Weight-loss basics

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your weight is a balancing act, and calories are part of that equation. Weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you take in. You can do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages, and increasing calories burned through physical activity.

While that seems simple, it can be challenging to implement a practical, effective and sustainable weight-loss plan.

But you don't have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor, family and friends for support. Ask yourself if now is a good time and if you're ready to make some necessary changes. Also, plan smart: Anticipate how you'll handle situations that challenge your resolve and the inevitable minor setbacks.

If you have serious health problems because of your weight, your doctor may suggest weight-loss surgery or medications for you. In this case, your doctor will discuss the potential benefits and the possible risks with you.

But don't forget the bottom line: The key to successful weight loss is a commitment to making changes in your diet and exercise habits.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Nov. 19, 2021

See also

  1. Activity trackers — help or hindrance for weight loss?
  2. Aerobic exercise
  3. Alli weight-loss pill
  4. Apple cider vinegar
  5. Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes
  6. Atkins Diet
  7. Bariatric surgery
  8. Barriers to fitness
  9. Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS)
  10. Bitter orange supplements
  11. Body fat analyzers
  12. Body fat: What happens to lost fat?
  13. Breakfast
  14. Caffeine: Can it help me lose weight?
  15. Calorie calculator
  16. Carbohydrates
  17. Coconut oil for weight loss
  18. Coffee calories
  19. Counting calories
  20. Dietary supplements for weight loss
  21. Cortisol blockers
  22. Ear stapling for weight loss
  23. Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon
  24. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty
  25. Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (Gastric Sleeve)
  26. Energy density
  27. Exercise for weight loss: Calories burned in 1 hour
  28. Family meals and your weight
  29. Fast weight loss: What's wrong with it?
  30. Fitness motivation
  31. Flat Belly Diet
  32. Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)
  33. Weight-loss plateau
  34. Weight-loss surgery
  35. Hate to exercise? Try these tips
  36. HCG diet
  37. Hidradenitis suppurativa: Tips for weight-loss success
  38. High-protein diets
  39. Brown fat
  40. Intragastric balloon
  41. Is yo-yo dieting making you fat?
  42. Keep the focus on your long-term vision
  43. Low-carb diet
  44. Maintain a healthy weight with psoriatic arthritis
  45. BMI and waist circumference calculator
  46. Sample menu
  47. Weight gain after menopause
  48. Metabolism and weight loss
  49. Metabolism boost for weight loss?
  50. Negative calorie foods
  51. Phentermine for weight loss
  52. Prescription weight-loss drugs
  53. Protein shakes
  54. Interval training
  55. Sleep and weight gain: What's the connection?
  56. Vegetable recipes
  57. Portion control
  58. Foods for weight control
  59. Snacks and weight loss
  60. South Beach Diet
  61. Strength training basics
  62. Summer confidence? It's possible
  63. Teen weight loss
  64. The Mayo Clinic Diet
  65. The truth behind the most popular diet trends of the moment
  66. Vegetarian diet
  67. Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch
  68. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
  69. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  70. Sleeve gastrectomy
  71. Vitamin B-12 injections
  72. Waist size may be a predictor of life expectancy
  73. Walking for weight loss
  74. Walking for fitness
  75. Natural diuretics
  76. Weight-loss strategies
  77. Weight Loss After Breast Cancer
  78. Weight loss after pregnancy
  79. Weight loss
  80. Weight-loss options
  81. Emotional eating
  82. Weight-loss goals
  83. Weight management during the holidays
  84. Weight training
  85. Weight-loss hypnosis
  86. Weight-loss readiness
  87. Weight-loss surgery
  88. Why does diet matter after bariatric surgery?