|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Weight Loss - Sustained Success through Simple Steps
Weight Loss - Basic Lessons for Sustained Success
Weight loss is a goal for many people today, but cutting through all the hype and getting quality information can be difficult. This article will give you information on your metabolism, nutrition, and exercise that you can use to evaluate weight loss programs that you may be considering, or to create your own. For healthy, effective, and sustained weight loss, you need to learn some basics about how your body's metabolism works.
Your Body Does Basic Math
One of the most important factors that directly impacts weight loss is a concept called "energy balance." Quite simply, this is a measure of whether a person has eaten more calories than they burned that day, or vice versa. Because of all the scientific jargon, it can be baffling to read detailed descriptions of how your body and metabolism work. But when it comes to weight loss, all you need to know is that your metabolism does basic math - addition and subtraction; calories eaten and calories burned.
In order to begin healthy, effective weight loss, you need to achieve negative energy balance. There are two primary ways to do this - daily diet and exercise. We'll take a closer look at each very shortly.
However, it is important to note that most people who are aiming for moderate weight loss should not tip the scales too drastically into negative energy balance. For instance, if your daily activities result in 2000 calories burned per day, restricting your calorie intake to 800 calories per day would be excessive. You would lose weight, but probably not in the way you intended. Your body would see this drastic calorie restriction as starvation, and would begin hoarding body fat and burning muscle, in addition to losing valuable fluids and electrolytes, which is exactly the opposite of what you are hoping to achieve.
If you are at neutral energy balance and have moderate weight loss goals, then a calorie restriction of 500 calories per day will produce healthy, gradual weight loss. Be sure to consult your physician regarding appropriate levels of calorie restriction and activity if your weight loss goals are very aggressive.
There are two main factors that you should consider when evaluating your daily diet - total calories and composition. The term "total calories" is as simple as it sounds - the number of calories you have consumed in a given day. If you're already mindful of the total quantity of food you eat each day, and are good at estimating serving sizes, you're in a good position to determine where your current energy balance is, and monitor it as you progress. If not, it can be useful to purchase an inexpensive kitchen scale to get a better idea of how big a serving that you consider "average" really is. You need to know how many calories you're eating on a daily basis in order to know where you can make improvements.
The composition of your diet is also very important. With all the competing diet programs out there, it can be difficult to separate the science from the hype. The guidelines in the USDA's new food pyramid, called MyPyramid, are very helpful in identifying good food choices - whole grain carbohydrates instead of processed carbs (whole wheat bread rather than white), lean instead of high-fat protein sources (chicken instead of prime rib), and healthy sources of fat (olive oil instead of Crisco). These guidelines will serve you well in formulating a daily diet that will keep you well-nourished with sustained energy levels and feeling your best over the long term.
Again, if working all the specifics out on your own seems difficult, there are high-quality programs available that help you specify meal composition, serving size, timing of meals and snacks, and even provide you with a shopping list. These programs can be helpful and convenient, but they are not absolutely necessary to achieve your weight loss goals.
Exercise is a very important component of any well-balanced weight loss program. In its Guidelines for Healthy Aerobic Activity, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 to 45 minutes of moderate aerobic activity performed 3 to 5 times per week. This can be as simple as taking a brisk walk through your neighborhood.
With this as a "base" of aerobic activity, weight training can be an excellent way to burn more calories and encourage development of lean muscle tissue, which burns additional calories even when you're sleeping! However, it's important to get qualified instruction in how to perform weight training in order to ensure that you are performing the exercises correctly, and not putting yourself at risk of injury.
Another key element in the exercise equation is moderation. If you haven't worked out in a year, you should not set a goal of running for an hour a day, five days a week. Begin moderately and allow your body to become accustomed to this new routine. When you're used to walking briskly for 30 minutes three days per week, consider increasing to four days per week, and so forth.
Regardless of what specific kind of exercise you choose, if you perform it safely, moderately, and most important, regularly, you will be in a much better position to achieve your weight loss goals. Remember, the goal is negative energy balance and exercise is another tool to get you there. If your daily goal is a 500 calorie negative energy balance, it can be much more pleasant to exercise 200 calories away, and only have to restrict your diet by 300 calories.
Successfully combining a healthy diet and exercise program is the best way to achieve and sustain your weight-loss goals. A pound of fat represents approximately 3500 stored calories. Using the above example of a 500 calorie negative energy balance, over the course of a week you would lose approximately one pound, for a total of around 4 pounds per month. Experts agree that this is a healthy rate of weight loss. More importantly, by taking a gradual approach, you are teaching yourself something far more important, which is behavior modification.
Crash diets may promise that you will lose five pounds a week, but if you revert to the same patterns of behavior that you were accustomed to before you started your diet, you'll gain the weight right back. No one becomes overweight overnight, so you shouldn't expect to lose the weight overnight either. Allow your body to become accustomed to healthy new habits, so you can sustain your success over the long term.
