Weight loss in the context of medicine, health or physical fitness is a reduction of the total body mass due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/ or lean mass (bone, mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue) it could occur unintentionally due to an underlying disease or can arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state.
There is no single approach that can help prevent or treat overweight and obesity. Treatment may include a mix of behavioral treatment, diet, exercise, and sometimes weight-loss drugs. In some cases of extreme obesity, weight-loss surgery may be an option.
Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight. Long term studies of dieting however indicate that the majority of individuals, who dieted, regain all of the weight that was lost regardless of whether they maintain their diet or exercise programme.
It is also important to note that dieting does not mean starving oneself but by changing your diet to low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie or very low-calorie.
Exercising is considered to be a healthy form of losing weight, because it usually involves burning off excessive calories and fat and also toning of the skin, muscles, generally giving a sense of well being and promoting heart health, when done appropriately. Exercising alone cannot always provide the desired effect so there may be a need to combine with other forms of treatment; dieting, drugs or surgery etc.
Drugs are another way to go about weight loss, but most of the times we find that we don’t always get the desired results and that there are numerous ones available, how to determine which would best suite you is always a hurdle, so you may have tried a couple and always find yourself spiraling back on the weight wagon.
There are various types of drugs synthetic and natural/herbal drugs for losing weight. Herbal drugs are the preferred forms when it comes to natural ways of losing weight; this is because they can promote weight loss in a variety of ways. The action of certain herbs “trick” the brain into thinking the stomach is full, while others function thermogenically (speed up the body’s metabolism). Their major side effects include; cramping, diarrhea etc
Some herbal drugs include;
Green Tea Extract; contains compounds called catechins, a class of antioxidants which have been associated with an increased metabolism and the ability to stimulate fat burning.
Fish Oil Omega-3 Fatty acid; help change the way the body uses fat: Instead of storing it, the body burns fat as fuel. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007, Australian researchers found that both fish oil and exercise independently reduced body fat. But a combination of the two—the study subjects walked briskly three times a week for 45 minutes and consumed 1.9 grams of fish oil daily— was even more effective. “Fish oil also seems to stop some kinds of fat cravings,” says Julia Ross, director of Recovery Systems Clinic in Mill Valley, Calif.
L-Glutamine; When blood sugar levels drop, cravings tend to follow because your brain isn’t getting the fuel it needs. “L-glutamine, an amino acid, instantly fuels the brain, which stops the code red that makes you crave sweets and starchy foods,” says Julia Ross. Evidence also suggests that L-glutamine might facilitate weight loss by affecting the conversion and storage of calories.
Fast loss kit is a combination of meals and exercise plan to help jump start your diet programme followed by a maintenance programme.
Surgery usually expensive, never first choice except in severely obese people with life threatening issues. Also thought to produce good results but must be accompanied by lifestyle changes and exercises.
Salt Reduction; Fluid retention is a condition that is often comprised of bloating, general feelings of distress, and substantial weight gain. One of the most important ways to avoid fluid retention is to avoid the excessive intake of salt in your diet, unfortunately, sodium is present in nearly all processed foods, as well as some natural foods you consume, canned fruits and vegetables, bread, and even beverages. You must ensure that fluid retention is kept to a minimum by drinking plenty of water. Sometimes the body holds onto water because it has actually been deprived of it, and it is not sure when it will get more.
The healthiest way to lose weight is neither crash diets nor bursts of exercise. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.
For example, someone who hasn’t exercised for years shouldn’t rush into running miles a day or pounding the treadmill. Not only will the struggle to do so leave you feeling disheartened and demotivated, you’re also far more likely to injure yourself and set your fitness levels back further.
The same goes for people who suddenly start starving themselves. Diets that severely restrict calories or the types of food ‘allowed’ can lead you to be deficient in the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs.
When most of us think about losing weight, we immediately start thinking about counting, weighing, measuring and otherwise following a strict “program” that will result in weight loss. Losing weight doesn’t have to be that regimented – it’s very possible to lose weight just by making a few small changes to your overall lifestyle.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR LOSING WEIGHT WITH EASE;
1) Increase your activity level; this involves making changes like, taking the stairs instead of using the lift, or walking certain distances instead of taking a bus. There are Work out and dance DVDs available for you to use at home at your own convenience e.g Zumba fitness , Billy Banks Tae Bo workout DVD, Gillian Micheals Banish fat and boost metabolism 6minute fixes etc.
2) Change how much you eat; if you usually eat double portions or a large plate of food, you should reduce it to a single portion or half of your usual plate size. In terms of weight-loss, you can get your body to use up existing stores of fat by eating less and making healthier choices.
3) Change what you eat; cut down on fatty foods and eat more wholegrain bread, fruit and vegetables. It’s not possible to reduce body fat while eating lots of food, cakes and sweets. This doesn’t mean you can never have any treats, but you need to learn how to limit these foods to small quantities – say, for special occasions. And Change the WAY you eat; if you tend to eat quickly, try slowing down and taking your time.
4) Introduce changes gradually; Small changes can make a big difference.
5) You should think of weight loss in terms of permanently changing your eating habits. While weight-loss goals are usually set in term of weeks, the end game is to sustain these changes over months and years, i.e lifestyle change for life.
6) There are no shortcuts to losing weight in a healthy and reasonable way, so be patient and persevere. Keeping your motivation up is one of the most difficult aspects of dieting. There will be days when healthy eating goes out the window, and there will be weeks where you may not lose any weight – or put a little back on.
This is normal for everyone – dieters or not – so don’t let it undo your plans for a slimmer you. You’re not doing anything ‘wrong’, but you may need to look at your plan. Do you need to increase your activity levels? Make a few more changes to your diet? Put more effort into sticking to your current plan?
7) The other side of this is to make sure you celebrate your goals. While there’s joy enough in stepping on the scales and seeing them dip lower, be sure to mark long-term progress with a reward – such as new clothes or time off from domestic chores.
Celebrating is also a way to involve your nearest and dearest – it’s up to you whether you want their encouragement in the form of gentle reminders not to eat certain foods. But support from other people can get you through the bumpy patches.
At Megacare pharmacy Ltd, we offer free Body Mass Index (BMI) determination and we have Pharmacists that specially work with you to design an appropriate plan to lose weight. The plan designed is tailored to suit each individuals needs and accommodate your schedule.
Registration is free. Please walk into any of our branches today.