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There are many reasons for being at a healthy weight.  You want to look good and have the energy to participate in everyday activities.  But more importantly is to be in good health.  By maintaining a healthy weight you can avoid chronic disease such as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

A good way to judge your body weight is to use the Body Mass Index (BMI).  BMI is a height to weight ratio which gives you a rating from Underweight to Obese.  You can use the online calculator at:  http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bim/  to determine where you fall on the rating scale.

Balance is the key to a healthy diet.  It is as simple as making sure you eat the same amount of food as your body burns.

                CALORIES IN = CALORIES OUT

For example if you like to garden, 35 minutes of gardening would burn 165 calories.  That’s just 15 more calories than one 12 ounce regular soda.

MyPyramid has many tools to help you in balancing your food choices with your daily physical activity.  Keeping a food diary and exercise log can also be good tools and an eye opener if you have never used these before.  There are many online applications available for use.  I find it helpful to keep these logs once in awhile to get back on track if I have slipped in my eating habits or neglected my exercise routine.  Using a tracking tool can help you learn to cut calories or increase exercise or a combination of both.

By choosing daily healthy reasonable changes you can maintain a healthy weight.

Author:  Linnette Goard, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

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