We often desire weight loss for the outcome of increasing our physical attractiveness but there are more important reasons to shed excess weight. Among other complications, excess body weight increases our risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular complications, causes inflammation, puts stress on our bones, gallbladder and liver. (1) Knowing this doesn’t make weight loss any easier, in fact it can add to the stress. I know it can seem like it is easier to put the weight on than take it off, but weight loss is possible.
Nutrients such as thiamine, magnesium and chromium are needed to assist in metabolism. Genetics and hormones that communicate hunger or fullness and impact the way we metabolize fuel and even the time of day we most efficiently utilize calories. (2)
Our bodies require fuel, this is what calories are and they are found in fat, protein and carbohydrates. Each body has different calories needs and any excess calories get stored incase a period of fasting occurs.
There are numerous studies related to weight loss and many a person saying, “I just put the fork down”, it can be confusing to decide what is the right weight loss path to take. Ultimately a personalized approach that relies on your personal health needs, introspection and serious self-honesty combines with a willingness to make healthy lifestyle changes can lead to long lasting weight loss and a greater sense of fulfillment in life.
An endless array of diets
If you search the Internet or ask your doctor you will see that there are a variety of diets available and many of them work, at the core of all of them is calorie restriction. Atkin’s and Paleo restrict carbohydrates and the Pritikin Program and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program restrict fat. (2) Even the popular apple cider vinegar reduces the amount of starch absorbed and green tea revs up the amount of calories burned.
These diets can yield positive results but can also cause health concerns by eliminating nutrients from your diet or increasing total cholesterol, so be sure to consult with a doctor and dietitian to make sure you are caring for your unique needs in the best possible way.
Remember, a sure fire way to lose weight and keep it off is to increase physical activity, get enough protein, reduce overall calories, saturated fat and refined sugar. (2) Also, get a good night of sleep and take a break from eating, don’t eat right before bed and if you are one who reaches for a midnight snack, cut that out, opt for tea instead.