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Losing weight for health

Legs standing on scale

Exercise is a very important part of both reaching a healthy weight and keeping yourself at a healthy weight. You can use our BMI calculator to find a healthy weight range for you. If your goal is to lose weight, it is important to know that success results from setting realistic goals and expectations. If you set realistic goals for yourself, chances are, you will be more likely to meet them and keep the weight off. Take a close look at your weight and think about how much you really need to lose to be healthy. Think about your goals for losing weight. Ask yourself this question:

How much weight do I expect to lose?

Setting a weight loss goal is tricky. Some teens use a chart to find their "ideal weight" and decide that is where they want their weight to be — even though it might be a huge challenge. Some decide that they want to be the same weight as someone else in high school or a celebrity. Others decide they want to lose weight in time for swimsuit season, even if it’s only one month away. Setting a goal to lose too much weight or to lose weight too quickly usually results in frustration and negative feelings. Some of these feelings include: self-doubt, anger, hurt, and the feeling that trying to lose weight wasn't worth the effort.

You also need to think about why you are overweight. Your weight is the result of several factors:

  • How much and what kinds of food you eat
  • Whether your lifestyle includes regular exercise
  • Whether you use food to respond to stress and other situations in your life (you eat to make yourself feel better)
  • Overweight or obesity runs in your family
  • Your age and health status

Successful weight loss should address all of these factors. Talk to your doctor or school nurse about developing a healthy eating and exercise plan that is right for you.

If you are still growing, weight control may help you improve your BMI over time. Weight control is different than weight loss. A person controlling her weight would stay at the same weight over time while she continued to grow taller. Over time, this could improve your body mass.


Content last reviewed October 09, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013