Most weight-loss programs can help you lose weight at first. But you will lose more and have more health benefits if you can keep with it for a longer time. You need to find the right balance of eating and physical activity that you can keep doing or a program that works with your lifestyle.
Are you ready to make changes?
Before you begin treatment, decide if you are ready to make the lifestyle changes needed to lose weight. Losing weight and keeping it off can be hard. Think about successes that you had before and how you were able to achieve them.
If you are ready to make a plan for healthier eating, your doctor may suggest losing 10% of your weight at a rate of 1 lb (0.45 kg) to 2 lb (0.9 kg) a week as your first target. Research shows that a 10% weight loss can improve your health.1 It is better that you maintain a small amount of loss rather than lose a lot of weight fast and gain it back.
Tips to help with your weight-loss program
- Set realistic goals. Many people expect to lose much more weight than is realistic. Think about why you want to lose weight, and prepare for slip-ups.
- Find what works best for you. Finding a plan that includes daily menus and recipes may be best.
- Get family and friends involved to provide support. Talk to them about why you are changing your eating habits and physical activity and how important losing weight is to you.
- Identify obstacles to losing weight. Keep a food journal. Look at it to try to find things that cause you to overeat, such as stress or depression.
- Replace unhealthy food temptations with healthier foods such as fruit and low-fat yogurt.
- Get enough physical activity for weight loss. To find out how many calories are burned during various activities, see the Interactive Tool: How Many Calories Did You Burn?
Tips to help change how you eat
- Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. This helps you eat regular meals and a balanced, nutritious diet. See a meal planning form.
- Find your sources of added calories, such as snacking, drinking alcohol, or having soft drinks. Then reduce your intake of them.
- Cut unhealthy fat from your diet.
- Use lean meats and meat alternatives.
- Make healthy fast-food, restaurant, and convenience-food choices to stay with your healthy eating when you eat out.
- Keep unhealthy food out of the house.
- Eat before you go grocery shopping.