How to lose weight healthily: diet, exercise, medicine and more

In theory, looking at it very simplistically, losing weight is easy. Calories come in, calories  come out. If you spend more than you consume, the weight decreases.

Calories are the body’s energy unit. They spend themselves on all the actions of the organism and movements of the body and we supply ourselves with food.

If you consume  more than you spend, your body accumulates what is left over in the form of fat. This is so  that, in case one day he lacks food, he has nowhere to draw energy to continue living.

To lose weight, we need to consume less than we spend, so the body uses fat reserves and slims.

But unfortunately we have a lot of variables to consider and it gets a lot more complicated than that.

How do we spend energy?

To lose weight, spending more energy than we consume is the main point. To learn how to do this, we need to know how our energy is spent. There are three ways to spend energy: basal expenditure, digestion and physical expenditure.

Basal energy expenditure (GEB)

Basal energy expenditure is the energy that we spend effortlessly over the course of 24 hours. These are the calories that the body consumes to maintain vital functions and allow us to live.

Thinking, pumping blood, breathing, performing inflammatory and healing processes, sending electrical impulses… all of this goes into the basal energy expenditure.


Breaking food into several smaller particles is essential. It is the way the body uses to transform the piece of bread you ate in the morning into energy so that your lungs can breathe. And it consumes energy.

To process food, your body needs to use calories, thereby achieving more in the process.

Physical expenses

Literally everything else comes in here. Cycling uses calories. Walking uses up calories. Balancing yourself uses up calories. Even typing your name on a keyboard goes into physical caloric expenditure.

Any daily activity, from the simplest to the most intense physical exercises, is included in the physical expense. Remembering that the greater the effort and the physical activity practiced, the greater your caloric need.

How many calories do we spend?

Physical exercise is one of the most suitable ways to lose weight as it increases your energy expenditure.

Running for an hour takes approximately 500 kcal; climbing the stairs takes 2 kcal per step. Certainly, exercising helps you lose weight. Only it helps less than we would like.

Studies indicate that the caloric expenditure of our body is done, for the most part, by the basal expenditure . While digestion uses approximately 10% of the energy we consume, only 60% to 70% of it is spent, due to our metabolism. This leaves physical exercises with only 20% to 30% of expenses.

The problem is that while we can increase the amount of energy expended in exercise, we have no control over how many calories are burned by the basal expenditure.

He is responsible for most of these expenses, making physical activities a fundamental differential for weight loss.

While we can only control up to 30% of how much we spend, with increased care, we end up having more control over how much we consume.

How much weight is healthy to lose?

Losing weight is not always suitable for the health of the body. In addition to consulting a doctor and nutritionist, you can calculate your Body Mass Index ( BMI ) to find out what is the ideal weight for your height.

It is recommended that your BMI be between 18 and 25. Below 18, you are underweight. Above 25, overweight.

Your BMI can be calculated using the following formula:

The healthiest BMI is between 22 and 25, so if you are among these numbers, you don’t need to lose any weight.

If you are over 25, you may want to lose a little, as this has several health benefits.

Maybe not, because BMI has a little problem.

It uses few variables. This means that it does not consider, for example, the individualities of each body, physical conditions, bone complexion, body composition and exercise habits.

A person who weighs 70 kg and does weight training is likely to have less body fat than a sedentary person at 60 kg.

This difference in weight will cause the BMI to be higher, but the person is not necessarily less healthy for that reason.

People who practice weight training can have a healthy level of body fat even with BMIs that reach 26 or even 27.

Therefore, do not take BMI as the main measure for the health of your weight, use it only as an approximation and seek a doctor or nutritionist to carry out the real calculation of your needs.

How to lose weight with health?

Our exercises form a relevant representative part of caloric expenditure. However, although it is important, it is not in exercises that our only focus should be when we want to lose weight. We must pay attention, mainly, to food. She who will make the biggest difference.

