Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and well-being. As you grow older, if you continue to eat the same types and amounts of food but don’t become more active, you’ll probably gain weight. That’s because metabolism (how you burn the calories you eat) can slow down with age.

Older woman eating fruit and cerealThe secret to maintaining a healthy weight is to balance “energy in” and “energy out.” Energy in means the calories you get from the food and beverages you consume. Energy out means the calories you burn for basic body functions and during physical activity.

How active should you be to keep a healthy weight?

The answer is different for each person, but generally:

  • To keep your weight the same, you need to burn the same number of calories as you eat and drink.
  • To lose weight, burn more calories than you eat and drink.
  • To gain weight, burn fewer calories than you eat and drink

Other ways to maintain a healthy weight?

  • Limit portion size to control calorie intake.
  • Add healthy snacks during the day if you want to gain weight.
  • Be as physically active as you can be.
  • Talk to your doctor about your weight if you think that you weigh too much or too little.
  • Read What’s On Your Plate?, the National Institute on Aging guide to healthy eating.

Quick Tip

Aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week in sessions of 10 minutes or more.

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