Intentional weight loss is reducing the overall mass of ones body through efforts aimed at improving physical fitness and health, or at changing ones appearance by dieting. Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of total body mass, either through a net loss of fluid, body fat , or lean body mass . Unintentional weight loss may result from a nutritionally inadequate diet relative to the persons energy needs . Disease processes, changes in metabolism, hormonal changes, medications or other treatments, changes in dietary intake related to the illness or treatment, or reduced appetite related to the illness or treatment may also lead to unintentional weight loss. This type of eating pattern may even impact our overall health: merely undergoing one cycle of losing and gaining weight may lead to increased risk for heart disease . Dieting can be detrimental, as our bodies react to these periods of semi-starvation by decreasing their metabolic rates. Diets with reduced calories may also cause weight loss, and are easier to sustain over long periods. If you are not losing weight or are following a calorie-restricted diet, counting calories can be helpful. Note that eating too few calories may be dangerous and less effective at losing weight. Exercise may help burn the extra calories that you cannot reduce with diet alone. By lifting weights, you will burn off lots of calories and keep your metabolism from slacking, a common side effect of losing weight . While it is possible to lose weight without exercising, a combination of regular physical activity plus caloric restriction may help to give you an advantage when it comes to losing weight. Some people may need more physical activity than that in order to lose weight and keep it off. If you are carrying excess weight, changing how you eat and increasing physical activity, in a way you can keep up for a long time, is the best way to lose and keep off the weight. Remember, the best way to lose weight is to do so slowly, making small, attainable changes in your eating and physical activity habits. The smart answer to losing excess body fat is to make healthy, small changes to your eating and exercise habits. The least intrusive methods for losing body fat, and those that are recommended the most frequently, are dietary changes and increased physical activity, usually exercise. The basis for successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorically controlled diet combined with increased physical activity. For instance, 7.2 kilograms of weight loss was achieved at 6-month and 3-year follow-up, with a combination of physical activity and reduced-calorie diets and changes in lifestyle . In an analysis of data from the National Weight Control Registry, Klem and colleagues found that weight loss achieved by exercising, eating wisely, reducing dietary fat intake, and changing personal behaviors can be maintained over a prolonged period. For instance, the National Weight Control Registryexternal icon notes that trial participants who maintained a substantial weight loss reported improvements in physical health, as well as in energy levels, physical mobility, overall mood, and confidence. In making its recommendations, the American Heart Association reviewed clinical trials involving nearly 52,000 midlife women comparing different behavioral interventions to no interventions to prevent weight gain and obesity. Although exercise programs may lead to average weight reductions of 2 to 3 kg over the short-term , results improved substantially when physical activity was combined with nutritional interventions. Exercise also provides a number of health benefits, including improving your mood, strengthening the cardiovascular system, and lowering blood pressure. Instead of saying, I have 25 pounds to lose, and overwhelming yourself with a seemingly impossible goal, consider the health benefits that may result from even moderate weight loss. It is not enough to just eat healthier foods and exercise for a few weeks, or even months, if you want to maintain your weight successfully over the long haul. It may be hard to stick with low-carb dieting as well, potentially leading to yo-yo dieting and reduced success at maintaining healthy weight. While many of these diets can help you drop weight when you are following them, once you return to your normal lifestyle, weight will begin creeping back. Dieting can be frustrating, and it makes you hungry, so you are constantly thinking about food, which is just the opposite of what you want while trying to lose weight. You can lose 5-10 pounds - and sometimes much more - during the first week on a diet plan, then steadily drop off thereafter. Generally, in order to lose 1-2 pounds per week, you will need to burn 500-1,000 calories more each day than you consume, via a calorie-restricted diet and regular physical activity. Summary It is possible to lose a substantial amount of weight with low carb or lower calorie diets, but the rate depends on the individual. A 1 kg weight loss has been associated with an approximately 1 millimetre decrease in blood pressure. According to Harvard Health, the idea that metabolism is a key to weight is part fact and part myth, because although metabolism does indeed influence weight loss, outside forces like diet and exercise exert equal influence. However, there are a few strategies that are supported by science and actually do affect weight control. More recently, behavior approaches have been used together with low-calorie diets, medical nutritional therapy, nutritional education, exercise programs, tracking, medication, and social support to help with weight loss, and as part of maintenance programs. These strategies include exercise, monitoring caloric intake, intermittent fasting, and reductions in the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. Sharing these insights with your healthcare team can be helpful when making decisions to modify your diet. If you would rather keep your weight-loss plan to yourself, keep accountable to yourself by having regular weigh-ins, recording your progress on your diet and exercise in a journal, or tracking your progress using digital tools.