Healthy eating for weight loss
Weight (along with whether you smoke or not) is the most important measure of your future health.
I reckon that’s a pretty important statement. Weight and smoking are the most important factors of health and wellbeing. WOW.
So maintaining your weight in a healthy range is more important than worrying about specific ratios of say fats to proteins, or working out how many essential fatty acids are in a particular food.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers obesity a worldwide epidemic and obesity is now the leading cause of early death and disability in developing countries.
So the amount of the food that you are eating is vitally important.
So what is a healthy weight range?
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is one way to give you a guide as to whether you’re in a healthy weight range or not. This is a measure of weight adjusted for height. All you need to know is your weight and your height and you can work out your BMI.
Check out the table below, or you can visit a site such as
the BMI calculator at Harvard Medical School's Health Publications and enter your details and they’ll work it out for you. There are short-comings with the BMI however – such as being unable to adjust for people like athletes and body builders (muscle weighs a lot), but on the whole it’s probably the best tool we’ve got at the moment to quickly give us a guide as to where we stand weight wise.
Unhealthy weight gain increases the likelihood of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, gallstones and type 2 diabetes with a larger weight gain corresponding to higher chances of developing these diseases.
The three steps to weight loss
(as per Willett 2005)
1. Start exercising – and if you are already, increase your level or amount of exercise
2. Find and stick to an eating program that works for you – following the healthy eating guidelines on this website is a good start
3. Avoid over-eating. Remember a calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie
Willett, W 2005,
'Eat, Drink and Be Healthy
The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating’, Simon & Schuster inc, New York
Healthy Eating for Weight Loss