5 Tips to Help Lose Weight

If you’re overweight, losing as little as 5% of your body weight may improve your health. For someone who weighs 200 pounds, this means losing 10 pounds. What's the safest way to lose weight? Slow and steady. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is ideal. Talk to your health care provider about a weight loss goal that's right for you. Follow these tips for losing weight—and keeping it off.

  1. Set specific and realistic goals. Instead of setting a single big or long-term goal, break it down into smaller, less overwhelming mini goals. For example, set weekly or monthly weight loss goals instead of a yearly goal. With each mini goal, you'll get closer and closer to the final goal. By making your goals specific and realistic, you'll have a better chance of meeting them.
  1. Run your plan by your health care provider. Always check with your health care provider before beginning any weight loss or activity plan, or when you’re thinking about increasing your activity level. It's also important to ask him or her for your target heart rate to help determine the appropriate exercise intensity for you.
  2. Keep track of your efforts. Writing down what you've been eating, how active you've been, and how much weight you've lost can help you see how far you've come. It also can make it easier to share information with your health care provider.
  3. Become more aware of your eating habits. For many people, social or environmental "cues" can lead to overeating. Take time to look at cues that may cause you to overeat. Then make a change. For example, if you tend to overeat when you’re with certain friends, do something active with those friends—go for a walk instead of going to dinner.
  4. Reward yourself. Each time you reach a goal, celebrate it— but not with food. Do something nice for yourself. You deserve it.
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