What are some tips for weight loss?

People become overweight for many reasons. Weight issues can run in families. They can be caused by unhealthy behaviors and a person’s environment. Certain health problems and medicines can also lead to weight gain.

There are some simple things you can do to reach and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Eat 500 fewer calories per day than your body needs to maintain your weight. Women should aim for no more than 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. Men should aim for 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day.
  • Avoid sweet drinks. These include regular soft drinks, fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sweetened iced tea, and flavored milk.
  • Avoid fast foods. Fast foods such as french fries, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and pizza are high in calories and can cause weight gain.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. People who skip breakfast tend to weigh more.
  • Don’t watch more than two hours of television per day.
  • Chew sugar-free gum between meals to cut down on snacking.
  • Avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
  • Pack a healthy lunch instead of eating out to control what and how much you eat.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Aim for about 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.
  • Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking), or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (such as jogging or running).
  • Be more active. Small changes in physical activity can easily be added to your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take a walk with your family. A daily walk is a great way to get exercise and to catch up on the day’s events.

Where can I get more information about weight loss?

This office

National Institutes of Health

Eating Healthy When Dining Out

Website: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/dine_out.htm

Healthier Eating While Saving Money


Weight-control Information Network

Website: http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/index.htm

Risk Factors Associated with Increased Morbidity and Mortality in Obese Persons

High risk

Coronary artery disease

Type 2 diabetes

Sleep apnea

Other risk factors

Age > 45 in men

Age > 55 or postmenopausal in women


LDL > 160 mg per dL (4.14 mmol per L)

HDL < 35 mg per dL (0.91 mmol per L)

Impaired fasting glucose

Family history of premature coronary artery disease



Stress incontinence

Cigarette smoking

Management of Obesity


Medications: Phentermine, Adipex, Orlistat, Meridia, diethylpropion (Tenuate), mazindol (Sanorex), phenylpropanolamine (Dexatrim), phendimetrazine (Bontril)