Focus on health, not diets.
Diets are hard to stay on and usually don't work in the long run. It is very
hard to stay with a diet that includes lots of big changes in your eating
Instead of a diet, focus on lifestyle changes that will
improve your health and achieve the right balance of energy and calories. To
lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. You can do it by
eating healthy foods in reasonable amounts and becoming more active. And you
need to do it every day.
Little steps mean a lot. Losing just
10% of your body weight can make a
difference in your health.1
Make a plan for change. Work with your doctor to create a plan that will work for you.
Ask family members and friends for help in keeping with your plan. Ask your
doctor to recommend a dietitian to help you with meal planning.
When you stray from your plan, don't get upset. Figure out what got you
off track and how you can fix it.
How can you stay on your plan for change?
hard to change habits. You have to be ready. Make sure this is the right time
for you. Are you ready to make a plan and stay on it? Do you have the support
of your family and friends? Do you know what your first steps will be? Becoming
healthier and staying that way is a lifelong effort.
have more success when they make small changes, one step at a time. For
example, you might eat an extra piece of fruit, walk 10 minutes more, or add
more vegetables to your meals.
Studies show that people who keep
track of what they eat are better at losing weight. Keep a notebook where you
can write down everything you eat and drink each day. You may be surprised to
see how much you are eating. Use a calorie counter to add up your calories.
(You can find calorie counters online and at bookstores.)
keep track of calories, look at whether you skip meals, when you eat, how often
you eat out, and how many fruits and vegetables you eat. This will help you see
patterns that you may want to change.
You may want to write down
the amount of physical activity you've had each day and compare the calories
you burned to those you took in. Use the
Interactive Tool: How Many Calories Did You Burn? to see how many
calories you burn through daily activities.
Can you take medicines or have surgery to lose weight?
and medicines don't work by themselves. Most people also need to make changes
in what they eat and how active they are.