By decreasing daily calorie intake by 500 calories or expending an extra 500 calories during exercise each day, you will lose about 1 pound per week.
diet plan will include exercise. It helps to increase metabolism and is one less opportunity to eat during the day. You should exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Regular exercise also helps your heart and lungs and lowers triglyceride levels that can cause
heart disease. It also increases the HDL ("good cholesterol") levels. Even simple measures such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and short walks eventually add up to a lot of calories burned.
Group support programs such as Weight Watchers or Take Off Pounds Sensibly, known as TOPS, provide peer support and promote healthy habits.
For a more complete discussion of lifestyle changes that are helpful in losing weight, see
Weight Loss and Control.
Of special interest to women who have gained weight after having a baby is the fact that breast feeding helps you shed some extra pounds. It is good for your baby, too.
Behavior modification is a fancy name for changing your attitude toward food and exercise. These changes promote new habits and attitudes that help you lose weight. Many people find they cannot lose weight or keep it off unless they change these attitudes. Behavior modification techniques are easy to learn and practice. Most involve increasing your awareness of situations in which you overeat so that you can stop overeating. For more information, see Weight Loss and Control.
Reversing obesity and its health risks requires changing the habits of a lifetime. Eating less over the long term means learning to think about your eating habits and patterns.
What makes you overeat? Coffee break at work? Going out with friends? Watching TV? Late afternoon energy lag? Late night sweet tooth? Are you the one who finishes the last serving of dinner just so there won't be any leftovers? Do you eat high-calorie fast foods or snacks because you don't have time or energy to cook? Having some insight into your overeating habits helps you to avoid your problem situations and reach your weight goal.
Likewise, increasing your activity level is largely a matter of changing your attitude. You don't have to be a marathon runner. Look for ways to increase your activity level doing things you enjoy.
For some strategies that may help you change your habits, go to the article Weight Loss and Control.
Obesity increases your risk of many other diseases and health problems, including the following:
Depression may be one of the most common effects of obesity. Many obese people suffer emotional distress. Because of the emphasis on physical appearance in our culture, which equates slimness with beauty, obese people may feel unattractive. They also are subjected to prejudice, ridicule, and discrimination, which may make them feel ashamed or rejected.
Obesity is also a major risk factor for the development of
diabetes mellitus. The good news is that this may be preventable. In clinical studies, patients who were at a high risk of developing diabetes decreased their risk by almost 60% with less than 10% weight loss in 3 years.