Obesity now becomes a greater global health crisis than hunger and some other diseases. It is the leading cause of disabilities around the world
Maintaining a normal body weight goes beyond the cosmetic ideology, it is critical for a flexible and strong body with lower chances of developing chronic degenerative health problems known to be associated with obesity.
Check yourself for obesity using body mass index (BMI) and see in which category you fall. If you are not sure about BMI, check my post on calculating body mass index (BIM).
Many people are struggling to lose weight due to the influence of other factors such as believes and myths.
People believe that in order to lose weight one should burn out more calories than they are taking. Although it may sound great in fact the reality is very complex. The same applies to the belief that one needs to cut out on fats from their diet, the myth that may also prevent people from losing their weight.
The good news is that everyone can lose weight effectively once he/she understands the core concept behind it.
Successful ways to lose body weight can be put into four easy to remember categories including dietary changes, exercises/activities, behavior change, and weight loss medication.
Dietary Changes – Contribute much to Weight Loss
Poor dietary choices, especially to those associated with sugar, calories and trans fats are the major contributors to weight gain. Reducing these kinds of foods and practicing healthier eating habits are very critical in overcoming obesity.
Now in order to lose weight with a change in your choices, I recommend to incorporate the following strategies:
Reduce calorie intake is very critical for weight loss, know how much calories you are taking per whereby and their sources. In fact, our body uses calories for energy however, extra calories are converted and stored in the form of fats thus a gain in weight.
Our bodies respond more to the source of calories than just calories intake. For this reason, it’s worth important to know that calories are not equally created, you can eat less and still get more calories while the opposite can be true. Worth important is to focus on eating the right kind of calories.
How many calories do we need? The atypical amount of calories per day is 1200 to 1500 calories for women and 1500 to 1800 for men. Grain sources of calories provide a high amount of calories, therefore if you are planning to lose weight consider cutting on these common grain sources include bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta.
People can get an equal amount of calories from glucose, fructose, protein, and fats but the metabolic effects will be entirely different despite the same amount of calories from each of them. This is just to stress the point that fructose is, in fact, worse than other carbohydrates
It important that you consider eliminating or reducing your intake of sugary foods especially those that contain fructose. Fructose is one of the leading causes of obesity in the world.
Fructose converts directly to fats more easily than any other sugar. It impairs your hunger hormone (leptin and insulin) resulting in overeating. In order for you to lose weight, it is helpful that you limit sugar consumption to 15 grams per day.
Please be aware that the first step of any weight loss and weight control plan is to severely restrict or eliminate fructose from your diet. Fructose intake should be kept below 15 grams per day for those planning to lose weight.
Increase your intake of healthy fats: they help for satiety (fill full for longer) and that helps to lower calorie intake. Healthy Fats are also a good source of energy as well as many vitamins and minerals that are vital for health.
Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, grass meats, and dairy products, raw nuts, organic eggs yolk and fish (salmon, anchovies, and sardines).
Saturated fats from animals and vegetables are contrary to what you have been told for the past several decades, they provide a concentrated source of energy that is needed once one replaced the energy-dense sugars and grains.
When it comes to satisfying your satiety, protein beats both fats and carbs hence they essential. Therefore, starting a day with a breakfast that includes some eggs (especially the yolks) and whey protein are an excellent option for this reason.
Go right-Switch for plant-based foods: vegetables are good for your health because they contain various nutrients, high in fiber and low in calories. For fruits, it is advisable to stick to those that have low fructose such as; lemon, passion fruit, plums, and raspberries.
Fiber is similar to fats because they help one to feel full longer and are also linked to a lower risk of developing certain types of health risks such as heart diseases by 40 percent as shown by some studies.
A slow and steady weight loss over the long term is preferred and considered the safest way to lose weight as it is the best way to keep it off permanently. However, there is no single diet recommended for everyone in order to lose weight, choose the one that you feel will work for you
The table below highlights some of the foods to be prevented or limited and those to adopt in our diet.
Foods that promote weight gain
Foods that maintain a healthy weight
All kinds of processed foods; processed grains, Added sweeteners (added sugar), processed fructose (high-fructose corn syrup) and artificial sweeteners.
|Organic vegetables, fruits, and berries Cultured and fermented foods (fermented vegetable, natto, and kambucha
|Trans fats (adding hydrogen atoms to certain oils) including hydrogenated vegetable oils (margarine, canola, corn and soy oils)
|Healthy fats including grass-fed meats, fatty fish (salmon) avocado, raw nuts, organic pastured egg yolks and butter from raw grass-fed milk
Fats ideal for cooking include: coconut, tallow, and lard oil (because they are saturated fats and they do not oxide when heated)
Exercises – Not to be underrated for weight loss
Human bodies have evolved from performing exercises that have become part and parcel of our genotype. Exercise is, therefore, a critical element to be included in your weight loss program. It helps one to burn out calories at the same time it improves one’s cognitive functioning.
