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Ready to win at losing?

People always seem to be talking about losing weight. Yet, as a country, we just keep getting bigger. So how can we align what we want to do with what we actually do? Here are a few tips that might help.

Create a fair timeline.
You didn't put weight on all at once, so don't expect it to come off in an instant. Doctors suggest that a safe rate of weight loss is about 1/2 to 2 pounds a week.1 Any more than that isn't healthy—or sustainable.

Don't go it alone.
If you use insulin to maintain safe blood sugar levels, you'll want to talk to your doctor about how to alter your diet and activity to lose weight safely. Manipulating your insulin won't give you the long-term results you're looking for.2

Set achievable goals.
Health experts consider a 5- or 7-percent weight reduction goal over 6 months to be a realistic starting point.1 If you need to lose more than that, break your ultimate goal into several short-term goals and tackle them one at a time. Think about how you'll get there—by keeping foods that encourage you to binge out of the house? Weighing portions? Walking to work? Put your plan in writing and keep it where you can see it.

Stay in charge.
If you find yourself in a restaurant or situation you didn't expect, remember—even the most notoriously unhealthy fast-food outlets have something reasonably healthful on the menu. And even if they hand you something super-sized, you don't have to finish it all.

Be forgiving.
Why is it so easy to forgive other people, but not ourselves? If you slip a little, skip the guilt trip. Let yourself off the hook and get right back on track toward reaching your goals.

Keep your chin up.
Come at weight management with a positive frame of mind—thinking about how good you'll feel and how your efforts are paying off. Start believing you can do it, and you're more likely to be right.

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1National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Talking with patients about weight loss: tips for primary care professionals. Available at: Accessed April 6, 2016.

2Joslin Diabetes Center. Diet strategies for women with diabetes: why some work and why some don't. Available at: Accessed December 13, 2013.

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