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Obesity - Topic Overview

How can you stay on your plan for change? continued...

Most people 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.)

As you 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. Keep track of when you eat beyond feeling full and if you eat for reasons other than being hungry. 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?

Surgery and medicines don't work by themselves. Most people also need to make changes in what they eat and how active they are.

Before your doctor will prescribe medicines or surgery, he or she will probably want you to work on healthier eating and activity for at least 6 months. Even if your doctor gives you medicines or recommends surgery, you will need to keep your new healthy habits for the rest of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about obesity:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with obesity:

  • How many calories do I burn during exercise?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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