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How to be a healthy weight

Find out how to calculate your BMI and see advice on losing or gaining weight. 

Calculate your BMI

The healthy weight range widely used by doctors is based on a measurement known as the Body Mass Index (BMI). You can work out your BMI if you know your weight and your height.

If you'd like to calculate your BMI yourself, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Work out your height in metres and multiply the figure by itself.
  2. Measure your weight in kilograms.
  3. Divide the weight by the height squared (the answer to question 1)

For example, you might be 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall and weigh 65kg (10st 3lb). The calculation would then be: 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56. BMI would be 65 divided by 2.56 = 25.39.

NHS Choices BMI Healthy Weight calculator

10 top tips for losing weight

losing weight

The key to losing weight is to eat healthy food and take more exercise. Of course everyone is different, and some things work better for some people than others. But, by following a few golden rules, you’ll be on the right track to achieving your goal.

  1. Don’t go on faddy diets, they just don’t work and are hard to sustain.
  2. Watch your portion size. If you pile food onto your plate you’re more likely to eat it all, so opt for smaller portions instead.
  3. Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it’s packed with calories.
  4. Swap high calorie snacks for more nutritious options such as fruit.
  5. Ditch sugary drinks for water.
  6. Be a role model for your family and lead by example.
  7. Choose a realistic goal weight to work towards.
  8. Weigh yourself once a week or keep a record of your waist measurement so that you can monitor your weight loss. Aim for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week.
  9. Don’t skip meals - eat three times a day, including breakfast.
  10. Planning food and drink in advance helps you to keep tabs on your calorie and nutritional intake.

Underweight advice

Check your weight

Being a healthy weight doesn't always mean that you need to lose weight - some people need to put weight on instead.

Many underweight people are fit and well but they just have a slender build. However, there can often be a medical reason for being underweight, especially if you have lost weight quickly without trying and you have a constant lack of energy. If this is the case, you should speak to your doctor.

Being underweight can mean that your bones aren't as strong as they could be and you can be more prone to colds and illnesses. It can also affect a woman's fertility.

If you restrict how much you eat on purpose or feel anxious about eating and the thought of gaining weight, you may have an eating disorder or have the potential for developing one. If this applies to you, you should speak to a friend or family member for support and speak to your doctor.

If you need to lose weight, you could try to:

  • Set yourself a realistic target and aim to gain weight gradually at around 2.2lbs per month.
  • Make sure you eat at least 3 times per day, including breakfast.
  • Take in more calories than you burn in a day as part of a balanced diet.
  • Eat an extra 300 to 350 calories a day to start off.
  • Take part in low impact, strengthening exercises such as yoga or Pilates.
  • Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks to see what you are eating and when.

Take the One You quiz

Because there's only one you. Modern life makes it hard to be healthy. Whether we are eating the wrong things, drinking more than we should, continuing to smoke, or not being active enough, all of these things add up.

These habits could make it harder to keep up with your kids or be the reason your jeans are a bit tighter. More seriously, they increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

One You reminds you that your health matters. Start the fight to healthy by taking the free online health quiz, 'How Are You', which provides personalised recommendations and directs you to free tools and offers to help you take action.


01706 925859

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Healthy Lifestyle Team
Floor 3, Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU