How to Accept That You Need to Lose Weight

Two Methods:If You Need To Lose WeightIf You Are Underweight or of Average Weight

With today's society being largely focused on thin models and diet tips, it can be easy to begin to think that you're overweight and need to lose weight. In some cases, this can be true; with the so-called "obesity epidemic" and the rising weight of people around the world, too high of a weight can be dangerous. However, sometimes it can be difficult for people to know if they need to lose weight, and accept it if they do. Men and women both are prone to this; however, they can be happy, healthy people, even if they aren't on the thin side.


  1. 1
    Understand that there is a difference between wanting to lose weight and needing to lose weight. Everybody's heard that the images of models in magazines are altered to impossible standards. However, this doesn't stop people from wanting to lose weight; many people want to be thin. Many men want to be able to show off their muscles, and many women want a thigh gap. Before you start thinking, "I need to lose weight", take a step back and think: are you actually overweight, or are you simply unhappy with how you look? A BMI of "average weight" for those 20 and over is typically defined as from 18.5 to 24.9;[1][2] anything higher than 24.9 is overweight, and anything lower than 18.5 is underweight. If your BMI is between the average range, you may just be unhappy with how you look; if it dictates that you're underweight, you should not try to lose weight.
    • If you are pregnant, do not try to lose weight. Focus on that after pregnancy, not during it.
  2. 2
    Think back. Has anyone ever called you fat, and not because they know it hurts you? Have you ever been bullied for your weight? Write down all of this in a notebook. Writing all these may make you slightly emotional, but it can help you to see if this is a common theme amongst others who see you.
  3. 3
    Ask someone. Maybe ask your best friend, siblings, parents or partner if they think you need to lose weight. Tell them to be brutally honest; this answer will affect your whole weight loss plan. This is an honest approach and even though it may seem cruel, it will hopefully motivate you.
    • Pick a person who doesn't badger you all the time to lose weight. If your mother always tells you that you need to slim down, avoid asking her, as her answer would be a "yes" with no actual consideration as to your weight.
  4. 4
    Go to the doctor's. Go to your doctor and tell them your concerns. If your weight truly is a problem, they can run tests and see if they need to diagnose you with high cholesterol, diabetes, or other diseases that can stem from an unhealthy weight or eating pattern. Being overweight is dangerous, and can bring serious side effects and even early death because of the strain on your heart.
    • If your doctor says that your weight is healthy, believe them! They're not there to lie to you, and ignoring your doctor's advice will only cause you problems in the long run.

Method 1
If You Need To Lose Weight

  1. 1
    Know that you aren't "ugly" for being overweight. In this day in age, the term "overweight" is often synonymous with "fat", which is used as an insult. However, being overweight is a concern for your health, not your appearance. There's nothing wrong with not being skinny; just because you don't have "curves in all the right places" or a "muscular body" doesn't mean that you aren't healthy. And if you are overweight, don't feel pressured to lose weight to be thin; remember, weight loss is for your health, not what other people think of you.
  2. 2
    Adopt a healthy diet. Part of being overweight has to do with what you eat. You don't need to throw out all the junk food and start eating only organic, vegetarian foods; just try to make home-cooked meals more often than you eat out, and try to avoid eating prepackaged meals or snacks, even if you're strapped for time. Ask your doctor for suggestions on what you should eat and what you should avoid. Everyone has different health requirements, and different foods do different things to the body.
    • You may feel sick after switching from "bad" foods to "good" foods. This is because the body needs to adjust. Oftentimes, a swap from eating constantly salty, sugary and processed foods to more natural, healthy foods can leave people feeling sick and wanting to give up on the diet change. Push through it - it's better for you in the long run, even if you feel sick now.
    • Make sure your calorie intake is healthy. If you cut your calorie intake down to less than 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day, you're heading into dangerous territory. Eating in and of itself does not make you overweight, and humans require a basic amount of calories to live.
  3. 3
    Begin exercising. Eating habits can only do so much; you need to exercise in order to help your weight loss along. Aerobic exercises, also known as cardio exercises, are cited as the best way to burn calories, and therefore, lose weight.[3] However, you want to make sure you're exercising your entire body, not just your arms or legs. Activities such as swimming ensure that your entire body gets the workout, not just one part of you.
    • Exercises don't have to involve going to the gym! They can just be daily walks or jogs, or you can find ways to exercise at home.
    • Be careful while exercising - drink plenty of water, and if you feel a sharp pain or if you start to feel sick, stop what you're doing and rest. You don't want to injure yourself.
  4. 4
    Avoid crash diets. You may feel tempted to try out certain diets in hope that they'll make you lose weight faster. Don't. Usually, diets involve stripping your meals of certain substances, such as carbohydrates or fats, or they involve eating very little of only one kind of food. This is not good for your body; your body needs a balanced mix of nutrients to help it survive, and while removing them from your diet can result in rapid weight loss, if you go back to eating healthily again, you'll most likely gain the weight back, which is not what you want!
    • There's a difference between cutting out certain types of ingredients that are subjects of debate (for example, not eating artificial sweeteners or trans fats) and cutting out entire groups of substances that you may need (e.g. carbohydrates, fruits). Not eating sugar isn't bad for you in the same way as not eating carbohydrates is. The human body needs unsaturated fats, so don't cut those out, either![4][5]
  5. 5
    Understand there's limits to weight loss. If you're overweight, you may hope that as soon as you start eating better and working out, your weight will plummet and you'll be thin. However, it doesn't work that way. Weight loss takes time; it doesn't happen overnight, and even if you do work for a long time to lose weight, you may never be truly considered "thin". That's okay. People are built in different ways, and some people need more body fat than others. As long as your weight isn't causing you health problems, there's no need to strive to change it. Being "thin" is not as important as your health.
  6. 6
    Keep an eye out for unhealthy weight-loss habits. Sometimes, even if you start out overweight and needing to lose weight, your habits can become destructive and spiral out of control. Anyone can have an eating disorder, regardless of their weight. Keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms, and arrange an appointment with your doctor if you notice yourself behaving in any of these ways.
    • Eating minimal amounts (usually less than 1,200 calories per day, but this may depend on how active you are as well)[6][7][8]
    • Bingeing (or binging), eating a lot of food in a short period of time, even if you're not hungry;[9][10][11] sometimes accompanied by purging, which involves inducing vomiting or bowel movements[12][13][14]
    • Excessive exercise that's extremely disproportional with your calorie intake (for example, eating an apple and then working out for an hour because you ate an apple)
    • Becoming fearful of weight gain, and doing anything to avoid it
    • Keep an eye out for physical deterioration as well. If your skin is becoming pale or jaundiced, you're losing far more hair than you used to, or you feel weak and sick from your diet or exercise regimen, stop and contact your doctor. Even if you don't have an eating disorder, these are signs that something is wrong.
      • If you're female, you may experience menstrual problems or realize that your menstrual cycle has stopped entirely. This is a sign of a health problem, so take it seriously.
      • Men can have eating disorders, too, so don't assume that you're "safe" from anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders because you're a man.
  7. 7
    Love yourself. If you've been told that you're at an unhealthy weight, you may feel upset or like you're disgusting. Stop those thoughts and think positively. You're not "ugly" because you've overweight; people can be beautiful or handsome without being thin. Learn to think positively about everything about yourself, even the overweight parts or the parts that you don't like. Even just looking in the mirror and thinking a simple thought of, "You are rocking that outfit!" or "Looking good - let's go and do awesome things!" can go a long way towards building self-confidence and becoming a better you.

