Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can lead to better blood pressure, a decreased risk of diabetes and improved lipid levels (lower triglycerides and higher "good" HDL). Do you need to lose weight? Click here to calculate your body mass index and see if it's within the healthy range. To calculate the calories you need to maintain your weight, use this equation: your current weight (in pounds) × 12. If you subtract 500 calories per day from this number, you’ll shed about a pound a week; trim 1,000 calories and you’ll lose two pounds a week. Don’t go below 1,200 calories or you risk missing out on important nutrients.