Monday, December 24, 2012

Simple Weight Loss Strategies

So, you have made a decision that you are going to lose weight. You are searching for information and you happened to have seen this article. Why is this article any different than any other you have seen before?
Well, it my intention to provide some education on this matter first. It is important that you first understand where you are coming from before you can move ahead with your weight loss goals.
The rate of obesity raises concern because of its implications for the health of American adults and adolescents. Obesity increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions. These include-
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- High blood pressure
- High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides
- Stroke
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)=PAIN
There is no one answer on how to attack this issue but I would like to start with some simple strategies.
I would first recommend that you see your doctor for a physical examination and blood work. Some illnesses may lead to obesity or weight gain. Drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may also cause weight gain. You also want to know that you are physically capable of beginning an exercise program.
Yes, I know you read an advertisement for some product promoting fat loss and weight without exercise. If it was that good wouldn't everyone be using it? The habit of a regular exercise routine will go a long way to help you reach your weight loss goals; not to mention how much better you will feel. How about something simple as partnering with a friend or significant other with similar goals and going for a daily 30 minute walk? If that is too much, do 3-10 minute walks during the day and work up to it. Make it fun; talk about family, a book you read, movie or show that you saw. You can also choose to be quiet and use that time to clear your thoughts. Before you know it, you will look forward to it. The Center for Disease Control has published guidelines for exercise in adults and children (please see links in resource box). Need more? The Mayo Clinic's report: Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity
is viewable online.
Now you know we are going to have to talk about what you eat. It is really quite simple: If you consume too many calories than you can burn for that day you will gain weight. That does not mean you skip meals. Your body needs fuel to perform daily life activity. Skipping meals or not eating can potentially cause the body to go into a "starvation mode" and the body will slow down because the body will always do what is necessary to survive. This strategy may see some pounds come off quickly in the short term. Long term you are likely to plateau and get frustrated. Regulating your calorie consumption is the key to successful weight loss and maintenance. A balanced diet will assist with curbing your hunger and providing the necessary nutrients for health and wellness
Planning your diet is crucial in meeting your weight loss goals. Most successful weight loss programs if not all require you to keep a daily food log. First, just take a hard look at what you eating and drinking now. Find ONE THING to eliminate daily first. For example, there are many folks drinking regular soda and/or caffeinated sodas. START by changing to diet soda, caffeine free and substituting filtered water gradually. That alone can save you hundreds of calories. THEN make your next choice. Another example would be to substitute 3 gram fiber wheat bread for white or low fat milk versus regular. Little by little you fill in the slots with the "right stuff" there is little room for the "bad stuff." It will make you think before you put something extra in your mouth that is not on your log. I am not saying that you do not eat. You can eat three small meals a day with a healthy snack in between. It sounds like a lot but I bet you will find that your caloric intake is much less then you think.
WebMD/diet has an excellent site with information including daily log sheets that you can download.
The glycemic Index measures a food's impact on blood glucose levels. If you're trying to lose weight, calories count more than the types of food in your diet, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Tufts University study shows. Low glycemic index foods generally have less of an impact on blood glucose levels. People who eat a lot of low glycemic index foods tend to have lower total body fat levels. Ideally a glycemic index of 50 and below. Also, it is a good idea to eat a protein with fruits and vegetables to slow the rate of absorption to make the sugar rise more gradual versus a spike.
Low glycemic index foods include these:
- Fruits
- Vegetables
- Legumes
Despite the fact that most diets call for drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day, few studies have been done to determine if the practice actually speeds weight loss. Researchers in Germany report that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories. The impact is modest and the findings are preliminary, but the researchers say their study could have important implications for weight-control programs. The findings are reported in the December 2004 issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
What about caffeine and weight gain or loss? I reviewed multiple articles on this topic. Marketers of fad diets and weight-loss supplements often exaggerate the benefits of caffeine, claiming that caffeine will significantly curb your appetite and help you drop pounds quickly. However, clinical studies on the relationship between caffeine and weight loss don't support these claims. Benefits are short term in nature. Be mindful that caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep, and cause nervousness and irritability. In some cases nervousness will promote an almost stressful reaction causing one to eat, not quite the effect you were looking for.
What about the role of alcohol and weight gain? I was certainly not surprised at what I found after article review. Alcohol provides a lot of calories and negatively impacts many aspects of your health. If you choose to consume alcohol, you will need to limit the quantity and frequency that you do so. Breslow and Smothers in the 2006 Journal of Epidemiology showed that going from one drink per day to four drinks significantly increased the body mass index (BMI). You must count the calories from alcohol in any diet plan. You can limit calories in your drink by choosing those with less alcohol and a limited amount of sweetened beverages. By using flavored seltzers or water, you will save many calories.
I did not plan to talk about tobacco use but I found this information to be interesting: adolescent girls who smoke 10 cigarettes per day or more are at greatest risk, particularly for abdominal obesity. Their waist sizes are 1.34 inches larger than nonsmokers' waists are as young adults, according to the study in the February 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. What is seemingly "cool" school may turn into closet crisis later.
"Science shows that genetics plays a role in obesity. However genes do not always predict future health. Genes and behavior may both be needed for a person to be overweight. In some cases multiple genes may increase one's susceptibility for obesity and require outside factors; such as abundant food supply or little physical activity." (CDC)
People who get fewer hours of sleep than others in their age group - are more likely to be obese. This is true for both adults and children. For adults, a short sleeper is defined as someone who five hours or less of sleep. For kids, it's less than 10 hours.
Many researchers have suggested that short sleep may prompt hormonal changes that fuel appetite and caloric intake, thus leading to obesity. We already know the hormones that control appetite are negatively affected by sleep deprivation (sleep less, eat more). It's time to make the necessary changes to allow you to shed those unwanted pounds.
Leptin a peptide hormone; is produced in and released from adipose (fat) cells. Leptin levels decline during weight loss and signal to the hypothalamus to stimulate feeding, reduce energy expenditure, and promote weight regain. As reported by Rosenbaum et al. in the July 1, 2008 Journal of Clinical Investigation; low leptin levels during weight loss also increase the activity of brain areas involved in the decision-making and reward aspects of eating behavior. Thus, preventing the decline of leptin levels during weight loss by hormone replacement may be a means of overriding the behavioral tendencies toward energy conservation and weight regain during dieting.
William J. Kraemer, Ph.D. of the University of Connecticut Human Performance Lab performed an independent clinical study looking at the effect of MaxWLX on weight loss. There was a significant loss of body fat, significant loss of body weight and decreased fat in the torso area. Fat in the torso area is linked to health related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.
In summary, I have presented some simple strategies to help you get started with your weight loss goals. See your family physician to rule out any metabolic causes for weight gain as well as to be sure that you are medically able to start an exercise program. Start a food diary and make gradual changes to promote more balanced nutrition. Drink water throughout the day and be sure to get enough rest. Consider MaxWLX a weight loss accelerator supplement to compliment your program.

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