Losing Weight Safely

If You’re Overweight, Slim Down for Better Health
Overweight people have an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart
disease, and other illnesses. Losing weight reduces the risk. This brochure
tells you how to lose weight safely.

Ask Your Doctor About Sensible Goals

Your doctor or other health worker can help you set sensible goals based
on a proper weight for your height, build and age.
Men and very active women may need up to 2,500 calories daily. Other
women and inactive men need only about 2,000 calories daily. A safe plan
is to eat 300 to 500 fewer calories a day to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.

Exercise 30 Minutes

Do at least 30 minutes of exercise, like brisk walking, most days of the
week. The idea is to use up more calories than you eat. You need to use up
the day’s calories and some of the calories stored in your body fat.

Eat Less Fat and Sugar

This will help you cut calories. Fried foods and fatty desserts can quickly
use up a day’s calories. And these foods may not provide the other
nutrients you need.
Make sure your other foods that day are low in fat and calories.

Eat a Wide Variety Of Foods

Variety in the diet helps you get all the vitamins and other nutrients you

Watch Out for Promises of Quick And Easy Weight Loss

Fad diets aren’t good because they often call for too much or too little of
one type of food. As a result, you may not get important nutrients you
need daily.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.

What About Diet Pills?

Diet pills you buy without a prescription won’t make a big difference in
how much you lose each week or how long you keep the weight off. If you
do use them, read the label carefully. Because of possible side effects, like
high blood pressure, never take more than the listed dose.

Also, be careful about taking cough or cold medicines with diet pills you
buy without a prescription. These medicines may contain the same drug
used in diet pills, or a similar drug with the same effects. If you take both
products together, you may get too much of the same type of drug. This
can hurt you.
Before taking a cough or cold medicine while using diet pills, ask your
pharmacist if it’s OK.
Prescription diet pills may help some people. If you use them, follow the
doctor’s directions carefully.

Before Signing Up for a Weight-Loss Program, ask Questions

Does the Company:
• Explain possible health risks from weight loss?
• Explain all costs?
• Include weight control over a long time?
• Have proof of success, not just praise by other people?
• Give a clear, truthful statement of how you’re going to lose weight, including how much and how fast?
• Teach how to eat healthfully and exercise more?

For More Information

If you have questions, you can call your nearest FDA office. Look for the
number in the blue pages of the telephone book.
Or, call the FDA’s toll-free number: 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)
Or look online at www.fda.gov
the Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services that makes sure foods are safe, wholesome and honestly



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