Overweight

Your Weight and Your Risk

Being overweight raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It can cause other problems, too, like high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood glucose (sugar). Losing weight can help you prevent and manage these problems. And you don't have to lose a lot of weight. Even losing 10-15 pounds can make a big difference.

Getting Started

Weight loss can be hard because it means making changes in the way you eat and in your physical activity. Losing weight also takes time — and that can be frustrating. The good news is that you can lose weight and keep it off, even if you've never done it before.

Here's what works for people who have lost weight and kept it off:

  • They cut back on calories and fat.
  • They're physically active most days of the week.
  • They eat breakfast every day.
  • They keep a record of their weight, what they eat and drink, and what they do for physical activity.
  • It's much easier to lose weight when you change the way you eat and also increase your activity. 

Learn more about changing habits, making healthier food choices, and getting started with physical activity.

Small Steps

Most people find it's easier to tackle changes in a few small steps instead of all at once. Set realistic goals within a timeframe that works for you. Learn more about making realistic, achievable goals.

Keep a Record

Many people find that writing everything down helps keep them on target. Try it even just for a week or two, to get an idea of where you stand.

Keep a small notebook with you all day. Write down everything you eat and drink, including the serving size. Some people set target levels for calories or grams of fat and keep track of their daily totals.

Make a note of what kind of physical activity you do and for how long. It may also help to write down other information, like when or where you exercised, who you exercised with, or how you felt before, during or after exercise.

Check your weight once a week and write it down, or use your clothes as a measure of weight loss.

Your Support System

Many people find it helpful to meet, online or in person, with people who are also trying to lose weight. Think about joining a group for weight loss, exercise or general support. Or create your own support system by talking with friends and family about your successes and your struggles. You may be surprised at how supportive they will be.

Find a walking buddy or friends who also want to improve their health. Then work together to reach your goals.

Learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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  • Last Reviewed: October 7, 2013
  • Last Edited: April 18, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast