How to determine your healthy weight

Linda Mishlen likes to run three to four times a week.

It's one of the lifestyle changes she's made in an effort to maintain a healthy weight.

She said like most people she struggles to stay on the right track.

"Even once you lose a lot of weight, you may still look at yourself as obese," she said.

Ercilia Colon said she doesn't check the scale to see if she's at a healthy weight, but her closet.

"A great weight checker are your clothes. How do my blue jeans fit today?" she said.

Dr. Wilfred Aguila is a bariatric surgeon at Memorial Hospital of Tampa.

He said there are good ways to tell whether you are overweight.

The first is body mass index, or BMI. It's a measurement of your weight and height.

When you put those two together, it gives you a very good reference of what your weight should be for your height.

"If you're 6 feet and weigh 200 pounds, it's not the same as if you're 5 feet and weigh 200 pounds. It's a big difference on your body and your whole systems," he said.

The doctor says for women, 18 to 24 is a normal BMI. Twenty-five to 30 indicates you are overweight. Thirty and above is obese.

"Heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea -- when you stop breathing at night and when you snore a lot. All of these things can be related to your body mass index," he said.

Aguila said you should also take waist size into consideration.

"If we carry a lot of fat in our belly, inside our waist, that's been associated with many diseases." he said.

Finally you should consider your fitness level.

"More important than your weight is your level of fitness," said Aguila. "Ask yourself, 'Am I able to walk without getting short of breath? Am I energetic? Am I able to play with my kids? Can I do routine things I like to do?'"

Linda says the fitness factor has been a big one for her.

"It made a big difference. I feel better. I have energy," she said.
 

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