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If You Need to Lose Weight

Many people are not sure how much weight they should lose. Weight loss of only 5–10 percent of body weight may improve many of the problems associated with overweight, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Even a smaller weight loss can make a difference.

If you are trying to lose weight, do so slowly and steadily. A generally safe rate is l/2–l pound a week until you reach your goal. Avoid crash weight-loss diets that severely restrict calories or the variety of foods. Extreme approaches to weight loss, such as self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives, amphetamines, or diuretics, are not appropriate and can be dangerous to your health.

Exercise Guidelines

It is best to accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most—preferably all—days of the week. Examples of moderate physical activities for healthy adults include:

  • walking briskly (3–4 m.p.h.)
  • home care, general cleaning
  • mowing lawn, power mower
  • home repair, painting
  • jogging
  • cycling, moderate speed (<= 10 m.p.h.)
  • swimming (moderate effort)
  • conditioning or general calisthenics
  • table tennis
  • golf (pulling cart or carrying clubs)
  • fishing, standing/casting
  • canoeing leisurely (2–4 m.p.h.)
  • dancing

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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