Diet and exercise

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The key to weight loss is building new habits that lead to eating better and moving more. Eating better means eating healthy, lower calorie meals. Moving more means adding more physical activity, not just exercise, into your life.

Being active is vital to losing weight and keeping if off. An active body uses energy, measured in calories, to move. This helps burn the calories you take in from food you eat. And sitting too much isn't good for you.

Cleaning the house, making the bed, shopping, mowing and gardening are all forms of physical activity. Exercise, in contrast, is structured and repeated physical activity that you do regularly.

Whatever activity you choose, keep doing it. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Aim to spread your activity out throughout the week.

Taking a brisk walk is an example of moderate activity. Vigorous activity might be jogging. Keep in mind that you may need more physical activity than usual to lose weight and keep it off.

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Nov. 01, 2023