What is healthy weight loss?
It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.
Losing weight is not 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.
Even modest weight loss can mean big benefits
Even a modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent 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 percent weight loss equals 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the “overweight” or “obese” range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity.
So even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey rather than just a final destination. You’ll learn new eating and physical activity habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits may help you maintain your weight loss over time.
For example, the National Weight Control Registryexternal icon noted that study participants who maintained a significant weight loss reported improvements in physical health as well as energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence.
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 may be leading to weight gain; for example, eating too fast, always clearing your plate, eating when you are not hungry and skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast).
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.
1 Reference for 5%: Blackburn G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S. Reference for 10%: NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: