A healthy weight can be a different number for different people. Your age, height, body frame, gender, and other factors are considered in deciding what your ideal weight is.
If you are overweight or obese (body weight at least 20% higher than it should be), you might be at risk for serious health problems. There are steps you can take to lose weight and get to a healthy weight for you.
Set Reachable Goals
Aiming to lose a lot of weight can be overwhelming. Try setting smaller, more manageable weight loss goals. Instead of trying to lose 15 pounds, set a goal of losing 5 pounds. When you reach that goal, go for another 5 pounds, and so on, until you are at your target weight.
Small Successes Matter
Losing just 5–10% of your weight through more physical activity and healthier eating can lead to important health benefits. If you now weigh 250 pounds, losing 5–10% of your weight would mean losing about 13–25 pounds. Losing this percentage of your weight can lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. You also are likely to have more energy, feel less out of breath, and have fewer aches and pains.
Take It Slow
Extreme diets and over-the-top workouts usually don’t lead to lasting weight loss. They are too difficult to keep up long term. People who lose weight and keep it off usually have a slow and steady weight loss from following a healthier lifestyle. Slowly change your eating habits and increase physical activity. Don’t expect to drop extra weight too quickly. Health experts recommend weight loss of about 2 pounds per week for most adults.
A 5–10% weight loss is good for your health, but it may not feel like it’s enough. You might have a negative body image or don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. Maybe you have been focused on the number on the scale and it’s not quite where you want to be. Creating a positive environment to stay motivated to lose weight can be hard. Celebrating milestones along the way can help.
When you reach a first 5-pound loss, for example, reward yourself with a pedicure or massage, go see a new movie, enjoy a staycation, or find other calorie-free ways to celebrate your achievement. You can reward yourself for non–weight-loss milestones that show you’re improving your overall health. If you notice your pants starting to sag or you have extra space in your shirts, think about buying a new pair of pants or donating your old clothes to charity. It’s time to celebrate when you can bend to tie your shoes more easily, play dodgeball with your kids, or do other everyday activities you once struggled with. Reward yourself by joining a softball league or signing up for a charity run/walk event.