Method 2
If You Are Underweight or of Average Weight

  1. 1
    Take some time out for self-reflection. If you're of a healthy weight, or if you weigh too little, it's important to take some time out to think about why you saw yourself as needing to lose weight. It's fairly easy to blame the media or people who pressure you to lose weight when you don't need to, but it's possible you have some self-esteem issues that lead to this. It's good to figure out why you feel this way about yourself so you can develop into a healthier, happier person.
  2. 2
    Take a look at your eating habits. You may feel like you need to lose weight because of your eating habits. Try to analyze them closely and see what makes you think this. Do you eat poorly, with a lot of unhealthy foods in your diet? Do you have no true "schedule" for meals, and often end up just eating whenever? Some of these issues can be solved by eating healthier (even if you're in college!), or meal scheduling so that you eat the right things at the right times.
    • If your eating habits are on the extreme side, talk about them with your doctor. If you exhibit the signs of anorexia (not eating to avoid weight gain),[15][16][17] signs of bulimia (eating large amounts of food, then vomiting or using laxatives to "get rid of it"),[18][19][20] or binge eating disorder (eating large amounts of food, with no method to "purge" it like in bulimia),[21][22][23] or if your eating habits have just drastically shifted over a short period of time, see your doctor. There are descriptions of several types of eating disorders here; look through the list and see if any apply to you. If so, see your doctor.
  3. 3
    Analyze your exercise habits. Sometimes, people feel "fat" or that they need to lose weight because they eat a lot of food, and then don't work out to "make up for it". In actuality, most adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, with 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week recommended,[24] but if you're not reaching either of those, try to do so! Even without a goal of trying to lose weight, exercising can make you feel better emotionally, as well as having other health benefits, like sleeping better and energy boosts.[25]
  4. 4
    Avoid dieting. Your weight is fine. If your doctor has told you that you're of a healthy weight, or that you're underweight, there's no need for you to diet! In fact, if you're underweight, you may even be told you should be trying to gain weight, to avoid health problems that stem from being at a low weight. You don't need to cut calories or stop eating certain food groups - if you continue eating healthily and exercising regularly, your weight isn't a problem.
    • While the statistics vary depending on activity levels, height, and age, men between the ages of 18 and 40 who exercise moderately per day need an average of 2,600-2,800 calories per day; women between the ages of 18 and 40 who exercise a moderate amount per day require an average of 2,000-2,200 calories per day.[26] Your calorie intake may vary depending on your height and activity level, but it's generally best not to drop too far below this if you're of a healthy weight.
  5. 5
    Learn to love yourself. Chances are, if you thought you needed to lose weight when you don't, you probably have a problem with your self-esteem somewhere. Stop your negative thoughts about yourself and think positively about yourself, even the parts that you hate! Telling yourself that you look awesome isn't "vain"; you're building self-confidence, and it helps you to become a better and happier person in the end.


  • Your body weight does not define you as a person. If you're trying to lose weight, it should be for your own health or image, not for what other people want.
  • You can still be healthy without being thin! As long as your weight isn't preventing you from doing things you want to do and isn't causing you any health problems, you're not necessarily unhealthy. You don't have to look like a Victoria's Secret or MensHealth model to be healthy, and anyone who says you do is wrong!


  • If you feel you need to lose weight because family or friends are pressuring you to do so, while your doctor says your weight is fine, consider whether you really want to spend so much time with these friends or family. Nobody should ever pressure you to look or act a certain way.

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Categories: Losing Weight