Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

When you have a lot to lose before hitting your goal weight, success may feel far away. Here’s a win within reach -- lose 5% of your total weight to lower your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. When you do, you’ll:

  • Reduce your triglyceride levels by as much as 20%
  • Reduce your LDL “bad” cholesterol by 15%
  • Increase your HDL “good” cholesterol by 8%

Pick Three. Choose three of the tasks below to start today. Pick the ones you think will be easiest for you to accomplish. Give yourself a couple of weeks to make a habit. Then, pick three more to work on. Taking this approach is easier to master for most people and helps you gain confidence early on.

Did You Know?

WebMD Logo

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, at no cost to you. Learn more. 

Health Insurance Center

Cook at home. Make this your first step you toward losing weight, and you will notice a difference. The less you eat at restaurants, the more weight you lose in the first six months.  

Give drinks a makeover. One proven weight loss strategy is to cut way down on sugary beverages. If you find water boring, jazz it up! Try adding strawberries and mint leaves or lemon and basil. For the tastiest results, let the flavors chill in the pitcher for a few hours.

Reduce how often you eat dessert. A powerful predictor of weight loss is how frequently you eat dessert.   

Choose healthy eats. It’s all about what you eat. Fill up your plate with veggies and fruits, and enjoy as much as you want. Upping your fruit and vegetable servings to over five a day is a top tactic for weight loss.

Here’s a combo that can reduce triglycerides another 10%:

  • Eat fewer items with added sugar or fructose.
  • Choose unsaturated fats more often -- vegetable oils, fish, and nuts.

Right-size your snacks. It turns out those 100-calorie snack bags are a real weight-loss winner for folks trying to lose. People who eat from a snack-sized bag typically eat half as many calories as people who eat from a larger package. If your favorite snack doesn’t come packaged this way, split a large bag into several smaller baggies.

Substitute fish for meat. Boost fish servings to about five to six a month, and eat about ½ ounce less of meat and cheese every day. (That’s not much, right?) This recipe for success pairs up to promote long-term weight loss.

Do the ingredients shuffle. Swap out just a few high-calorie ingredients for a lower-calorie counterpart, for instance:

  • Instead of ground beef, use half as much meat and make up the difference in bulk with finely chopped veggies like eggplant, mushrooms, and peppers.  
  • For baked desserts, replace half the butter or margarine with applesauce.
  • In cake or cookies, replace 1 ounce of baking chocolate with ¼ cup of cocoa.