It is not that it is impossible to lose weight on the basis of exercise alone. Only, in general, it is much slower and more difficult.

Exercises represent only 30% of our caloric expenditure, but food is 100% of our caloric consumption.

This means that in order to lose weight we must reduce the volume and improve the quality of what we eat.

Controlling your diet, eating balanced meals, using more calories than you eat will generate a calorie deficit, and this is the quickest and easiest way to lose weight in a healthy way.

One of the main difficulties in losing weight is not to exercise, but to hold back the desire to eat more when energy expenditure increases.

One of the most important things to lose weight and maintain weight is to improve your eating habits. Without it, even if you manage to lose weight, the chances of regaining it are high.

It is important to note, however, that diet is not the only  factor that influences weight.

Hormonal changes and pathologies (such as hyper and hypothyroidism) can modify the mechanisms of weight loss, so medical and nutritional monitoring  is always essential.

Take care of eating habits

Watch. Even if it is not purposeful, you probably have a dietary pattern.

Perhaps he is well regulated and you always have breakfast followed by lunch at noon and with dinner at approximately 7 pm, or you may skip breakfast altogether, but snack on treats throughout the afternoon. Maybe you stay up at dawn and have something to eat at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Our habits are mostly mechanical and unconscious and we don’t always notice this dynamic.

Eating behavior is the main influence of your weight. If you change your habits, your weight will certainly change as well.

Do exercises

This text has already made it very clear that food makes more difference in your weight than exercise, but we cannot ignore them. Exercising increases your caloric expenditure, in addition to bringing several other health benefits.

In the pursuit of healthy weight, exercise cannot be left out. They guarantee a stronger heart, healthy muscles and improve metabolism. Despite not being the main actor in weight loss, physical exercise is an important adjunct!

Sleep well

Sleep is extremely important for health and also influences metabolism. Sleeping between 6 to 8 hours a night ensures that your body will be well rested, functioning properly.

Lack of sleep causes metabolism problems, in addition to affecting other areas of health, including mood and appetite.

Control stress

There are studies that link stress and bad mood with lack of satiety and desire to eat by releasing a hormone – cortisol.

Cortisol increases hunger and reduces the feeling of satiety, increases the absorption of fat in the abdominal region, and causes people to have less control over their diet.

Tips for changing habits

Changing habits is not an easy task. Perhaps you have had them for a whole decade and it is very complicated to change all of that. But there are a few steps you can take to make the transition easier.

Remember that this is not a diet that will end and you will be able to eat as before. It is a change in habits. A true Food Reeducation .

The plan here is to change the way you relate to food, so that when you reach your goal, you don’t even have to think to maintain it.

Ah, one more thing. Start now. Do not wait for the ideal moment or the motivation to come, because it will not happen. You can adjust the details along the way, but it is important to get started.

Have a food diary (logging)

Registering each of your data is one of the most important steps. You can use a notebook and pen, your mobile phone or one of the several existing measure counter applications for this, for example MyFitnessPal .

There you can record your current weight, your goal, how much you consume per day, how much you spend per day, whether you would like to lose, gain or maintain weight and various other information that will help.

The application calculates how many calories you should consume per day to reach your goal, in addition to helping in the caloric calculation of each meal.

This record is extremely important because you need to know exactly what you are doing, how many calories you are eating and how many you are spending. It is also important as it is a step towards losing weight.

In the first week you don’t even have to make changes to your habits. The goal is to get used to recording, to always follow. Knowing about your habits and which ones will be changed is the most important.

What to write down?

Some things are important to write down: what did you eat, at what time, how much, why did you eat (hunger? Anxiety ? Boredom?) And how you felt after eating. If possible, the amount of calories is also important.

Having this information can help you identify patterns that can be changed over the course of days so that your diet becomes more balanced over time.


Decide how much you want to lose and how you want to lose. You don’t need to set a time limit, just take the step and decide what your goal is. It is with this in mind that you will work.

