North Andrew R-VI School District


 North Andrew Health and Wellness

Adult Health


How Do I Know If I Need To Lose Weight?

        Many doctors use a body Mass Index to see if you are in the recommended weight range for a person your size.  The Body Mass Index, or BMI as it is often called, is a scale that looks at your weight compared to your height.  Body Mass Index is a good general indicator of weight range for most people.  BMI also is an indicator of how much fat each person has on their body.  Doctors generally prefer this scale because medical studies have shown that there is an increased risk of getting conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease for those individuals that fall into overweight and obese categories of this scale.

    The BMI is not perfect in telling you if you are overweight in an unhealthy way, it does provide a general indication of whether you may need to lose weight.  Here's how you determine your BMI:

BMI =      Weight in pounds

                Height in inches


    Once you have determined your BMI, use the table provided to find which category your score is in.  If you are in the Overweight or Obese category, you should talk to your doctor about losing weight.

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 - 24.9 Normal
25.0 - 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and above Obese

Understanding Weight Loss

    Do you want to achieve happiness and health?  You may be able to achieve both with some simple and easy changes to your lifestyle.

    Healthfully losing weight is a great way to improve your health and quality of life, if you are overweight.  Americans eat more unhealthy food and exercise less than ever before.  Research results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 23% of adults in America are obese, and 65% are overweight.

    Losing weight will help you achieve both physical and mental health because mind and body are interlinked.  Studies show that people who lose weight are less prone to mental problems like depression, insomnia, and anxiety.  Many people might think losing weight is the hardest thing to achieve, but before you think about that, try these simple and easy ways to LOSE WEIGHT!

Manage Your Eating Habits

    There are healthy diets and unhealthy diets. 
fad diets promote dramatic weight-loss results in a short time.  They do not offer long-term success and can actually be dangerous to your health.  Organizations such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have diet plans that are personalized for each client and that promote a slow and healthy approach to weight loss.  If you are looking for a sensible eating plan to help you with your weight loss, make sure the plan uses a balanced nutritional approach.  The following are healthy diet guidelines.

Fruits, vegetables, Grains and Dairy




A Checklist For Successful Weight Loss

Here are key ingredients to successful weight loss.  Ask yourself the following questions to see if you are on the right path to safe and healthy weight loss:

Have you checked with your doctor to let them know you were beginning a weight-loss program?  Have you asked your doctor to help you develop a safe and effective weight-loss plan?
Do you eat at all meal times?
Do you eat a variety of foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits?
Are you getting your daily nutrients?
Are you limiting saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium?
Are you limiting the amount of sugar in your diet?  Remember, foods high in sugar are often higher in calories and lower in nutrients then their less sugary counterparts.
Have you reduced the number of calories you drink?  Think about eating whole fruits, rather than drinking juices, and avoid soft drinks and alcohol as they are high in sugar.
Are you watching your food portion sizes?  Keep telling yourself that smaller portions are better than bigger.
Are you exercising regularly?  Have you chosen activities that you can continue to do and that you enjoy?  Are you physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week?

Exercise Your Way To Weight Loss

You need to burn the fat that your body has stored while keeping your lean muscle tissue strong.  To get the most out of your exercise time and effort, follow the American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines for exercise in response to these commonly asked questions:

How often do I really need to exercise each week?

        The best work out frequency is four to five times each week, but twice a week is sufficient for those who are just starting.

What kind of exercise activity should I be looking to do?

        To burn calories you need to do activities that involve aerobic exercise.  The best examples of aerobic activity include walking, jogging/running, swimming, stair climbing, bicycling, and dancing.  Don't feel like you are bound to just doing one kind of activity.  Try several.

How long do I need to exercise to get results?

        If your goal is body-fat loss and you are appropriately conditioned, then longer is better.  The longer you exercise, the more calories you will burn.  You should try and exercise at least 30 minutes with each workout, although 40 to 60 minutes is preferred.  Recent research also shows that aerobic fitness levels can improve with as little as 10 minutes of activity, as long as exercise is repeated two to three times a day, and done five days a week.

How hard am I supposed to work-out during exercise?

        You should work-out at a moderate level of intensity during your exercise time.  A moderate level of intensity means that you are working at about 70% of your total effort.  The easiest way to see if you are exercising at the right intensity is to take the "Talk Test."  The "Talk Test" says you should be able to talk comfortably while your are exercising.  If you are still able to breathe comfortably and talk, while exercising at the same time, then you are probably working at an appropriate intensity level.


If you like to be exact, and are able to take your heart rate while exercising, then here is an easy equation to find out what your heart rate should be during your workout.

    Ideal Exercise Heart Rate = (220 - Your Age) x 0.7

This means that for a 37 year old person, the best exercise heart rate should be about:

    Ideal Exercise Heart Rate = (220 - 37) x 0.7 = 128 beats per minute


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