Achieving healthy weight loss isn’t about a “diet” or “program” but a lifestyle with healthy eating patterns, regular physical activity, and stress management. Medications taken for other conditions may also make it harder to lose weight. If you are concerned about your weight or have questions about your medications, talk with your health care provider.
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s natural to want it to happen very quickly. But people with gradual and steady weight loss (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more likely to keep the weight off.
Once you’ve achieved a healthy weight, rely on healthy eating and physical activity to help maintain health over the long term.
Losing weight isn’t easy, and it takes commitment. But if you’re ready to get started, we’ve got a step-by-step guide to help get you on the road to weight loss and better health. Before starting on the guide, it’s important to approach the changes with self-compassion and to understand your readiness and motivation. Creating a supportive environment, both physically and with the people in your life, can help you achieve your goals.
Even modest weight loss can mean big benefits
Even a modest weight loss of 5% to 10% of your total body weight is likely to produce health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.1
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 5% weight loss is 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the “overweight” or “obesity” range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk for chronic diseases related to obesity.
So even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey rather than a final destination. You’ll learn new eating and physical activity habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits can help you maintain your weight loss over time.
Check out our step-by-step guide to help you get on the road to weight loss and better health.
Improving Your Eating Habits
Your eating habits, not just what you eat, may be leading to weight gain—for example, eating too fast, always clearing your plate, eating when you’re not hungry, or skipping meals.
Keeping the Weight Off
Losing weight is the first step. Once you’ve lost weight, you’ll want to learn how to keep it off.
Creating a positive body image through healthy eating habits.
Strategies for Success
Find resources to help you lose or gain weight safely and effectively.
Weight Management for Youth
Address weight issues in children and teens with healthy guidelines, links to interactive and skill-building tools, and more.
What you should know about popular diets
Learn how to evaluate claims made by weight loss products and diets. Find information to choose weight loss strategies that are healthy, effective and safe for you.
1 Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Systematic Evidence from the Obesity Expert Panel, 2013 [PDF-5.89MB] — US Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health.