# The Best Way To Lose Weight & Keep It Off

We all wish there was some magic potion to lose weight and keep it off, but the only way to lose weight the healthy way, is to eat less and move more.  It’s no secret: People who lose weight slowly by eating less and exercising more tend to keep the weight off.  A positive attitude is also very important for successful weight loss and weight management.  To lose weight permanently, you must make a commitment to gradually adopt a healthier way of life.

###### How Do I Lose Weight?

You can control your weight.  To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories or burn up more calories than you need.  The best way to lose weight is to do both.

Following a healthy balanced diet is one of the keys to successful weight loss and maintenance.  The USDA’s MyPlate resource is an excellent tool for making sure you are meeting your nutritional needs while trying to lose weight.  With the proper balance of foods, you can lose weight and improve nutrition.  For an online resource, go to www.choosemyplate.gov.  To lose weight, you’ll need to consume fewer calories than you burn.  The exact number will depend on your current weight and activity level, but generally people should I’m to cut 250 to 1000 calories from their diet per day to lose 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.  An online resource to help you calculate this can be found at https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html.

###### What is Body Mass Index?

There are several ways of measuring your ideal body weight.  One of the most popular methods is to gauge whether you are overweight, is the body mass index (BMI).  The BMI uses a mathematical formula that measures both a person’s height and weight in determining obesity.  To calculate your BMI, multiply your weight by 703 and divide the answer by your height in inches.  Divide this figure by your height again.

(Weight in Pounds x 703) / (Height in Inches) / (Height in Inches) = BMI

For example, a 250-pound person at 5’10” would have a BMI of 35.86.  People with BMI’s of 25 and above are considered to be overweight.  Having a body mass index over 30 places you at risk for developing obesity-related medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.  A BMI over 40 indicates that a person is morbidly obese.  An online calculator for BMI can also be found at https://www.cdc.gov/

###### Keeping Track

One way to ensure that you are eating healthy is to keep an accurate food journal.  Write down everything you eat and drink, including serving sizes/portions.  Be honest and accurate, otherwise the journal is not helpful.  Keeping a record will help you learn about your eating habits and help you assess the food choices you make.

###### Putting it All Together

In addition to changing your diet, mildly restricting calories and keeping track of what you eat, it is very important to include exercise as part of your weight loss and weight maintenance efforts.  Discuss with your physician what is the best type of exercise for you, but make a point to exercise.  You should aim to meet physical activity guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) every week.  But you can break this down into short bouts of exercise, such as three 10-minute walks per day.

Healthy weight loss isn’t 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 are ready, get started today and you will be on the road to weight loss and better health.