How much weight should I lose if I am obese?

Nicole Florence, MD
Internal Medicine
Everyone has different starting points and therefore may initially have different goals. Ideally, a healthy person will have a BMI (body mass index) between 18-25. There are other goals that may be just as important.  Improved cholesterol, adequate diabetes management, and overall improved quality of life may be just as important goals.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

At times, the difference between what you weigh and what you want to weigh can seem insurmountable. You’re not alone in your frustration. The average American woman has a BMI of 28, which is overweight - nearly obese. Her waist  measures 37 inches, almost 5 inches too wide, and she weighs nearly 165 pounds. In 1960, the average American woman’s weight was 140 pounds. If we continue at this rate, in the next 50 years, your daughter or granddaughter will weigh 190 pounds.

America is in need of a lifestyle change. It can be intimidating; however, the benefits of weight loss aren’t reserved for those who drop 30, 50 or 100 pounds. By losing just 10 pounds, you can prevent [MS1] deadly illness, alleviate daily pain, and improve your quality of life.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Obesity

When your 401(k) Gets Smaller, This Gets Bigger
When your 401(k) Gets Smaller, This Gets Bigger
If tough economic times have turned zipping up your jeans into Mission Impossible, you're not alone. New data is more revealing than most celebs' Osca...
Read More
What are the risks of morbid obesity?
Parham Doctors' Hospital - HCA VirginiaParham Doctors' Hospital - HCA Virginia
Morbid obesity presents significant health risks. It also opens the door for co-morbid conditions su...
More Answers
What respiratory problems are associated with obesity?
Dr. Michael T. Murray, NDDr. Michael T. Murray, ND
Sleep apnea, a condition in which people stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep througho...
More Answers
What Are the Healthcare Costs of Obesity?
What Are the Healthcare Costs of Obesity?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.