Many doctors now believe that when it comes to your health, your waist measurement is important.
While knowing your body mass index (BMI) is a good way to decide if you’re overweight, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
BMI is a measure of how healthy your weight is for your height. You can work out what your BMI is by using our BMI healthy weight calculator.
If you have a high BMI, you’re likely to be carrying extra fat. But your health could be at greater risk depending on where you store that fat.
Having a large amount of tummy fat (compared to fat around your bottom or thighs) makes you more likely to develop diabetes and heart problems.
A healthy waist circumference for men is less than 94cm (37 inches), and for women it’s less than 80cm (32 inches).
Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy, but it has many benefits. You may only need to make small changes to your lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight.
Why lose weight?
Obesity causes 9,000 premature deaths in England every year and reduces life expectancy by an average of nine years.
It’s also linked to serious health problems and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers of the breast, colon and prostate.
Most people who are overweight can blame their excess weight on eating more calories than they burn.
That means there are two main options if you want to lose weight: eat less or do more physical activity. The best way to lose weight is a combination of the two.
Weight loss tips
You can reduce your risk of obesity-related health problems by losing weight through eating more healthily and doing more physical activity.
There are many articles to help you attain a healthy weight in our lose weight section.
You can cut down on calories by making simple healthy food swaps in your everyday diet.
It’s not just small changes to your eating habits that can make a big difference. Getting more physical activity also helps you shed the pounds. You can do it in just three short bursts each day with these ten-minute workouts.
Even if you’re well on the way to your target weight, there’ll be plenty of temptation to overindulge. See our tips on how to avoid the diet danger zones.
One excuse for choosing a quick, fat-laden supper is that healthy eating is expensive. Learn how to eat well on the cheap, saving the pennies as well as calories.
Two-thirds of dieters regain all the weight they’ve lost within four years. For advice on how to stop piling the pounds back on, read about how to lose weight for life.