5 Ways to Reach a Healthy Weight

5 Ways to Reach a Healthy Weight

5 Ways to Reach (and Maintain!) a Healthy Weight

Diets aren't the way to go when it comes to losing weight. That's because they create temporary eating patterns — and, therefore, temporary results. Most dieters gain back any lost weight when they go back to their old eating habits.

So what's the best way to drop excess weight? Create a new normal!

Weight loss is most likely to be successful when people change their habits, replacing old, unhealthy ones with new, healthy behaviors. Here are 5 ways to make that happen:

  1. Exercise. Regular physical activity burns calories and builds muscle — both of which help you look and feel good and keep weight off. Walking the family dog, cycling to school, and doing other things that increase your daily level of activity can all make a difference. If you want to burn more calories, increase the intensity of your workout and add some strength exercises to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you aren't exercising.
  2. Reduce screen time. One reason people get less exercise these days is because of an increase in "screen time" — the amount of time spent watching TV, looking at the computer, using mobile devices, or playing video games. Limit recreational screen time to less than 2 hours per day. If you're with friends at the mall, you're getting more exercise than if you're texting them from your room.
  3. Watch out for portion distortion. Portion sizes are bigger than they used to be, and these extra calories contribute to obesity. Another key factor in weight gain is that more people drink sugary beverages, such as sodas, juice drinks, and sports drinks. So choose smaller portions (or share restaurant portions) and go for water or low-fat milk instead of soda.
  4. Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Fruits and veggies are about more than just vitamins and minerals. They're also packed with fiber, which means they fill you up. And when you fill up on fruits and veggies, you're less likely to overeat.
  5. Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, burning calories from the get-go and giving you energy to do more during the day. People who skip breakfast often feel so hungry that they eat more later on. So they get more calories than they would have if they ate breakfast. In fact, people who skip breakfast tend to have higher BMIs than people who eat breakfast.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteNational Center for Nutrition and Dietetics Offering nutrition information, resources, and access to registered dietitians.
Web SiteChooseMyPlate.gov ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information on how to follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes resources and tools to help families lead healthier lives.
OrganizationAmerican Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.
Related Articles
The Deal With Diets With all the focus on dieting, how do you figure out what's healthy and what isn't? Read this article to get the basics on dieting.
Staying at a Healthy Weight Here are some practical, everyday tips on making exercise and healthy eating work for you instead of feeling like it's the other way around.
How Can I Lose Weight Safely? Lots of people are unhappy with their present weight, but aren't sure how to change it - or even if they need to. Get the facts on weight loss here.
Why Exercise Is Wise Getting the right amount of exercise can rev up your energy levels and even help you to feel better emotionally. Find out why.
Are Detox Diets Safe? The name sounds reassuring - everyone knows that anything toxic is bad for you. But detox diets aren't good for teens. Find out why.
What's the Right Weight for My Height? One of the biggest questions guys and girls have is whether they're the right weight. Because the body is growing and changing so much during adolescence, it can be tough to answer this question.
Your Secrets to Staying Motivated We ran a survey asking our readers how well they do when it comes to setting and meeting their goals. Here's what you told us.
How Much Food Should I Eat? Lots of us don't realize we're eating too much because we've become so used to large portions. This article for teens helps you take control of your plate.
Smart Snacking Healthy snacks are essential for busy teens. Find out how eating small, nutritious meals throughout the day can keep your energy level high and your mind alert.
5 Ways to Spot a Fad Diet Here are 5 clues that a diet may be more about empty promises than real results.
Body Mass Index (BMI) One of the biggest questions guys and girls have as they grow and develop is whether they're the right weight. One place to start is by learning about body mass index, or BMI.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter