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Dieting for Long-term Weight Loss

In the United States, there is a very real problem in terms of people carrying excess fat and body weight. Sixty-nine percent of the adults in the country fall under the categories of obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This creates a huge problem in terms of health and health care costs. In efforts to combat excess fat and lose weight, people often go on diets. Even people who do not fall under either category often go on diets in an attempt to look their very best or to fit into a certain size or item of clothing. Diets, however, do not always provide positive or long-lasting results. For many people, coming off of a diet can be frustrating if there are little to no results or if the results go away quickly. For this reason, it is important that people understand weight loss and what changes can help them.

Doctors recommend a healthy diet and exercise

Long-term Diet

Diets themselves are not necessarily "bad." One's diet is the food and the drink that they normally consume in order to live and be healthy. What is bad is the context in which the word is used and how one's diet is adjusted or restricted in efforts to lose weight. When "diet" is used in a way to suggest drastic changes to food and water intake is when problems can occur. Often, these changes are made to fit the parameters of a fad diet. There are always numerous fad diets circulating at any given time. These diets are often highly restrictive in some way and guarantee changes in one's weight. While people may see results when they follow these diets, they are often only for the duration of the diet. Once the diet stops, the weight returns, as no new eating habits have been developed. In addition, the fact that these diets come to an end is also a part of the problem. A true diet is a lifelong thing and should never be so drastic as to severely cut out or reduce any portion of one's diet, be it carbohydrates, fats, etc. Nor should a diet drastically reduce caloric intake or focus solely on a single food, such as fruit or cabbage. When people do lose weight on these types of diets, a majority not only see the return of the weight that they lost, but two-thirds of the people also gain more weight than what was lost.

Fad Diets

Instead of following fad diets for fast yet non-permanent results, weight loss may be achieved by reducing the amount of foods that are eaten, reducing caloric intake, and making healthy choices. These healthy choices include eliminating processed foods from one's diet, increasing the amount of fresh vegetables and fruits, and cutting back on carbohydrates and foods that are high in fats. Recent research funded by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has found that people should avoid diets that concentrate on very low carbohydrate intake or very low fat intake. While very low carbohydrate diets were found to improve one's metabolism, they raised the risk of other health problems, such as heart disease. Researchers have found that people who adjusted their normal diet so that they got 40 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from protein, and 40 percent from fat could prevent blood sugar spikes, improve their metabolism, and have more permanent results, all without the dangers to their heart.

Dieting and Exercise

Healthy Exercise

In reducing calorie intake, people must also consider what they are drinking. Soda and alcoholic beverages are high in calories. Turn to water when eating meals and between them as well. Lack of water can make a person think that they are hungry, causing them to eat more frequently. Water is also important when exercising, to help prevent dehydration. Exercise is crucial when it comes to permanent weight loss. It should ideally be combined with eating healthy foods and proper portion control for the best results. When a person exercises, they build muscle and improve their metabolism. Muscle burns fat. At a minimum, people should work at least 30 minutes of exercise into their day. These 30 minutes may even be broken into shorter segments if one doesn't have the time for a full 30 minutes at one time. Participating in more physical activities also greatly contributes to long-term weight loss. Sedentary activities should be reduced in favor of activities that involve movement. In addition, sedentary activities often encourage snacking and/or overeating.

Weight loss is important for health, appearance, and generally feeling more energetic and confident. The process of losing weight is often complicated and takes time to accomplish. When attempting to lose weight, people should avoid "diets" that promise fast results and that encourage eating habits that are not safe or easily followed in the long term. In addition, exercise and general activity, a good night's sleep, and drinking plenty of water will also contribute to safe weight loss that lasts.

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Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

Burt Cancaster Profile

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