The Basics: Overview
To stay at a healthy weight, balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn (use up). Calories are a measure of the energy in the foods you eat. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat.
A healthy diet and physical activity can help you control your weight. You burn more calories when you are physically active.
How do I know if I’m at a healthy weight?
Finding out your Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best way to learn if you are at a healthy weight. Use this Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to find out your BMI and what it means for you.
- If you are overweight or obese, you can lose weight by getting more physical activity and eating fewer calories.
- If you are already at a healthy weight, keep getting regular physical activity and eating the right number of calories.
How do I know if I’m eating the right number of calories?
Use this Daily Food Plan tool to find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
The Basics: Health Benefits
What can losing weight do for me?
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can lower your risk for serious health conditions like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Early death
When you move more and eat healthy foods, you can:
- Lower your blood pressure
- Lower your blood sugar
- Raise your “good” cholesterol
- Lower your “bad” cholesterol
- Have more energy during the day
You may start to see these health benefits by losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, this would mean losing 10 to 20 pounds.