Apps will help you to define how much you are eating and then set a goal and reduce the amount of food or make healthier choices. It will serve as a record and you will know exactly how much you are reducing.

Follow your plan . Decide how much you will reduce per week (without exaggeration!) And do not break these numbers. If you follow your plan, it is only a matter of time before the scale shows smaller numbers.

Remember that each body is a body and the applications may not be 100% correct as yours, so to know about your caloric expenditure, a visit to the nutritionist is recommended.

Don’t go hungry

You don’t have to be in a hurry. Losing real and healthy can take a while, but it is long lasting. If you lose weight too fast, you risk suffering from the rebound effect , which causes your body, when feeling hungry, to stock more of what you eat.

The rebound effect is a mechanism by the body to compensate for a radical change. If there is a very big change in diet and consequent weight reduction, the body compensates, slowing down the metabolism so that this change is less.

Your body doesn’t want food to be lacking. The result is weight recovery after the end of the diet.

In addition, losing weight too quickly can lead to several health problems, such as cholelithiasis ( gallbladder stone ), anxiety and so on.

Gradually reduce the amount of food. Instead of removing 600 calories in one day, remove 100. Instead of eliminating a meal, reduce it. Avoid skipping meals.

Maintaining the diet routine is very important to accelerate the speed of metabolism.

Starving is not going to help you create a habit. Losing weight in a healthy way is to make your body accept and work well with less food.

Do not give up

Eating less is easy. Refusing that extra piece of pizza or drinking a glass of water instead of soda is not the most difficult thing in the world. The hard part is doing it every time, every day. But it gets easier.

The most important thing to lose weight is not to give up . Even on days when it is difficult to choose more natural foods, even on days when you slip and don’t follow your plans, don’t give up. Just continue your dietary reeducation, as eating should not be a bad or painful process.

As long as you are registering and working hard, you have not given up on bringing more health into your life.

It is important to remember that healthy weight loss involves better food choices that result not only in aesthetics, but in an organism functioning properly.

Avoid weight loss diets

The truth is that most diets work to make you lose weight through sacrifice, suffering, starvation. The result is that the person loses weight fast, but we have already seen what happens.

When a diet is followed, especially the more restrictive ones, the body seeks to compensate when it regains access to food. It absorbs what it can, you are more eager to eat and lose less calories due to basal expenditure, in addition to disrupting metabolic functions.

In addition, all the suffering caused by these diets, which suddenly cut half of your daily caloric intake, does not make it easy to stay on track, ceasing to be sustainable.

Weight loss diets without professional accompaniment bring rapid, dangerous and often temporary weight loss.

Their biggest flaw is that many do not strive to create a healthy and accessible habit for the person who tries to join.

Losing weight is difficult because changing habits is difficult, but once this challenge is overcome, your ideal weight and easy maintenance is within reach.

Make healthy choices

Replacing foods is much easier than removing them from the menu. Exchange something greasy for a vegetable during dinner. Exchange the cheese bread for an apple for breakfast. Gradually reduce the calories ingested.

Instead of eating a packet of biscuits (or biscuits) in the afternoon, choose a fruit. Take a walk instead of watching a video on YouTube. It’s the little things that together make the difference.

What to eat to lose weight with health?

To lose weight well and in a healthy way, using a ready-made menu from the internet is certainly not the best idea. Adapting your diet according to your needs is better, which is why individualization is so important.

Reduce your intake a little bit a week without making any sudden changes, and your weight will steadily drop so that you may not even feel it. Respect your limits!

Below, some food tips that can help you lose weight in several ways, making your diet healthier.


The fibers are of great help for weight loss and control of food, since they give a greater feeling of satiety. Among the various foods that contain fiber are:

  • Mango;
  • Brown rice;
  • Rye;
  • Wheat;
  • Oat;
  • Bean;
  • Lentil;
  • Linseed.

