The key to successful weight loss is developing healthy diet and exercise habits. You may not like those words — diet and exercise. But don't get hung up on them. Diet just means eating healthy, lower calorie meals. Exercise means being more physically active.
Although people appropriately focus on diet when they're trying to lose weight, being active also is an essential component of a weight-loss program. When you're active, your body uses energy (calories) to move, helping to burn the calories you take in with food you eat.
Cleaning the house, making the bed, shopping, mowing and gardening are all forms of physical activity. Exercise, on the other hand, is a structured and repetitive form of physical activity that you do on a regular basis.
Whatever activity you choose, do it regularly. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week. Keep in mind that you may need more physical activity to lose weight and keep it off.
Oct. 10, 2019
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- Hensrud DD, et al. The Mayo Clinic Diet. 2nd ed. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2017.
- Interested in losing weight? Nutrition.gov. https://www.nutrition.gov/weight-management/strategies-success/interested-losing-weight. Accessed Oct. 18, 2016.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/PAGUIDELINES/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed Oct. 18, 2016.
- Weighing the claims in diet ads. Federal Trade Commission. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0061-weighing-claims-diet-ads. Accessed Oct. 18, 2016.
- Potential candidates of bariatric surgery. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/bariatric-surgery/Pages/potential-candidates.aspx. Accessed Oct. 18, 2016.
- Beware of products promising miracle weight loss. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/beware-products-promising-miracle-weight-loss. Accessed Oct. 3, 2019.