Your health is affected by how much you weigh. A healthy weight means not weighing too much and not weighing too little. Under and overweight can be a sign you should be eating better and/or be more physically active. To see if you are at a healthy weight, click here. You may benefit by eating a more healthy diet and getting regular physical activity. A healthy diet can help you get all the nutrients your body needs. Staying active with regular physical activity can help keep your heart strong, decrease your risk of developing diabetes, and help you look and feel your best. A healthy diet and regular physical activity now are also important in case you get pregnant in the future. Research shows that individuals who are not at a healthy weight may have trouble getting pregnant and are more likely to have babies with birth defects. The children of parents who are overweight are more likely to be overweight themselves, putting them at risk for life-long health problems. So it is important that the whole family eat well and be physically active.

How to eat healthy foods:

  • Eat a balanced meal by filling half of your plate with vegetables and fruit, one-quarter with a whole grain, and one-quarter with a lean protein or vegetable protein like beans and lentils. Include a glass of milk.
  • Decrease the size of your meals to keep your calories in check. Try a smaller plate.
  • When you want a snack, reach for a vegetable or a fruit. You can also add vegetables to rice, soups, and eggs and add fruits to cereals or yogurt.
  • Try other healthy snacks such as yogurt, string cheese, rice cakes, nuts, or popcorn without butter.
  • Buy whole-grain cereals, bread, rice, or pasta.
  • Choose non-fat or 1% milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake, broil, microwave, or grill instead of frying.
  • Drink plenty of water. Instead of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, or sports drinks that are high in sugar.
  • Limit fast foods and instant foods. If you must have fast food sometimes, order a smaller entrée size, choose grilled foods instead of fried, and order a salad or fruit instead of fries.

How to stay active:

  • Be active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Go for a brisk walk or jog. Use your phone to log your steps. Start small and aim for 10,000 steps daily.
  • Ride a bike, play tennis, or do water aerobics.
  • Mow the lawn or do other active gardening.
  • Take breaks from work. Try taking a 10 minute brisk walk 3 times during the day.
  • Get up and stretch every hour while sitting at a desk.
  • Get moving and have fun! Anything that gets your heart pumping is good for you, such as dancing in your house.

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