Obesity is not simply the accumulation of excess body fat. Obesity is a chronic (long-term) disease with serious complications that is very difficult to treat. As such, it requires long-term treatment to lose weight and keep it off. There is no overweight solution. Effective, permanent weight loss takes some time. The essential factors in losing weight and keeping it off are motivation, proper eating, exercise habits, and an appreciation of better health. Losing weight will help you feel better. It also will improve your health. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States (whereas tobacco is the first). People who are obese have much higher risks of many serious health problems than nono obese people. The most devastating of these health problems include the following:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Lung Disease and sleep apnea
- Colon Cancer
- Endometrial Cancer
The good news is that you don’t have to reach your ideal weight to lower your risk of developing obesity-related medical problems.
- Losing even 10% of your total body weight can significantly lower your risk.
- If you weigh 250 pounds and lose 10% of your total body weight, losing those 25 pounds can have a meaningful positive effect on your health.
- Losing 10% of your total body weight is a good goal to start with. You can always continue and lose more weight once you have reached your initial goal.
Weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than the body use.
- The average person uses as many as 2,500 calories daily or 15,500 calories per week.
- If you eat the amount your body needs, you will maintain your weight. It takes 3500 extra calories to gain 1 pound.
- To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than your body uses. You must eat 3,500 calories less than you need, say 500 calories per day for one week to lose 1 pound.
Calories count: It’s important to understand where calories come from and how to make the smartest food selections. Here are some basics:
- Foods are composed of the following three substances, in varying amounts: (1.) Carbohydrates (four calories per gram): Examples include grains, cereal, pasta, sugar, fruit, and vegetables.
- Protein (four calories per gram): Examples include legumes (beans, dried peas, lentils), seafood, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and soy products such as tofu.
- Fats (nine Calories per gram): Examples include whole-fat dairy products, butter, oils, and nuts.
Alcohol is a separate fourth group (seven calories per gram).
A calorie is the amount of energy (heat) needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. A kilocalorie (or Calorie with a capital C) is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
- The energy contained in food is measured in kilocalories but is commonly referred to on food packages and elsewhere as calories.
- Most people underestimate the number of calories they consume by about 30%
- Calculate the number of calories you should consume each day to keep your weight the same. (1) If you are moderately active, multiply your weight in pounds by 15. (2). If you are sedentary, multiply by 13 instead.
- To lose weight, you need to eat less than this number.
Excess calories from any source (even fat-free foods) will turn into body fat.
- Any carbohydrate not immediately used for energy will be stored in the liver as glycogen for short-term use. The body has only a limited number of liver cells to store the glycogen. Whatever is left over will be converted to fat.
- Excess protein and fat in the diet are also stored as fat.
Fat cells are no longer thought to be responsible only for energy storage and release.
- They synthesize the hormone leptin, which travels to the hypothalamus in the brain and regulates appetite, body weight, and the storage of fat.
- Leptin was first discovered in 1904. The exact way it works is not yet fully understood.
- Disorders of leptin account for only a few cases of obesity, usually morbid (extreme) obesity.
Here are the top 10 tips to reboot your body and kick start weight loss:
- Eat more fiber: The best way to reduce calorie intake is by incorporating more fiber into your diet. The recommended amount is about 30 grams a day, but most people don’t consume enough fiber.
How is it helpful: Fiber is of two types, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and transforms into a gel during digestion. Insoluble fiber remains undigested as it passes through your system. Both types of fiber slow down the process of digestion and help you feel fuller for longer.
2. Drink Water: Start your day with a glass or two of plain water. Research has proven that drinking water first thing in the morning helps jump-start your metabolism and helps remove toxins from your body. Also, if you want a drink then make it water as water is a drink and has no calories. Drinking plain water also helps in controlling hunger and prevents you from eating unnecessary calories. Switch to water or green tea and feel the difference within a day.
How is it helpful: Sometimes, thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger pangs by your brain. So, to gauze, whether you are really hungry or not, try drinking a glass of water before eating anything.
3. Choose Better Snacks: Three meals a day can leave you feeling hungry in between. And that’s where most of us slip up. Even if we try eating meals that are healthy, we end up binging on snacks that are anything but. And this has a huge impact on our weight, so we should opt for better snack options.
How is it helpful: The biggest culprit that causes weight gain is our habit of unhealthy snacking. Fries and chips and cookies do nothing to fill us up but add a lot of carbs, sugar, and fat. It is also difficult to stop at one or two because of we still so hungry. So opt for snacks that have a high fiber content.
4. Get Rid of Junk Food: Most of us find it difficult to let go of our favorite foods. Chips and cookies might be fattening and unhealthy, but we still end up having them. which is why not buying junk food is a good step towards losing weight.
How it is helpful: The reason we eat so much junk is that we but it, and keep it available and accessible. You know the saying, ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Purging your pantry and fridge of high-in-calories and low-in-nutrients food can help you cut back on unhealthy snacking.
5. Reduce the take of Carbohydrate: Carbohydrates are a staple in the diet of many. In fact, of all the food groups, the amounts of carbs consumed is the highest. This poses a problem because every gram of carbohydrates contains four calories. And most foods that are rich in carbs barely possess any other nutrients.
How is it helpful: Filling yourself up with carbs adds a lot of calories to your diet, which is why cutting back on carbs can be a great step towards weight loss.
6. Figure out your workout schedule: Select an exercise plan that you can make a part of your routine. Is it easier for you to work out in the morning before work? Or, is waking up early something you can’t commit to? Look at your schedule for the next 10 days and pick specific times to work out that are doable for you. Be sure to stick to them. Aim for a workout almost every day. An hour is good, but 30 minutes will do. If you have to break it up, no problem! And if you ” don’t have time,” make some. Even though you’re focusing on the next 10 days, there is no harm in striving for a healthier routine you can carry forward.
How is it helpful: Even if you don’t end up working out a lot, a little exercise is better than no exercise. Regular exercise helps burn calories and boosts your metabolism. It also helps in maintaining your muscle mass, and since muscles need more calories than fat, you end up burning a substantial amount of calories every day.
7. Cut Out Empty Calories: It is easy to lose track of everything you eat. Some of us even eat without registering it. How many times have you given a thought to your morning cappuccino and the fact that it can contain over 120 calories?
How is it helpful: We tend to consume a lot of things that are high in calories, but don’t even count as food. Carbonated drinks, coffee, and junk like chips are some examples. So it is important to register what you are eating, and keep track. You can cut back on a lot of calories just by avoiding foods that don’t fill you up.
8. Carry your own snacks: Three meals a day can leave you feeling hungry in between. And that’s where most of us slip up. Even if we try eating meals that are healthy, we end up binging on snacks that are anything but. And this has a huge impact on our weight, so we should opt for better snack options.
How is it helpful: The biggest culprit that causes weight gain is our habit of unhealthy snacking. Fries and chips and cookies do nothing to fill us up, but add a lot of carbs, sugar, and fat. It is also difficult to stop at one or two because we still feel so hungry. So opt for snacks that have a high fiber content.
9. Eat Smaller Portions: One of the main reason we break from our diet plans is the fact that it is really difficult to resist temptation. A few days of green smoothies and salads, and you find yourself gorging on every kind of junk imaginable. Most of us don’t have the willpower to keep eating something we despise for a long period of time. Which is why deprivation does not work. The best way to have to want we want, and not gain weight is by eating smaller portions.
How is it helpful: The idea behind smaller portions comes from the fact that it takes your brain about 20 minutes to process what you eat. So, you may not even realize that your stomach is full and keep eating. It is necessary that you take breaks between servings to actually gauze whether you are hungry anymore.
10. Cook your own meals: With work and miscellaneous other tasks demanding our attention, cooking your own meals can seem like too much of a chore. But if you are looking to lose weight, this is a great step you can take.
How is it helpful: The best way to determine if the meal you are eating is healthy for you is by making it yourself. That way, you get to experiment with what you like and what you don’t. You also get to try out the low-calorie alternative of your favorite dishes. This helps you control your portions.