Woman forming heart with her hands over her stomach to represent body positivity and weight

Body positivity and weight

Medically reviewed on May 15, 2023 by Morgan Spicer, Medical Communications Manager. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

When you picture your healthy body, what do you see? Though most people picture themselves weighing less, it’s important to recognize that genetics affect bone structure, body shape, and weight differently. “Healthy” looks different for different people, and you may be healthy or unhealthy regardless of your weight.

Self Reflection: What does “being healthy” mean to you?

Metabolic health

Metabolic health is one way of measuring your health, and being metabolically healthy is associated with lower risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

People who are metabolically healthy have normal or near-normal values of five key biomarkers without the use of medication [1]:

  • Glucose (blood sugar)
  • Triglycerides
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Waist circumference

Studies have shown that just 1 in 8 adults in the U.S. is metabolically healthy. [1] Though being overweight or obese may indicate poor metabolic health, health is defined by more than just your body weight. Less than 50% of people who are underweight and less than 1/3 of individuals with normal weight have optimal metabolic health. [1]

The good news is that there are simple ways you can improve your metabolic health, regardless of your weight. These include diet and lifestyle changes such as maintaining good sleep hygiene, not smoking, eating a nutritious diet, and getting regular physical activity.

Self Reflection: What are questions you can ask your healthcare provider to learn more about your metabolic health?

Everlywell Weight Loss Support

Health beyond the scale

Beyond measuring your weight and biomarkers, there are other ways of assessing your health.

You’re on the right track if you see improvements in the following:

  • Changes in body composition (increased ratio of muscle to fat)
  • Improved strength, endurance, and flexibility
  • Increased energy levels
  • Ability to make healthy choices

If you need to lose weight, the best tactic may be to forget about the scale entirely. Studies have shown that people who focus on their overall health, rather than their weight, end up changing their behaviors and managing their weight more consistently.

It’s best to speak with your healthcare provider about your personal health goals and how you can measure the full picture of your health. If you have concerns about your relationship with your body, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) can help you connect with a professional who can support you.

Self Reflection: What are the most important aspects of health to you? What changes could you make that would make you feel healthier?

Healthy eating for a healthy lifestyle

Measuring your health: how it works

Physical activity and weight loss

Heart health lifestyle guide


  1. Stefan N. Metabolically Healthy and Unhealthy Normal Weight and Obesity. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2020;35(3):487-493. doi:10.3803/EnM.2020.301
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