Weight Management


Where can I find weight and diet information for teens?

 The BMI uses height and weight to screen for obesity, overweight, healthy weight or underweight. Measuring BMI is a little different for children and teens than it is for adults because you may or may not still be growing.

If you have specific questions regarding your weight, we recommend contacting a healthcare provider who can help you decide what is healthy for you. For more information, see Teen Nutrition.

Where can I find information about popular weight-loss diets?

 For reliable information, see What You Should Know About Popular Diets. Weight-loss diets have been popular for many years. In fact, many people have followed a weight-loss diet at one time or another. Unfortunately, most results are not permanent and some pose serious health risks. The popular low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet is an example of a strict weight-loss program that may carry potentially serious health risks.

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy eating pattern is one that provides enough of each essential nutrient from nutrient-dense foods, contains a variety of foods from all of the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories consumed with calories expended to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight. This eating pattern limits intake of solid fats, sugar, salt (sodium) and alcohol.

I would like to gain weight. How can I do this in a healthy manner?

Losing, gaining or staying at the same weight all depend on how many calories you eat and how many calories your body uses over time. If you eat more calories than you use, you will gain weight; conversely, if you eat fewer calories than you use, you will lose weight. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Healthy Weight Gain webpage provides some information and advice on how to gain weight and remain healthy.

I want to lose a pound of weight. How many calories do I need to burn?

 You need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound of weight. This translates into a reduction of 500 calories per day to lose one pound in a week, or a reduction of 1,000 calories per day to lose two pounds in a week. A calorie reduction can be achieved by either eating fewer calories or burning more calories through physical activity. A combination of both is best. See CDC's Balancing Caloriesto learn more.

I am on a diet to lose weight. Do I still need to exercise?

 When you are on a diet to reach a healthier weight, physical activity may support your weight loss efforts by helping you achieve an appropriate calorie balance. The CDC's Balancing Calories page can help you find your own calorie balance. In addition, individuals who exercise regularly may be less likely to regain the weight they lost.

These resources provide more information about physical activity:

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