Women's Health Library
Category: Weight Management
Sugars are a type of carbohydrate that occurs naturally or that is added to a food.
Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery
Looks at adjustable gastric banding surgery (also called gastric banding), a type of weight-loss surgery used to treat obesity. Explains what it is and why it is done. Looks at how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks.
Biliopancreatic Diversion and Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch
Discusses biliopancreatic diversion, surgery for obesity that makes the stomach smaller and bypasses part of the intestine. Looks at why the procedure is considered only for people who have not been able to lose weight other ways or whose health is at risk. Includes risks.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your body mass index (BMI) and waist size affect your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. The following table shows the risk.
Boosting Your Metabolism
How is it that two people of the same age, gender, and height can eat the same foods and be equally active, but one gains weight while the other loses it?
COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss
Covers causes of weight and muscle loss when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Includes why weight loss is a concern with COPD and how to avoid it. Guides you through ways to add nutritious calories and protein to your diet.
Child Who Is Overweight: Evaluating Nutrition and Activity Patterns
When a doctor asks questions about your child's eating and activity habits, the information helps identify patterns that may lead to extra weight.
Child Who Is Overweight: Medical Evaluation
If your child has been diagnosed by a doctor as being overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, a thorough medical exam is important to identify and treat any related health problems.
Choosing a Weight-Loss Program
If you decide to join a weight-loss program, here are some questions to ask before you join:
Dawn's Story: From Dieting to Healthy Eating Habits
Dawn is no stranger to dieting. Over the years, she followed many different weight-loss plans. Each plan worked for a while, but eventually she would go back to her old eating habits and her weight would go back up. She says that with...
Developing a Plan for Healthy Eating
Developing a plan for healthy eating means setting goals, tracking your progress, and rewarding yourself.
Keep a journal to record your eating patterns. It might look like this:
Emotional eating means that you eat for reasons other than hunger. You may eat because you're sad, depressed, stressed, or lonely. Or you may use food as a reward. Food can be soothing and distract you from what's really bothering you.
Estimating Body Fat Percentage
There are a number of ways to estimate what percentage of your weight is fat. But measuring body fat is not done routinely, because all of these methods have advantages and disadvantages as well as margins of error.
Exercise Helps Maggie Stay at a Healthy Weight
Exercise plays a big role in helping Maggie Morris stay in good shape. She got more active along with making healthier food choices.
Fat Replacers in Food
Fat replacers are nonfat substances that act like fat in a food. An ideal fat replacer would be a substance that has no health risks and tastes and looks like natural fat but has fewer calories. Fat replacers can be found in foods such as baked...
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Looks at sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight-loss surgery for obesity. Explains what it is and why it is done. Looks at how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks.
Genetic Influences on Weight
How calories are used (energy metabolism). Some people use calories efficiently—they need fewer calories to fuel the body, which can result in "leftover" calories being stored as fat. Other people use calories less efficiently—they need...
Guide for a Balanced Diet
Here is a brief guide for making healthy food choices using the USDA food guide. Healthy choices from each of the food groups, in appropriate amounts, will help you have a balanced diet. For a personalized food and activity tracker, see the...
Health Problems Associated With Adult Obesity
Adults with obesity are more likely to have certain health problems than adults who are not obese. These problems include the following.
Healthy Eating for Children
Covers eating a variety of foods so that your child gets the nutrients he or she needs for normal growth. Looks at how much food is good for your child and how you can help your child eat well and be healthy. Explains how to help a child who is overweight.
Healthy Eating in Children: Problems Caused by Poor Nutrition
Children who eat poorly are more likely to develop certain long-term health problems and complications, including:
Healthy Eating in Children: Things That Influence Food Choices
A number of things have a powerful influence on how and what we eat. Consider the following as you plan healthy food choices for your child:
Healthy Eating: Changing Your Eating Habits
The food you eat can affect your health and your risk for certain diseases. To eat healthier food, you may need to change some of your daily habits. You also may need to change some things in your environment. Your environment includes...
Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits
So you've decided to change your eating habits. Great!
Healthy Eating: Helping Your Child Learn Healthy Eating Habits
Childhood is the best time to learn the healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
Healthy Eating: Influences on Eating Behavior
Being aware of the factors that influence what and how much you eat can help you make informed eating choices.
Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Eat Out
For many people, eating out is a way to relax and socialize. But if you are watching your weight or just are concerned with healthy eating, dining out can be a challenge. The good news is that usually there are healthier options at every...
Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop
Healthy eating starts with smart food shopping. Here you will find pointers on how to make the most of your trip to the grocery store. Whether you want to eat healthier or lose weight, these tips will help you get started.
Healthy Eating: Overcoming Barriers to Change
Replacing a bad habit with a good habit takes time and patience. It requires several steps, from setting your goals to getting support. One of the important steps is figuring out what your barriers are.
Healthy Eating: Starting a Plan for Change
If you have decided to start a healthy eating plan, congratulations! Making that decision is an important step in becoming a healthier person.
Healthy Eating: Staying With Your Plan
Eating one healthy meal isn't hard. It's not even hard to eat three healthy meals in a single day. The hard part is making changes in your daily life so that you start eating healthy every day—and keep eating healthy every day.
Healthy Habits for Kids
Habits are hard to break. That's why the sooner in life we build good, healthy habits, the easier it is to keep them and stay as healthy as possible. And when good habits are in place, it's easier to resist bad ones.
Helping Your Child Who Is Overweight
"Overweight" and "at risk of overweight" are terms sometimes used when referring to children who weigh more than expected. Doctors use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts or the body mass index (BMI) to...
Hunger, Fullness, and Appetite Signals
Listen to your body to tell you when you're hungry or full.
Interactive Tool: Do Your BMI and Waist Size Increase Your Health Risks?
Helps you check your risk of weight-related diseases such as diabetes, CAD, and high blood pressure. Tool calculates risk using body mass index (BMI) along with your waist size and other factors. Discusses what scores mean.
Interactive Tool: How Many Calories Did You Burn?
Helps you calculate the number of calories burned during exercise and daily activities like walking. Explains that you don't have to "work out" to be active. Covers building more physical activity into your daily life.
Interactive Tool: What Is Your Child's BMI?
Uses your child's weight and height to compare your child's size to that of other boys or girls of the same age. Covers what the results mean and next steps.
These Interactive Tools are easy-to-use personal calculators. Use any of them to start learning more about your health.
Jaci's Story: Changing her Life With Small Steps
Whatever you do, don't tell Jaci that you can tell she's been on a diet. The 30-year-old mother of two feels strongly that losing 65 pounds over 4 years was the result of permanent lifestyle changes—not dieting.
Jeremy's Story: Focusing on Eating Habits
Jeremy grew up being active and involved in sports. But he never gave healthy eating too much thought until he found himself gaining weight several years after college.
John's Story: Finding a Way to Exercise
For inspiration to exercise, John hasn't had to look far. His father rides his bike daily to prevent another heart attack. John's grandparents and others in his family also had heart disease.
Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around...
Loralie's Story: It's Never Too Late
As a supervisor for a hospital cafeteria, Loralie makes sure that the cafeteria has plenty of healthy choices. But until recently, she didn't take advantage of the healthy choices for her own meals.
Maggie's Story: Making Changes for Her Health
Maggie lost some weight a few years ago. But like many people who go on diets, she couldn't keep the pounds off. She didn't eat enough food, so she was hungry. And she denied herself the food she really loved, like pizza.
Measuring Your Waist
Your waist size can be an important measure of health.
Nonprescription Products for Weight Loss
Many nonprescription products for weight loss are available at drugstores and supermarkets and over the Internet. Many of these have never been proved effective. And those that are effective often come with warnings. For example, many diet...
Covers causes of obesity. Discusses health risks such as hypertension related to having excess body fat. Focuses on lifestyle changes you can make, like weight loss through healthy eating and exercise. Includes creating a long-term plan with your doctor.
