About Weight Loss
Obesity is a rising problem throughout much of the developed world, with the Americas and Europe topping the leader boards for weight related issues. With over 1.6 billion adults classed as overweight, and 400 million medically categorised as obese, it is not surprising that 70 percent of all women and around 30 percent of all men have, at some point, been on a weight loss diet.
Losing weight is often something that can seem daunting as individuals are sometimes not fully aware of how to lose weight safely and successfully. Quite simply, weight loss will occur if the calories being expended are greater than the calories being consumed. This can be achieved either by increasing energy output with exercise, decreasing the calories taken in by choosing healthier foods, or with a combination of both.
How to start losing weight
There are a wide variety of different specialised diets, some of which claim to shed the lbs quite rapidly. These fad diets such as the Atkins Diet have proven very popular with those wishing for speedy weight loss, but have been subject to high levels of criticism as many nutritionists deem them unhealthy and indeed unsafe due to possible side effects such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
The majority of people undertaking fad weight loss diets find them difficult to maintain long term because of unrealistic guidelines. As such, any weight lost is very likely to be regained, sometimes more. These people become what is known as ‘yo-yo dieters’. In fact, it is estimated that 97 percent of all people who have undertaken a weight loss programme gain the weight back within five years.
In order to lose the lbs and keep them off for good, it is important to follow a sensible healthy eating programme as well as a daily exercise routine. For weight loss in particular, cardio workouts such as running and cycling are a good choice. These exercises burn a lot of calories and help build muscle. Around 30 minutes per day is a good starting point.
Cutting down on fatty foods and sugary drinks and replacing them with lean meats, fruits and vegetables and sugar-free alternatives will help keep calorie intake down. It is recommended that adult females consume approximately 2000 calories per day, and adult males around 2500 per day. However, it is safe to reduce these numbers slightly when wishing to lose weight, although consuming fewer than 1100 calories per day can be detrimental to health. It is also suggested that individuals eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Some additional tricks to help on a weight loss journey are cutting out salt and drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. Salt can cause the body to retain water, leading to bloating. Keeping hydrated can encourage the body to let go of any water retention. Some nutritionists are firm believers in drinking a glass of hot water mixed with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning if wanting to lose weight as the acidity of the lemon can aid digestion. However, this method has not been medically proven as a successful weight loss technique.
There are many myths surrounding weight loss which should be ignored. One of the most common myths doing the rounds is that food should not be eaten after a certain time of day, usually early evening. As mentioned, weight loss occurs when calories expended are greater than calories consumed. A calorie is a calorie no matter what time of day. The calories of a candy bar do not double after 6pm!
However a person chooses to lose weight, it is important to have reasonable expectations. Professionals generally state that a sensible rate of loss is two lbs per week.