In This Section
Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Category: Weight Management
Foods like milk and fruits have naturally occurring sugars. Added sugars are those that don't occur naturally in a food or drink but are added during processing or preparation. They add calories but little nutrition. They can cause weight gain. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans strongly recommend limiting foods and...
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.
Avoiding Emotional Eating: Making a Plan
Learn to plan in advance for how you'll avoid emotional eating in the moment.
Biliopancreatic Diversion With or Without a 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 Fat Testing
Body fat testing checks how much body fat you have. It may be done to find out if you have too much or too little body fat. The test is one of the ways to measure healthy weight. People who are trying to become more fit and lose weight sometimes use the test to check for changes in their body fat levels.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body mass index (BMI) can help you see if your weight is raising your risk for health problems. It uses a formula to compare how much you weigh with how tall you are. A BMI lower than 18.5 is considered underweight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A...
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? One piece of the puzzle is metabolism. How well your body burns energy to keep up basic functions like heartbeat, breathing, and thinking is called your basal...
Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Eating
Learn strategies to help yourself stop emotional eating.
COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss
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. Nutrition history You may be asked: To describe your family's meals and snacks during a typical day. What your child eats at school. Who is responsible for meals. Is it the...
Child Who Is Overweight: Medical Evaluation
Doctors sometimes use the terms "overweight" or "at risk of overweight" to refer to children who weigh more than what is healthy for their height. Doctors use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts or the body mass index (BMI) to measure a child's weight compared to their height. If you are...
Choosing a Weight-Loss Program
If you decide to join a weight-loss program, here are some questions to ask before you join: Does the program provide counseling? Is the staff qualified? Will the weight stay off? The program should help you get past common problems in keeping the weight off. This help could include things like setting up a support...
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 dieting "There is a mind-set that this is a diet. And when I get to my goal weight...
Developing a Plan for Healthy Eating
Developing a plan for healthy eating means setting goals, tracking your progress, and rewarding yourself. Setting goals Set goals you want to achieve. It is generally best to set small, measurable goals. You can set them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. When setting goals, consider: Where you want to start. This...
If you're trying to reach a weight that's healthy for you, using a journal or an app to track what you eat can help you discover your eating patterns. Then you can look at those patterns and see what might get in the way of reaching your goals. Here is one method for tracking. Keep a healthy eating journal for 1 week...
What is emotional eating? 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. If you eat for emotional reasons, you may not notice when...
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. Her regular routine includes 45 minutes of exercise three or four days a week. She usually uses a recumbent bike or an indoor skier, which mimics the cross-country skiing that she loves...
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 goods, cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, margarine, salad dressing, sauces, and...
Finding Nonfood Ways to Reward Yourself
Celebrate your successes with non-food rewards.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
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.
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
Genes influence your weight by their effect on: 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 more calories to fuel the body, so...
Health Problems Associated With Adult Obesity
How obesity affects your health depends on many things, including your age, your sex, where you carry your body fat, and how physically active you are. Obesity raises your risk for many conditions, including: Gallstones. Type 2 diabetes. High blood pressure. High cholesterol and triglycerides. Coronary artery disease...
Healthy Eating for Children
Covers eating a variety of foods so that your child gets the nutrients needed 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: Things That Influence Food Choices
Children may develop poor eating habits for several reasons, including: Available food choices. If candy and soft drinks are available, most children will choose these rather than healthier foods. Fast foods and processed foods are widely available. But they usually contain few or no fruits or vegetables, and they often...
Healthy Eating: Changing Your Eating Habits
Provides tips for making healthy changes to eating habits over time. Briefly discusses benefits of healthy eating.
Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits
Having support from people in your life is one thing that helps make healthy eating a lot easier. Support for healthy eating can come in many different forms. It might be: A friend who notices how you're eating better. A family member who doesn't tempt you when you're trying to eat less of certain foods. A coworker or...