Obesity and Pregnancy
Most pregnant women have healthy babies—and that includes women who are obese. But being very heavy does increase the chance of problems.
Obesity: Should I Have Weight-Loss Surgery?
Guides you through decision about weight-loss surgery. Covers health problems like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes that can be caused by obesity. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.
Obesity: Should I Take Weight-Loss Medicine?
Guides you through the decision about taking weight-loss medicine. Describes different types of medicine. Covers side effects like headaches, nausea, and bowel problems. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.
Obesity: Should I Use a Diet Plan to Lose Weight?
Guides through decision about whether to use a diet plan to lose weight. Explains what diet plans are and that not all diet plans are safe. Explains risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you make a decision.
Physical Activity for Weight Loss
Physical activity increases the amount of energy (calories) you burn. Most weight-loss programs incorporate an exercise program—such as jogging or biking. And you can also use more energy by changing some of your routine activities, such as...
Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery (such as gastric bypass or banding) helps people lose weight. It's only used for people who are obese and have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise.
Quick Tips: Avoiding Empty Calories
Dieting is hard. But avoiding "empty" calories helps you reach a healthy weight without feeling like you're dieting.
Quick Tips: Cutting Calories
Your body needs a certain number of calories each day for you to function and keep doing your daily activities. After your body meets its needs, it stores extra calories as fat. Your weight remains steady when your body takes in the same amount of...
Quitting Smoking: Dealing With Weight Gain
Discusses how to deal with weight gain after you've quit smoking. Covers creating a plan before quitting to make weight control easier. Offers tips for avoiding weight gain.
Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass
Discusses gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity. Discusses why and when it is done. Covers laparoscopic and open Roux-en-Y surgery. Discusses risks during and after surgery.
Sally's Story: Avoiding Metabolic Syndrome
Sally never had to worry about her weight. She had always been active, enjoying her daily walks in the park.
Screening for Weight Problems
Doctors weigh children at routine checkups. They plot measurements on a growth chart to see how your child compares physically to other children of the same age. Doctors update the chart at each routine exam to document your child's growth pattern.
Setting Weight-Loss Goals
Setting goals is an important tool for managing your weight. Think about why you want to lose weight, and then set your goals. Also, prepare for slip-ups.
Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss
Having regular low-calorie snacks throughout the day along with regular smaller meals is a good way to manage your hunger. Plan snacks as part of your overall calories for the day, and avoid eating unplanned calories.
Unplanned Weight Loss
Unplanned weight loss means losing weight without trying to. It may be caused by a medical problem, so be sure to see your doctor if you are losing weight without trying.
Weight Loss by Limiting Calories
Losing weight safely means balancing protein, fat, and carbohydrate with every meal and snack. You'll feel fuller longer as your body takes its time digesting the food. There is no perfect method for weight loss, but it helps to have a guide.
Discusses healthy weight and why it is important. Covers the main steps to reaching healthy weight. Discusses difficulties of losing weight. Covers nutrition, lifestyle changes, and physical activity. Offers tips for preparing for changes.
Weight Management: Should I Use Over-the-Counter Diet Aids?
Guides through decision to use over-the-counter diet aids for weight loss. Explains lack of evidence that diet aids work. Lists the risks and side effects. Includes information about Alli. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.
Weight Management: Stop Negative Thoughts
Discusses how to encourage yourself with accurate, rational thoughts so that you can raise your odds of staying at a healthy weight. Covers how it can also help you handle stress better. Provides steps to practice. Includes keeping a thought diary.
Weight and Coronary Artery Disease
There is a strong association between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for CAD. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Losing weight can be hard work. Maybe you are wondering if taking medicines could help make it easier for you. Prescription weight-loss medicines may help some people who haven't been able to lose weight with diet and exercise. But they don't help...
Weight loss surgery helps people lose weight. There are two types of surgeries. They can be restrictive or a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive.