What activities can help with weight loss?

Don Patterson, MD
Internal Medicine
Once you're following a healthy food plan focused on fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, the following activities will help support your weight loss:
  • Good quality sleep: People who sleep less than seven hours a night are more likely to be overweight or obese. New evidence shows improving your sleep contributes to weight loss.
  • Exercise: Getting 30 minutes of physical exercise most days of the week not only burns calories, it lowers stress, boosts your mood, improves self-esteem and boosts energy.
  • Stress management: Don't let stress trigger old overeating habits; instead use exercise to manage stress and burn more calories.  
  • Goal setting: Set small, realistic health and exercise goals that are within your reach. Once you've achieved a nice set of wins you can up the ante and set longer-term, more ambitious goals. 

Stay active throughout your day! Research shows that regular physical activity is associated with a healthier body weight. Some individuals may need to devote 45 minutes or more in moderate-intensity activities daily to prevent overweight or to aid in weight loss for those who need to lose weight. Regular physical activity can also displace sedentary activity such as watching TV, which can also lead to mindless snacking.

A way to assess if you are incorporating enough physical activity into your day is to count your steps with a pedometer. Research suggests that accumulating 10,000 steps daily, which is the equivalent of walking 5 miles, can help reduce the risk of becoming overweight.

James O. Hill
Nutrition & Dietetics
All types of physical activity boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. Gardening, vacuuming, and taking out the garbage all count. Every step counts, too: To lose weight effectively, you want to make sure you're taking 11,000 to 12,000 steps a day (or 5.5 to 6 miles).

Continue Learning about Weight Loss Strategies

Weight Loss Strategies

Weight Loss Strategies

Everyone has opinions on how to lose weight – everything from Pilates to supplements to sleeping sans pajamas has been touted as an effective weight loss strategy. It's all about discovering what works for you. For some people, th...

e community support found on social media or in support groups for weight loss is an effective tool, while others benefit from the tried and true method of working up a daily sweat. Whatever strategy you choose, the key is finding something that you can stick with that works for your lifestyle.

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.