In today’s world, weight loss has gained prominence because of its implications for people’s health and because the perception of beauty is linked to leanness. As a result of the high demand for fast weight loss, various programs and diets have come up. Each of these makes promises on quick weight loss and improved health. However, some of them can be expensive while others do not guarantee long term results as the lost weight is rapidly regained when you stop the program. Others are dangerous as they compromise health and they could even lead to death. So, with all the available weight loss programs which one should a person choose?
Medical practitioners say that to achieve the best weight loss; you should aim to eat less and exercise more. In other words, if we take in fewer calories and burn more of them, the body is forced to seek energy to burn the body fat. This in effect leads to weight loss.
However, in dieting, we should be careful to follow a diet that does not deprive the body of the nutrients it needs even as we reduce the calories we take in. Furthermore, the diet should be filling so that you don’t feel hungry. Lastly, it should be interesting enough so that you don’t get put off by bland meals.
It is therefore recommended that to diet safely, you put the following things in mind.
• Eat more vegetables: this is to make sure you increase the fiber intake. This will make you feel full and improve the quality of nutrients that the body needs. You will also need to study the different ways of preparing vegetables. Some can be taken raw while others have their nutritional quality enhanced by various cooking methods.
• Drink a lot of water: the body is 70% water. It is through water that toxins are flushed out of the body and nutrients transported to the cells. Water also occupies space thus reducing the temptation to overeat. As exercise goes hand in hand with weight loss, water prevents the body from overheating.
• Keep tempting foods away from your home: if you stock your fridge with appealing snacks, even if they are unhealthy, you are likely to be tempted. Instead of your will power being tested continuously, it is better to assist it by keeping the temptations far.
• Idleness is an enemy to weight loss: if you are idle, you are more tempted to reach out for a snack. The solution is to keep busy if you aim to lose weight.
• Do not skip meals: if you miss meals, then, the body feels an urge to compensate for the missed calories. You then overeat to compensate for what the body interprets as starvation.
• Set and follow eating rules: eat from a plate while seated. Set regular meal times. The intention is to form a habit of eating regular portions of meals at regular intervals. This will control undisciplined feeding.
• Keep a journal that tracks your food intake so that you stick to your diet: this will act as a control when you are tempted not to follow the diet. You also get mental satisfaction when you follow it.
How much weight should you lose and how fast?
This will depend on your initial weight. Three pounds a week can be lost safely while eating healthy and exercising a lot. If a person bangs 500 calories every day for a week, one to two pounds is lost. Between three to five pounds, a week can be lost if you are very heavy but more than this is dangerous. Some people who lose a lot of weight fast do not know that the lost weight is sometimes due to fluid loss rather than burning fat. This is especially the case if you limit your starch and salt intake.
Exercise should involve cardio and strength training. Of course, exercise should only be done following advice of a medical practitioner if you have health issues. Cardio burns calories and is ideal for weight loss. It should involve exercise that keeps your body sweating for at least an hour in order to burn fat. To achieve this level, you should pace yourself so that you do not get injuries because of doing too much too soon. Pacing can involve short high-intensity exercises followed by a slower pace. When the pattern is repeated in your workout, it is known as interval training. With time, your body can do more at a higher level thus burning more fat. The strength training is for helping your body build lean muscle even as it loses fat.
The bottom line is that you should avoid programs that include fasting using laxatives or pills to promote weight loss that exceeds 3 pounds a week.
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