Are You Maintaining
a Healthy Weight?

By Abigail Natenshon
Author of When Your Child Has An Eating Disorder

Some people have lost track of how to tell if they are a healthy weight. Some kids compare themselves to the skinniest people they know, to the actresses on television or to the models in the fashion magazines in an effort to know if they are at an acceptable weight.

A healthy weight is not simply a matter of pounds. Rather, it is a stable weight that you can maintain. A healthy weight is different for every person, depending on body type and bone size, age, overall health, and hereditary conditions in your family.

Have you ever heard of a “set point” weight. That is the weight that your body feels most comfortable at, where it is its healthiest and most fit. For adolescent girls, this weight will support a regular, monthly menstrual period. You will know when you are at your set point weight because though you may gain or lose a little weight, it will never be more than a few pounds in either direction.

Being active and eating well can help you reach and maintain a healthier weight.

If you feel that you must lose weight in order to be healthier, remember:

  • Never diet. Dieting deprives your body of the nutrition it needs.
  • Eat differently, not less.
  • Eat foods that are nutritious, that you enjoy, and that satisfy your hunger.
  • Keep a variety of nutritious foods on hand so you have a choice of what to eat when you are hungry.
  • Add new foods to what you eat now, making your menus diverse.
  • Eat slowly and enjoy every bite.
  • Don’t ever skip a meal.
  • Sit down to eat.
  • Be sure to include healthy snacks in your day.
  • Make sure that the fruits and vegetables you eat are fresh and delicious.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Eat protein, fats and carbohydrates at every meal.

Enjoying tasty foods is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Sharing a meal is also a great way to relax, communicate and enjoy time with family and friends.

Psychotherapist Abigail H. Natenshon has specialized in the treatment of eating disorders with individuals, families, and groups for the past 28 years. She is the author of When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Parents and Other Caregivers, Jossey Bass Publishers, San Francisco, CA. October 1999. Based on hundreds of successful outcomes, this book shepherds concerned parents step-by-step through the processes of eating disorder recognition, confronting the child, finding the most effective treatment for patient and family, and evaluating and insuring a timely recovery. A guide to eating disorder prevention, this book is useful to parents, health professionals and school personnel alike in countering the pervasive epidemic of unhealthy eating and body image concerns, and destructive media and peer influences. Her work can be reviewed further at her web site at To order visit

Home | About Abigail | Press Kit | Articles | Ask Abigail | About the Book | Services | Empowered Parents| Empowered Kids

All Contents © Copyright
Abigail H. Natenshon