Thermogenic foods

Certain foods are considered thermogenic. This means that they help to speed up the metabolism and make the body produce more heat, making the energy spent by the body more. Remember: if you have high blood pressure or heart problems, these foods are not indicated.

Thermogenic foods include:

  • Ginger;
  • Chili;
  • Cinnamon;
  • Coffee;
  • Apple vinegar.

Read more: Pitaya: what are the benefits of “dragon fruit” and how to eat


Hibiscus tea is touted as a drink that favors weight loss by helping to eliminate fats. It does this by reducing the conversion of calories to lipid cells, which inhibits the body’s ability to store fats.

In addition to hibiscus tea, other teas have slimming effects. Examples include ginger tea and green tea, which are known to enhance fat burning.

Weight loss menu

To put together a menu, it is important to know what types of food you plan on having on it. Modifying your own current menu is the easiest, but that alone shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.

After analyzing your own eating patterns, you should start to change them gradually.

Replacing a portion of french fries with sautéed vegetables at one of the meals of the day can help you get started, but gradually, you should aim for a healthier, lower-calorie menu.

For this, it is recommended to consult a nutritionist . Only the professional can say with certainty what your body’s real caloric need is and tell you which foods are right for you.

Read more: What is the Food Pyramid? Types (Brazilian), benefits and groups

However, some tips you can take are the following:


For breakfast, look for whole grains and cereals. Oats, for example, contain nutrients and fiber. Fruits are also recommended because of their nutritional benefits and eggs have the necessary proteins for your body.


For lunch, you can get lean meats, salads, whole grains and avoid fried foods. This will give you the energy you need for the day without overdoing it, preventing fat from accumulating. Follow your nutritionist’s instructions.


Dinner should be a small meal. As the meal is followed by the night, a time when most people sleep, it is indicated that there is not much caloric intake, as it can impair the quality of sleep. Prefer light foods.


At mealtimes, also give preference to food in small portions. Fruits, seeds and nuts are good options to kill hunger at these times. Remember that spending too many hours without eating can also disrupt the diet and reduce the speed of metabolism.

Weight Loss Exercises

Exercises represent a smaller portion of your caloric expenditure, it is true. But it is still a considerable part. They are an adjunct that helps you lose weight.

Although food influences your weight more than exercise, the combination of both practices facilitates the process, in addition to bringing health benefits that go beyond weight loss.

Exercising improves health as a whole, while releasing endorphins that reduce anxiety, improves joint health, facilitates adherence to healthy habits, increases metabolic speed and improves body composition (reduces fat mass and increases lean mass ).

Here are some exercises that can help you:

  • Walk;
  • Race;
  • Pilates;
  • Swimming.

The intensity also makes a difference. High intensity exercises, burn more calories and are more efficient for weight loss.

Read more:  Exercises to lose belly: how to do, aerobic and abdominal

But don’t overdo it, there are two extremely important factors to take care of. Caloric compensation and metabolism.

Caloric compensation

There are studies that show that when exercising, especially the most intense ones, your body looks for ways to compensate for this caloric loss. He doesn’t want to help you lose weight, it’s not safe for him.

That is why after a physical exercise, you may decide to use the elevator instead of stairs, or spend a lot of time resting, instead of standing as you would be without the exercises.

Even food is affected. First you can be more hungry. In addition, it is possible that you take a larger portion than normal without even realizing it after an intense exercise session.

So, after losing 300 calories on the bike, it is possible that you spend less energy for the rest of the day and eat more, throwing all the effort into the air.


In Tanzania, a country in East Africa, there are the Hadza people. It is widely studied for being a people without obesity and the last group of hunter-gatherers. Their food is not based on agriculture, but on plants that are born naturally and in the hunting of animals in the region.

They spend all day in activity, run, walk, hunt. It is to be expected that everyone is thin and that their caloric expenditure is high. The first information is true, everyone is thin. But studies show that the average Hadza caloric expenditure is roughly the same as that of people who work in offices all day.

