Maintaining a healthy body weight

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Eating well, being active and feeling good about yourself are all part of a healthy lifestyle. Along with what we suggest here, please follow the recommendations in Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide.

Here are four basic things to remember about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight:

  • Be active.
  • Set healthy eating patterns.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Feel good about yourself.
Teen girl stretching at home

Be active

  • Try to be active every season.
  • Try increasing your current activity level by 30 minutes a day to start.
  • After checking with your transplant team or physiotherapist, aim for 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Choose vigorous activities at least three days a week.
  • Do activities that build muscles and bones at least three days a week.
  • Combine aerobic and strengthening activities to improve your health and wellbeing. Different activities will also stop you getting bored.
  • Choose some activities that you can do in your neighbourhood or at home, for instance walking, biking, swimming or doing a gym class.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend watching TV and playing on the computer to 90 minutes a day or less.
  • Start by reducing your current daily screen time by 30 minutes a day.

For more information, take a look at Health Canada's physical activity tips for 12- to 17-year olds and for adults aged 18 to 64. You can also check out some tips to build physical activity into your daily routine after receiving a solid organ transplant.

Establish healthy eating patterns

  • Eat three meals a day.
  • Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • If you are hungry between meals, plan to eat a healthy snack such as yogurt and fruit, chopped fruit and vegetables or whole wheat crackers and cheese.
  • One to three healthy snacks a day are ok.
  • Eat slowly and without distractions such as homework, TV or games. That way, you will know when you are full.
  • Eat at home more often. Try to eat out less often.
  • See Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide for common portion sizes. If you aren't sure about portion sizes, talk to your dietitian.

Make healthy food choices

The table below to find out how many servings of food teens should have each day according to Canada’s Food Guide. There are different guidelines for teenage girls and boys.

Vegetables and fruit78
Grain products67
Milk and alternatives3 to 43 to 4
Meat and alternatives23


  • Choose water. If you don’t want water, choose from a range of sugar-free drinks.
  • Remember also to get your recommended servings of milk each day. Choose 2%, 1% or skim milk.

Vegetables and fruit

  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of juice and dried or canned fruit.
  • Choose fruit canned in juice instead of syrup.
  • Limit juice to one glass a day.
  • Add flavour to vegetables with herbs, spices or lemon juice instead of butter and cream.

Grain products (breads and cereals)

  • Choose whole grain breads such as whole wheat and whole rye.
  • Choose cereals made from whole grains. Try not to eat sugary cereals and granola.

Milk and alternatives

  • Choose 2%, 1% or skim milk.
  • Choose cheese with less than 20% of milk fat. It should say 20% m.f. on the package.
  • Limit the use of table cream, whipped cream and sour cream. If you do use them, choose low-fat versions.
  • Instead of eating ice cream, choose sherbets, ice milk, gelato and frozen yogurt more often.

Meat and alternatives (such as beans, nuts, seeds and eggs)

  • Choose leaner cuts of meat, such as loins and rounds.
  • Cut away visible fat from meat. Remove the skin from chicken or turkey.
  • Choose tuna and other fish canned in water instead of oil. Limit the use of gravy and sauces.
  • Try having legumes (beans and peas), soybeans, and tofu as a source of protein.


Treats do have a place in a healthy eating plan! Eating a treat every once in a while is part of balanced eating.

  • Limit yourself to one or two treats a week – moderation is key.
  • Try not to keep too many treats in the house.
  • Choose healthier treats if you can.
  • Make exceptions for special occasions that may involve treats, such as parties, holidays and other occasions.

Feel good about yourself

  • Remember that healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes.
  • Focus on the positive changes you have made to your lifestyle.
  • Do not weigh yourself often and don’t compare your weight on different scales.
  • Reward yourself for your efforts. You deserve it!
Last updated: November 30th 2017