5 Steps to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Tired of yo-yo diets? Set yourself up for success with the American Heart Association's tried and true tips on maintaining a healthy weight.
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat.
Learning to balance healthy eating and physical activity can help you lose weight more easily and keep it off.
Take it from people who have successfully maintained weight loss:
- 98% have modified their eating habits.
- 94% have increased their physical activity, especially walking.
Source: National Weight Control Registry
- Set realistic goals.
Know where you are today so you know how to get where you want to be. Learn your Body Mass Index (BMI). Set yourself up for success with short-term goals, like “I will make lifestyle changes which will help me lose (and keep off) 3-5% of my body weight.” Short-term goals can seem more achievable and keep you on track toward your long-term goals.
- Understand how much and why you eat.
Use a food diary or tracking app to understand what, how much, and when you’re eating. Being mindful of your eating habits and aware of your roadblocks and excuses can help you get real about your goals.
- Manage portion sizes.
It’s easy to overeat when you’re served too much food. Smaller portions can help prevent eating too much. Learn the difference between a portion and a serving and how to keep portions reasonable.
- Make smart choices.
You don’t have to give up all your favorite foods. Learn to make smart food choices and simple substitutions instead. Discover healthy snacks and how fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help keep you fuller longer.
- Be physically active.
Physical activity is anything that gets your heart rate up, like walking. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. Even 10-minute blocks count toward your goal.
Last Reviewed 12/2015
Article copyright © 2017 American Heart Association.