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 can help your child feel good, stay at or reach a healthy weight, and have lots of energy for school and play. In fact, healthy eating can help your whole family live better. Return to topic: Healthy Eating for Children...
Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Eat Out
When your goal is healthy eating, dining out can be a challenge. But there are things you can do to make healthy choices when eating out. Plan ahead by thinking about healthy options you could choose. Be mindful of portion sizes, which are almost always larger at restaurants. Look for ways to reduce the amount of...
Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Shop
Healthy eating starts with smart food shopping. These tips will help you get started. Plan ahead. Before you shop, decide on the healthy meals and snacks you want. Make a list of the ingredients you will need to buy. Don't shop when you are hungry. Eat a snack or a meal before you shop. This way you won't be as tempted...
Healthy Eating: Overcoming Barriers to Change
One of the important steps in changing your eating habits is figuring out what your barriers are. A barrier is anything that causes you to slip up in your goal to make a lifestyle change. The best way to overcome barriers is to identify them and make a plan to deal with them. What has stopped you from changing your...
Healthy Eating: Starting a Plan for Change
When you're ready to make some changes to your eating habits, having a plan for how you'll get started can help you succeed. Healthy eating is about balance, variety, and moderation. It means that you eat enough, but not too much, and that you eat a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to stay healthy...
Healthy Eating: Staying With Your Plan
It can be easy to get off track with healthy eating plans. If this is true for you, just think of healthy eating as a work in progress. When you learn from experience, you get better at it each time you refocus your plan. Here are two important ways you can get yourself back on track and stay there. Update your goals...
Healthy Weight: Thought-Tracking Journal
The upsetting situation Stop: My discouraging thought Ask: Is that a helpful thought? Choose: My new, encouraging thought Example My diet isn't going well right now. I can't lose weight. Why should I even try? Who says I can't lose weight? How am I going to lose weight if I keep thinking like this? I can make good...
Helping Your Child Who Is Overweight
How do you know if your child is overweight? Doctors use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts or the body mass index (BMI) to measure a child's weight compared to their height. If you are concerned that your child is—or could become—overweight, talk about this with your child's doctor. The...
Hunger, Fullness, and Appetite Signals
Listen to your body to tell you when you're hungry or full. Hunger is a normal sensation that makes you want to eat. Your body tells your brain that your stomach is empty. This makes your stomach growl and gives you hunger pangs. Hunger makes some people feel lightheaded or grouchy. Everyone is different. Hunger is...
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 score means and next steps.
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. Encourages building more physical activity into your daily life.
Interactive Tool: What Is Your Child's BMI?
This interactive tool uses your child's weight and height to compare your child's size to that of other children the same age. The tool 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. Health and Fitness Tools Do Your BMI and Waist Size Increase Your Health Risks? How Bad Are Your Urinary Symptoms From Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)? How Many Calories Did You Burn? What Is Your...
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. "I actually get mad at people when they say, 'You've been on a diet.' I'm not on a diet. I've never been on a...
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. In November 2006, Jeremy hit a turning point when he found that he was too out of shape to play in a company football game. He decided to change his...
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. John's doctor told him that his steady weight gain over the years was putting him in danger of heart problems as well. "He said...
Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During the procedure, small, thin tubes (cannula) are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around under the skin to target specific fat deposits. In recent years, improved techniques have made...
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. Loralie's eating habits had caused her to gain weight, and her blood pressure was high. "I had given up, just given up,"...
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. Then she changed the way she looked at food and what it meant to be healthier. She lost 50 pounds...
Measuring Your Waist
Waist circumference is the distance around your waist. Measuring it is a way to check how much fat is on your belly. Having extra belly fat increases your risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. For most people, the goal for a healthy waist is: Less than 40 in. (102 cm) for men. Less than 35 in. (88...
Nonprescription Products for Weight Loss
The only over-the-counter weight-loss product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is orlistat (Alli). It is half as strong as prescription orlistat (Xenical). It blocks the body from taking in some of the fat from foods you eat. Many other over-the-counter products claim to help with weight loss...
