Weight Management - Getting to a Healthy Weight: Lifestyle Changes
How do you change your lifestyle?
Making any kind
of change in the way you live your daily life is like being on a path. The path
leads to success. Here are the first steps on that path:
1. Have your own reasons for making a change
2. Set goals you can reach
3. Measure how your health has improved
Before you make lifestyle changes, ask your doctor
to check your
blood pressure, and
Research shows that you can
improve your health by losing as little as 5% to 10% of your weight.1 Here's what that means:
- 5% of
150 lb (68 kg) is
7.5 lb (3 kg), and 10% is
15 lb (7 kg).
- 5% of
200 lb (91 kg) is
10 lb (4.5 kg), and 10% is
20 lb (9 kg).
of 250 lb (113 kg) is
12.5 lb (6 kg), and 10% is
25 lb (11 kg).
Keep track of your weight.
- Weigh yourself no more than once a
week, unless your doctor tells to you to do so more often because of a health
- Try to weigh yourself on the same scale, at the same time
of day, in about the same amount of clothing.
- Remember that many
things can affect your weight. It's normal for your weight to go up and down by
a few pounds from one day to the next. Try to look at the general trend of your
weight, rather than the day-to-day changes.
- Aim to lose no more
than 1 to 2 pounds a week. Weight loss of more than that often means that you
are not getting enough nutrients to be healthy. And some of the weight you lose
may be from lean body tissue (muscle and organ tissue) or water loss, not
Have your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar checked again after you have lost 5% to 10% of your
weight or in 3 to 6 months. You can also check your blood pressure and blood
sugar at home.
- Blood sugar levels can tell you whether your
lifestyle changes or weight loss are helping to control your
- Cholesterol and
triglyceride levels can tell you whether your
lifestyle changes or weight loss are lowering your risk for heart
- Blood pressure can tell you whether your lifestyle changes
or weight loss are lowering your risk for heart disease and
Another way to measure improvements is to look for changes in your fitness level. For example, are you
able to walk longer and on more days than when you started? Can you climb a
flight of stairs without getting as tired or out of breath? Do you have better
strength and muscle tone? Do you have more energy?