When doing exercises to lose weight, check my post on best exercises to lose weight, start slow and simple to help lower stress on joints. Simple exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling may be of help. To yield better results remember to maintain the frequency and duration as you are progressing with the exercises.
For those people who are just beginning for their exercises, you need to give enough time to your body to adjust for the exercises, start your exercises with a small break session of about 10 or 15 minutes for a total time of about 30 to 60 minutes.
Gradually increase your exercises and to achieve a significant weight loss, there is a need to increase the exercises to about 300 minutes or more per week. Make sure you are well hydrated during the exercises as the obesity itself may make you dehydrated.
Due to a lack of physical activities for a long time, some people may find it hard to perform strenuous exercises. The alternative to exercises maybe to consider first some extra movements throughout the day that can add up to big benefits in the burning of calories.
Combining exercises and diet – A powerful technique to lose weight
Combining exercises with good choices of food makes a powerful approach to lose weight. Note that you cannot achieve much from exercises alone while still maintaining on poor food choices, due to the fact that you can take in thousands of calories through a poor diet choice while it is impossible to burn out those thousand calories through exercises per day.
Scheduled eating (intermittent fasting) combining with high-intensity exercises can be a winning strategy for weight loss. Studies have shown that restricting carbohydrates can help your body to burn calories more effectively, while high-intensity exercises have also been shown to burn more calories in time.
High-intensity exercises for example on a stationary bike will include: warming up about 2-3 minutes. Then go on your exercises hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds then recover for 90 minutes while doing your exercise at a slower pace. Repeat it and do it for a total of 20 to 30 minutes.
This combination is important in activating your fats burning processes as it forces your body into the fats burning process at the cellular level (cyclic AMP and AMP Kinase) which force the breakdown of fats and glycogens for energy.
Another important benefit of high-intensity exercises is its ability to increase the production of human growth hormone (HGH) also known fitness hormone which acts as a synergic that promotes muscle building and effectively burns excessive fats.
However, consuming fructose including those items that are viewed as healthy such as fruit juices after your workout will completely shut down your body’s production of HGH.
Behavior change – A cornerstone for weight loss
Behavior is also one important thing that you need to consider changing in order for you to shed off extra body weight. More important is to establish a proper mindset.
If you are facing challenges to change your behavior, it may help to seek counseling by a trained professional to get to the root causes of those behaviors preventing you from losing your weight.
Behavior modifications (behavior therapy) including counseling with trained mental health or other professionals can help you to address the emotions and behavior issues related to eating. It also helps for learning on how to monitor your diet, cope with food cravings and monitoring your activities.
Counseling therapy can be done one on one or in a group basis, but many people are able to benefit from group sessions where they are encouraged and appreciate when others share similar challenges.
Everyone is different with different obstacles to overcome in order to lose eight such as lack of time for exercises or late night eating, what is important is to identify and address the causes.
Prescription of weight loss medication
The weight loss medications may be recommended if other strategies have failed for you. However weight-loss medication is not a substitute for dietary changes, exercises and behavior changes, its meant to be used along with them.
The doctor may follow this criterion to prescribe your weight loss medication: thus if your body mass index (BMI) is still 30 or greater, when your BMI is greater than 27 and you also have a medical complication of obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
In some rare cases, weight loss surgery also called Bariatric Surgery may be an option. It works by limiting the amount of food you are able to eat or decrease the absorption of food and calories or both
Weight loss surgery offers chances of losing your weight but it can pose serious risks, usually it is done after all other strategies have failed to individuals who still have extreme obesity (BMI of 40 or higher), your BMI is 35 to 39.9 and you also have a serious weight-related health problem or you are committed to making the lifestyle changes that are necessary for surgery to work.
Now what’s the take-home message
It is important to be aware that the food you eat is three times more important in controlling your weight than your exercise. Develop good dietary choices along with physical exercises.
Diet and exercises play important roles in weight loss. High-intensity exercises are far more effective for weight loss compared to aerobic exercises, however, if used in conjunction with intermittent fasting it yields double the effects and the become a helpful strategy for weight loss.
Everyone is different but weight loss approaches targeting diet, exercise and behavior, yield better results on weight loss. Many people are able to lose their weight effectively with just a change on these three without the need for use of medication and surgery. More important is to establish a proper mindset and adhere to them.