Covers the basics of obesity. Discusses health risks such as hypertension related to having excess body fat. Focuses on lifestyle changes you can make, like healthy eating and exercise. Includes information on weight-loss medicines and surgery and on creating a long-term plan with your doctor.
Obesity and Pregnancy
Reviews obesity and healthy pregnancy.
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 and Weight Loss
Explains how to start being more active to improve your health. Being more active can be part of your plan to reach a weight that's healthy for you.
Pregnancy After Weight-Loss (Bariatric) Surgery
What is weight-loss (bariatric) surgery? Bariatric surgery is surgery to help people lose weight and improve health problems related to weight. It may also be called metabolic surgery. This type of surgery is used for people who have obesity. Weight-loss surgery may be an option for people who have not been able to lose...
Quick Tips: Cutting Calories
Whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dried beans are good lower-calorie foods. They give you lots of nutrients and fiber. And they fill you up. Sweets, energy drinks, and soda pop are high in calories. They give you few nutrients and no fiber. Try to limit soda pop, fruit juice, and energy drinks. Drink water...
Quick Tips: Making Healthier Food Choices
Eating a variety of foods can help you get all the nutrients you need. These include whole grains, lean protein foods, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and make healthy eating choices. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt, sugar, or calories, limit how often you eat...
Quitting Smoking: Dealing With Weight Gain
Discusses steps you can take to help avoid weight gain when you stop using tobacco. Covers creating a plan before quitting to make weight control easier. Offers tips on how to include healthy foods, get more activity, and avoid reaching for food when you're not hungry.
Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Managing Your Weight
Learn about calories in alcohol, and decide how alcohol fits into your weight management plan.
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. But things changed when Sally's mom had a heart attack. Sally took care of her mom night and day. But Sally got so busy taking care of her mom that she forgot to take care of herself. For months, Sally didn't do...
Screening for Weight Problems
Children 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. "Overweight" and "obese" are terms sometimes used when...
Staying With Your Eating Plan When Your Schedule Shifts
Get some tips for staying on track with eating and activity goals when your routine changes.
Tips for Avoiding Unplanned Snacking
Learn how to plan snacks and meals to avoid impulsive eating and drinking.
Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss
Get started on healthy eating If you're trying to eat in healthier ways, you may need to change some of your daily habits. But you don't need to make huge changes. Over time, small changes can make a big difference. Here's how to get started. Start slowly. Small changes are easier to make than big ones. So change your...
Unplanned Weight Loss
Explains what unplanned weight loss is. Includes causes, treatments, when to seek help, and healthy ways to gain weight.
Ways to Track Your Weight-Loss Efforts
Learn about ways to track eating and activity to support weight-loss goals.
Weight Loss by Limiting Calories
How do you make healthy food choices when trying to lose weight? There are many ways to make changes to your eating habits to help with weight loss. Here are some tips to help you choose fat, carbohydrate, and protein sources. Reduce calories from saturated fats to less than 10% of your total calories. You can do this...
Provides links to info on healthy living. Topics discuss healthy weight and weight loss. Discusses balancing how much you eat with how much you exercise. Covers whether your weight increases health risks. Includes info on nutrition.
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
Explains how to practice reframing negative thoughts to be more helpful. Provides steps to practice choosing healthier thoughts. Includes keeping a thought diary.
Weight and Coronary Artery Disease
There is a strong link between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease. Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for the disease. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Losing weight and staying at a healthy weight can help lower your risk for coronary...
Weight-Loss (Bariatric) Surgery
Bariatric surgery is surgery to help people lose weight and improve health problems related to weight. It may also be called metabolic surgery. This type of surgery is used for people who have obesity. Weight-loss surgery may be an option for people who have not been able to lose weight or improve weight-related health...
Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the information that came with your medicine. If you have any questions or...