = Overweight
  • 30.0 or higher = Obese

Waist to Hip Ratio 

The waist to hip ratio is a tool that helps you determine your overall health risks. Excessive abdominal fat increases the risk for developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The calculation for waist to hip ratio is:

Waist to Hip Ratio = Waist Circumference (centimetres) / Hip Circumference (centimetres)

  • Use a stretch-resistant measuring tape to determine your waist and hip measurements:
  • Measure your waist circumference at the belly button or just above it at the smallest part of your natural waist
  • Measure your hip circumference at the widest part of the buttocks
  • The recommended waist to hip ratio is less than 0.85 for women and less than 0.9 for men.

Body Fat Percentage 

Body fat percentage assesses your body mass that is made up of fat versus lean body mass associated with muscles, bones, and organs. Body fat percentage can be tested with callipers (skin fold test), handheld electronic devices, or through more advanced and accurate tests like underwater weighing and DXA body scan.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Watch food portions and eat at a well-balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein and unsaturated fats. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day. 
  • Eat more whole foods, rather than processed foods with artificial dyes and sweeteners. 
  • Use the simple concept of “calories in, calories out.” To lose weight, burn more calories than you take in. One pound equals 3,500 calories. Reduce your calorie intake by 500-1,000 calories per day to lose 0.25 – 1 kilogramme per week for a reasonable, healthy weight loss. 
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week. Incorporate strength training at least two times per week to boost your metabolism.

Source: www.mayoclinic.org and www.helpguide.org 

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