Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Even a modest weight loss of 5 to 10% of a person's body weight will significantly reduce his or her risk for obesity-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Thus, weight loss is important, even if you don't lose enough to achieve a normal range BMI or waist circumference.
To maintain weight, you must balance the calories you eat with the energy you use. Therefore, to lose weight, you must use more energy than you take in. In other words, you create a negative energy balance by eating less and moving more. Because you will need more calories than you are taking in, your body will get those needed calories by burning those stored in your body in the form of fat. This is how weight loss will occur.
If you would like to lose weight, a good goal is to decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories per day. This will lead to an average weight loss of one pound per week. A safe rate of weight loss should not exceed 1% of your current body weight per week, roughly one to three pounds a week.
A reasonable calorie goal for weight loss for most women is to take in 1,200 calories per day. Men should take in 1,600 calories per day. Going below these recommendations is not considered safe without medical supervision.
Unfortunately, you can't change your metabolism. Instead, you need to be physically active to burn more calories. All physical activity burns calories. And, physical activity helps to maintain your muscle mass, which also helps your body use calories.