Liz Smith writes about weight loss programs and diets for thedietchannel.com
Liz Smith is the Editor-in-Chief of Trouve Publishing.
Cleansing Detox For Best Fat-Burning and Weight Loss Results Report and ... - PR Web (press release)
Obesity and Morbid Obesity - Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Right For You
The very first thing you want to do before you even consider the surgery is really contemplate if surgery is the only way to lose weight. If you have exhausted every diet or new lifestyle of eating, the last resort should be Gastric Bypass Surgery or another name is Bariatric Surgery.
Tips For Successful Weight Loss
Throughout my childhood and teenage years I watched as my mother tried every fad diet under the sun. I recall one time she ate boiled cabbage and nothing else for a whole week.
Heading Off Winter Weight Gain Before it Gets Started
Must We Gain Weight Every WinterIt's that time of year we all start thinking about putting on a healthy layer of fat, just like the hibernating bears. From a nip in the air to a massive snow and ice storm, there is a palpable difference in the air.
Weight Loss Tips, Tricks, And Tactics - Part 2
I personal lost 60 pounds in 2003. Here are some tactics I used to lose the weight.
The Truth About Weight Loss: The 6 Biggest Myths About Dieting!
All of our behavior results from the thoughts that preceded it, so the thing to work on is not your behavior, but the thing that caused your behavior, your thoughts.- Dr.
Diet or Lifestyle?
"I am going to start a diet tomorrow". How many times have we said or heard these words? What do these words mean to you? For most of us it means a period of time in which we will subject ourselves to torture in order to lose a few pounds.
Breaking Research: Whats a Dieter To Do?
Every day, it seems, a new study pertaining to weight loss or nutrition is released to the public. These studies tout the latest and greatest trends, products or discoveries and then a willing public jumps on the bandwagon expecting mighty results.
Diet and Exercise Evolution: Adaptation (part I) -- Theory
Adaptation is the most important concept I teach. The human body adapts to the pressures it is put under with the goal of prolonging life.
Close Kept Secrets to Weight Loss Lesson #10
WOW!! Here we are on lesson #10. Hasn't it been an amazing journey over these two months? What you are discovering is all the secrets to your weight loss are within you.
Exercise Resistant Fat Removed with Liposuction
Liposuction works best with people who are a normal weight but have localized areas of excess fat. These spots are usually found in the buttocks, hips, thighs, chin, knees, love handles, or along waistline.
Eating On The Run For Weight Loss
"I'm too busy!""I'm always on the run." "I never leave my desk during the day.
Do You Really Want To Stop Smoking? Or Do You Use The Weight Gain Excuse?
I do not smoke, never have, and admit to being one of those 'pain in the butts' (OK, bad pun!) that go on about the foul stench, and anti-social behaviour of smokers, especially in public places.You can imagine my joy when one of my local pubs recently banned smoking.
The Folly of Diet Recipes
Have you ever wondered why diet books always seem to have a section of recipes?Apart from the desire to make the book look larger and therefore more worthwhile, why should we be so interested in studying foods and ways to serve it when we are trying to avoid it as much as possible?It is inconceivable that we have reached adulthood without the basic skills to boil, bake, steam, or roast our food.We all know that these are the only low fat methods we should be using on any diet.
Weight Loss Methods: Its Advantage - Natural Therapy!
Natural therapies uphold the importance of minerals, vitamins and herbs in your day-to-day life. People have popularized weight loss programs like diet plans, pills and surgeries but natural therapy still remains as one of the earliest and effective therapies for weight loss.
Some of my dieting tips are not conventional. You can read zillions of tips where they say, don't shop while hungry or just eat less and where has that gotten you?1.
Too Many Calories
How many calories do you need? Well, that depends on a lot of things. Your age, sex, type of work, physical activity, all come into play.
Five Reasons NOT To Lose Weight
We are inundated by exhortations to lose weight - from the media, from our friends, from our family. As the richest, fattest, nation on earth, we idealize the impossibly thin supermodels who smile (or smirk?) at us from every magazine cover.
After WLS Patients Must Give-up Coffee, Tea, Soda and Alcohol to Sustain Weight Loss
Dieters are often told - drink water. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces a day - eight glasses a day.
Get Fit By Getting Fat
Getting enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. In addition, it has myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart.
Self-Sabotage Snacking After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Why Do We Do It?
LivingAfterWLS reader feedback indicates snacking is the single biggest problem for people after having gastric bypass - the problem being we snack on unhealthy items, we sabotage our weight loss or weight maintenance and we spiral back into the self-loathing that is so much an emotional part of morbid obesity.None of us goes into surgery expecting to be the one "who lost all that weight and put it back on.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.