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Many experts say it’s best to lose weight gradually. It’s more likely to stay off. If you shed pounds too fast, you’ll lose muscle, bone, and water instead of fat, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The academy’s advice: Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week, and avoid fad diets or products that make promises that sound too good to be true. It’s best to base your weight loss on changes you can stick with over time.

For faster results, you’ll need to work with a doctor to make sure that you stay healthy and get the nutrients that you need.

Make a Weight Loss Plan

You’ve probably heard the saying, “calories in, calories out” — as in, you just need to burn more calories than you eat and drink.

But it’s not that simple, as many people can tell you from their own experience.

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Nutrition and exercise are both important when trying to lose weight. Eating fewer calories has a bigger immediate impact, but staying active will help you keep the pounds off. And, of course, exercise has major benefits for your body and mind whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.

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Your metabolism — how well your body turns calories into fuel — matters, too.  If you cut too many calories, you not only skimp on nutrients, you slow down your metabolism, making weight loss even harder in the long run.

There are many ways you can safely start losing weight without cutting calories too much. You could: