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When youíre in the weight-loss game, youíve got all sorts of important information running through your head at all times. Caloric intake, amount of water youíve drank today, minutes of physical activity youíve put in Ė and those are on top of all the other things youíve got to remember in a day! With so much to remember, itís easy to lose track of the important numbers. So letís start a checklist of 5 important numbers that you should know.

1. Cholesterol. High cholesterol puts you at risk for serious heart problems and stroke. Knowing your cholesterol will put into perspective a lot of choices that you may be making day-to-day, as lifestyle, diet and genes all play a part. To find out more about cholesterol, check out this document by the American Heart Association(PDF).

2. Date of last exam. One of the best ways to keep a consistent record of your health is to make sure that you have a health care provider who knows you medically and is advising you on the best ways to prevent diseases for someone your age. Do you need a mammogram, pap smear or a colonoscopy? Peace of mind is just one of the benefits of having a professional to partner with in your quest to stay healthy. So keep track of your exams and make sure you know when itís that time of year again!

3. Blood Pressure. High blood pressure can go unnoticed for a long time, but while itís laying low it can actually be doing quite a bit of harm to your heart, blood vessels and organs. You should know this number, whether you suspect you may be at risk or not.

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4. Blood Sugar. Calculating your blood sugar will measure how well your body processes sugar. Obesity, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle all increase you risk of developing type 2 Diabetes, so be sure youíve gotten your blood sugar checked and always keep a close eye on this number.

5. Measurements. Knowing your measurements can be useful for a number of reasons. One is that it can be a better gauge of progress than ďpounds lostĒ. For example, lot of times folks will notice that the scale isnít budging but that their pants are fitting looser. And there are newer studies that claim that waist-to-hip ratio is a better predictor of heart disease risk than your BMI. So get out your tape measure today and start measuring!

With all the nutrition facts and ever-changing scale readings swimming through your brain, keeping track of your progress can seem overwhelming. Just make sure youíve got these key numbers and youíll be well on your way to another key number Ė your goal weight!

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