People use a lot of numbers to talk about weight and fitness. This tool can help you understand what some of those numbers mean -- about where you are right now, and what it will take to reach your goal.
From the information you give us, we'll tell you:
- BMI A number doctors use to describe how healthy your weight is.
- Body Shape Another way doctors look at how healthy your weight is.
- Healthy Weight Range The weight that doctors recommend for a person your height to help avoid health problems.
- Calories Used Daily An estimate of how many calories your body uses every day.
- Daily Calorie Target How many calories your body needs to meet your weight goal.
- Target Heart Rate How fast your heart should beat when you're getting a good workout.
Your BMI is:
BMI, or body mass index, is a way to see if you weigh more -- or less -- than doctors believe is healthy for someone your height.
BMI tells you how heavy you are for your height, but it doesn't measure body "fatness." If you have a very muscular build, you could have an overweight BMI and still be healthy.
Your Body Shape (Waist To Height Ratio) is:
Extra fat on your body can be unhealthy, but where you carry your weight is also important. Belly fat affects your health more than fat in your arms or your hips. It's linked to a higher risk of cholesterol and diabetes, and it puts you at risk for other diseases.
Doctors compare different parts of your body to find out your body shape. If you have a pear shape, for example, your waist will be smaller than your hips. Apple-shaped people have bigger waists.
Doctors also compare your waist and your height. A waist-to-height ratio
Your Healthy Weight Range is: pounds
A healthy weight is a great start, but it doesn't take into account other things such as body fat percentage or your family's health history.
People who are overweight and obese are more likely to get high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea, and some cancers. Losing weight is a good first step to lowering those risks.
Being underweight can lead to health problems, too, such as a higher chance of osteoporosis.
If you're concerned about your weight and your health, talk to your doctor.
Your Calories Used Daily is:
Your body needs calories every day to work right. This is called your resting metabolic rate, or RMR. Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions in your body that keep you alive -- breathing, digesting food, making blood cells, maintaining body temperature, making new skin, and so on.
You also need calories for energy to do things such as walking, working, cleaning the kitchen, brushing your teeth, even talking on the phone. The more you do, the more calories you need.
Given your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level, you're probably using about calories daily.
About Calories and Your Weight
Your weight is the result of how many calories your body uses compared to how many calories you eat and drink. It's pretty simple:
- When you use more calories than you take in, you lose weight.
- When you use fewer calories than you take in, you gain weight.
- When you use the same amount of calories as you take in, your weight stays the same.
The exact number varies from person to person, but generally a difference of 3,500 calories per week, or 500 calories per day for a week, is 1 pound.
So for you to reach your weight goal, your body should net about calories a day (think of this as your daily calorie target). That's not the number of calories you should eat. That's the difference between how many calories you ate and how many calories you burned by exercising that day.
You'll need to balance calories in and calories out to hit your target. For example, if you splurge on dessert, more activity will help you work off those extra calories.
Your Daily Calorie Target is:
Your Target Heart Rate Is: to beats per minute
If you know your target heart rate, you can make sure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout but not too hard to strain your heart. For most people, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends a target heart rate while exercising of 50% to 85% of your maximum heart rate, depending on your fitness level. Your maximum heart rate (in beats per minute) is 220 minus your age.
Because you are , your target heart rate is of your maximum heart rate. The more fit you are, the higher you should aim for within your range.
Regular Moderate Exercise
The CDC recommends that all adults get 150 minutes of "moderate-intensity aerobic activity" every week. But what does that mean? This is where your target heart rate comes in.
When exercise speeds your heart rate up to your target range, you're there. Try walking like you're late, riding your bike on flat ground, playing doubles tennis, or cutting the lawn with a push mower. You should be able to talk but not sing, and you should break a sweat.
Get your heart rate up to your target zone for at least 10 minutes at a time. Take a brisk, 10-minute walk every day, and you're almost halfway to your weekly goal.
A Healthy Exercise Plan
Regular exercise helps lower your risk for many health problems and diseases. Along with the cardio or aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up, you need other kinds of exercise, too.
At least twice a week, you need to exercise your muscles. You build strength in your arms, shoulders, legs, hips, chest, back, and abdomen (or belly) when you use those muscles to press or lift. You might hear this kind of exercise called resistance training.
Strength-building exercise usually involves repeating a movement several times until it's hard to do. Often, you use weights, machines, or resistance bands. Some exercises, such as push-ups and certain yoga poses, use your body's weight. Chores such as digging or shoveling or moving packed boxes also build strength.
These activities help prevent the loss of muscle mass that naturally happens as you get older. Many lower-body strength exercises will improve your balance, too. But working on your muscles doesn't count toward your aerobic minutes.
Exercises that stretch your muscles help you move easily and avoid injuries. Stretch your muscles a couple of times a week to stay limber. Activities where you gently bend and twist, such as yoga and tai chi, are also good ways to get this kind of exercise.
Exercise of any kind is easiest when it's a natural part of your day. Start slow if you need to, and keep it fun! The more active you are, the more fit you are, the more energy you'll have, and the better you'll feel.
A healthy weight comes from the right balance of calories in and calories out. The results above and the explanations on the other tabs should help you make choices about how much food and what intensity of exercise are right for you.
Use the Food & Fitness Planner to help you track your calories and your progress toward your goal. You can log your food and your activity and see how your weight changes over time.