Despite the huge amount of extra exercise they do, there is no difference between calorie expenditure. One of the theories as to why this happens is in the adaptation of the body.

The organisms of this people are so used to exercising and spending energy on it that they save it on other activities.

Metabolism gets used to and adapts to the amount of exercise you do. That is why, after a certain point, exercising more will not increase the amount of calories expended as a whole.

The stimuli that we give to the organism must be constantly changed and updated.

How do the Hadza stay slim? They eat less. Despite having an energy expenditure that is equivalent to that of all other peoples in the world, they are not obese because their eating habits are balanced.

Weight Loss Remedies

Some situations may require medicine to lose weight, specifically in cases of obesity that represent a risk of death for the patient.

Weight loss drugs have side effects that can be dangerous, so they should only be used when a doctor tells you to .

The action of the weight loss medicine depends on the medicine used. Some reduce anxiety that can lead to hunger, others can directly inhibit appetite and there are still those that change the metabolism, causing the body to burn more energy.


NEVER  self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Risks of losing weight fast

Losing weight fast is relative. What can be fast for one person can be slow for another. However, there is a limit to the healthy.

Do not try to lose 5kg in a week. This is not only super difficult (at least for the vast majority of the population) but extremely damaging.

It is possible, but it exposes you to risks, both of health, and of putting on weight again soon after.

It is recommended to aim at 500g to 1000g per week. This rhythm is not too slow and at the same time it is comfortable, allowing your body to adapt to the reduction of caloric intake little by little, creating a new eating habit.

Losing weight too quickly can have the following consequences:

Put on weight again

The most efficient way to lose weight is to eat less. If you start eating very little overnight, your body will use the energy reserves it has and you will lose a lot of weight very quickly.

The problem is that when you start eating again, even a little, the body will make the most of it.

When we have plenty of food, the body keeps as much as it can and sends the rest away through feces and urine. But when food is lacking, anything may be needed, so the body makes the most of the calories ingested and throws less material away, which facilitates weight gain.

In addition, overly restricted diets are difficult to maintain, as mood is altered by eating very differently than usual and stress can facilitate overeating.

Read more: What is Binge eating, symptoms, remedies, how to treat?


Losing too much weight quickly also causes a reduction in fluids. The gallbladder is an organ that aids in digestion and, inside it, there is bile, a concentrated liquid made up of several compounds.

When you lose too much weight too fast, the bile loses water and becomes the so-called bile mud.

It is a half-liquid-half-solid state of bile, and when there is bile mud, you are one step closer to developing cholelithiasis, called gallbladder stones.

Gallbladder stones can be extremely painful, and in most cases diagnosed, surgery is required to remove the organ.


Accelerated weight loss can cause problems for the skin. The lack of nutrients, such as vitamin C, can leave the skin limp and without elasticity, since this vitamin is used for the synthesis of collagen, an essential material for all tissues of the body.

In the same way, hair and nails can become weakened and fall out.


The lack of calories and other nutrients present in the diet can cause weakness in the body and decrease the oxygenation of muscle cells and the brain.

This is a problem especially in extremely restrictive diets, in which the person stops eating an important group of foods overnight.

Liver problems

The liver can become overloaded when too much weight is lost quickly. The body does not have time to adapt to the new condition and problems can arise in this and other organs.

Immunity reduction

The immune system depends a lot on nutrition. If many elements of it are removed at once, the immune system can be weakened and the person can develop infections, even severe and dangerous.


Malnutrition of all types can occur, either for lack of calories, or for lack of nutrients, minerals and vitamins . The patient can develop scurvy, anemia and other conditions because of this.

The best way to lose weight is dedication. Gradually reducing the amount of calories you eat a day means that you can lose weight steadily, healthy and without much suffering.

Remember to write down and record each food and seek professional nutritional monitoring.

Share this text with your friends to let them know how to lose weight in a healthy way!