Losing weight as part of weight management is important because weighing too much is not good for your health. Being overweight increases your risk of health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Being overweight can also increase your risk for osteoarthritis (joint disease), sleep apnea (abnormal breathing at night) or other respiratory (breathing) problems. Being overweight may also cause a person to feel sad or be treated differently by others.
The best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories (units of energy that your body gets from food) and get regular exercise. Eating more calories than you need will cause you to gain weight. Try to cut down your calories by 500 calories per day. For example, cut down on one soda (about 150 calories), a small bag of regular potato chips (about 150 calories) and one chocolate bar (about 250 calories). For most people, this change will result in a slow weight loss of about one pound a week. You can burn calories if you get regular exercise. Exercise (for example, walk, swim or bicycle) for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. You will be more likely to keep weight off if you make lifelong lifestyle changes.
Aim for a slow, steady weight loss. Losing even a small amount of weight can lower your risk of health problems. Ask your dietitian, nutritionist or healthcare provider about a weight loss goal that is right for you.