Recommendations Summary

Adult Weight Management (AWM) Realistic Weight Goal Setting

Click here to see the explanation of recommendation ratings (Strong, Fair, Weak, Consensus, Insufficient Evidence) and labels (Imperative or Conditional). To see more detail on the evidence from which the following recommendations were drawn, use the hyperlinks in the Supporting Evidence Section below.

  • Recommendation(s)

    AWM: Realistic Weight Goals

    Individualized goals of weight loss therapy should be to reduce body weight at an optimal rate of 1-2 lbs per week for the first 6 months and to achieve an initial weight loss goal of up to 10% from baseline. These goals are realistic, achievable, and sustainable.

    Rating: Strong

    • Risks/Harms of Implementing This Recommendation


    • Conditions of Application

      No conditions specified.

    • Potential Costs Associated with Application


    • Recommendation Narrative

      • Overweight and obese patients in well-designed programs can achieve a weight loss of as much as 10% of baseline weight, a weight loss that can be maintained for a sustained period of time (1 year or longer).  NHLBI Evidence Category A.
      • Weight loss at the rate of 1-2 lbs per week (calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 kcal/day) commonly occurs for up to 6 months, at which point weight loss begins to plateau unless a more restrictive regimen is implemented.  NHLBI Evidence Category B.
      • The initial goal of weight loss therapy should be to reduce body weight by approximately 10% from baseline.  With success, further weight loss can be attempted if indicated through further assessment.  NHLBI Evidence Category A. 
      • Weight loss should be 1-2 lbs/week for a period of 6 months, with the subsequent strategy based on the amount of weight lost.  NHLBI Evidence Category B.

    • Recommendation Strength Rationale

      • NHLBI Evidence Categories of A and B

    • Minority Opinions

      Consensus reached.