Jun 15, 2010 Table of Contents

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education Web site.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Weight Loss: Practical Tips

Am Fam Physician. 2010 Jun 15;81(12):1456.

See related article on management of obesity

What are some practical tips for weight loss?

People become overweight or obese 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 unwanted weight gain.

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

  • 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 daily.

  • Be more active. Small changes in physical activity can easily be added to your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of elevators, or park farther away from a store's entrance when you go shopping.

  • 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?

American Heart Association

Tips for Talking to Healthcare Professionals

Web site: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=113

National Institutes of Health

Your Game Plan (eating healthy and exercising)

Web site: http://www.ndep.nih.gov/media/GP_Booklet.pdf

Eating Healthy When Dining Out

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

Healthier Eating While Saving Money

Web site: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/downloads/tip_saving.pdf

Weight-control Information Network

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


This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at http://familydoctor.org.

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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