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 But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date.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
National Institutes of Health
Your Game Plan (eating healthy and exercising)
Eating Healthy When Dining Out
Healthier Eating While Saving Money
Weight-control Information Network
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.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact email@example.com for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions