People may decide to lose weight for a variety of reasons, such as reducing the risk of conditions associated with obesity. People can use a variety of methods to find motivation to lose weight.
According to the National Health Statistics Reports, between 2017 and 2020, the prevalence of obesity in adults aged 20 years and over in the United States was 41.9%. For severe obesity, it was 9.2%.
For adults, a BMI of 25 or more falls in the overweight range, and a BMI of 30 or more falls within the obesity range. Healthcare professionals classify a BMI of 40 or higher as severe obesity.
People should aim to maintain a moderate weight, as obesity is
This article offers tips that people can try to get motivated to lose weight. In addition, it discusses when to speak with a doctor.
Understanding the potential health implications of obesity may help motivate someone to take steps toward losing weight.
Experts advise that people who have overweight or obesity are at an increased risk of many serious health conditions and diseases,
- all causes of death (mortality)
- heart disease and stroke
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- dyslipidemia, which is abnormal levels of fatty substances, such as cholesterol, in the blood
- certain types of cancer
- sleep apnea and breathing problems
- gallbladder disease
- mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety
- pain and mobility issues
However, committing to losing weight may help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
An individual may have tried a weight loss program before and be hesitant to restart the process, or a lack of time or resources may be stopping them from trying to lose weight.
At this stage, a person may speak with a doctor about their weight to better understand their current overall health, including any conditions they may have. A healthcare professional can offer support and advice for those who want to lose weight.
Making a commitment to losing weight is necessary for someone to move from where they are currently and get started. Thinking about and listing their goals may help someone imagine their future self and motivate them to begin the process.
The study suggests that setting three goals someone wants to achieve rather than has to achieve may be beneficial. Therefore, a person may consider the positive aspects of losing weight and how it may benefit them, for example, improved overall health.
It is important to state the goals positively rather than negatively. For instance, “I want to lose weight to be able to play with my grandchildren more” is preferable to “I want to lose weight so I do not get tired while playing with my grandchildren.”
A person may try writing down their three primary goals and pinning them somewhere they will see them.
- family members
- healthcare professionals
- online weight loss groups
- in-person weight loss groups
Support may come in the form of advice, accountability to target goals, or shared interest in losing weight. For example, a person attending a training session or gym class with a friend may be more motivated to go in the first place and keep it as a regular practice.
Even a modest weight loss of
Experts advise that gradual weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week is ideal for effectively losing weight.
Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly may help someone gradually lose weight and maintain a moderate weight in the long term. A person should speak with a health professional for more advice about losing weight safely.
A doctor can provide tips on losing weight safely and effectively for people who are overweight or have obesity.
A person should avoid extreme diets that may lead to disordered eating or nutrient deficiency. If someone is preoccupied with losing weight or restricting certain foods in their diet and they are not overweight, they may wish to seek advice from a health professional.
Motivation to lose weight can vary according to each person.
A doctor’s advice to lose weight for health may be all the motivation some people need to make changes to their diet and lifestyle. For others, being more active with their family or having someone to support the weight loss process may be what encourages them.
People should speak with their doctor if they require more advice and support with losing weight or if they think they may be engaging in disordered eating behaviors.