Healthy diets for weight loss – are there any

Gaining weight is easy to do – for most people. Getting rid of that weight is the tough part. Many have lost the battle while fighting.

Others have just given up because they see no results.

Exercising and dieting have been the two main avenues used to achieve weight loss. Billions of dollars have been spent in both areas. Yet new diets come out almost every week and new exercise machines every year.

People go out, purchase the machines and get on the diet. Some report great success. The majority say nothing at all.

We are left with the question, are there healthy diets for weight loss, or is it just a myth?

A bit on weight loss

No one becomes overweight immediately. In most cases it takes months, sometimes years. Overeating often enough leads to obesity. With obesity come many health complications. It is therefore very important that we achieve and maintain the body weight that is appropriate for the individual.

Experts recommend that for a given height there is an ideal weight range that should be the marker for a healthy lifestyle. Anything beyond that is considered overweight and later on obese.

How can you tell if you are overweight? If you are 10 – 19 percent above your ideal weight you are considered overweight. 20 percent and more above ideal weight means that you are clinically obese.

So you may be wandering; how can I tell what my ideal weight should be? The answer is relatively simple. If you are female, multiply your height (in inches) by 3.5 and subtract 108. If you are male, multiply your height (in inches) by 4, then subtract 128. If you are a muscular person your weight may be more than what is recommended so take that into consideration.

A few extra pounds can have serious health consequences. One study shows that just 5 – 10 extra pounds can drastically increase mortality rates.

Another one says that “every extra pound of fat will smother a month from your life”. That means that if you are just 10 pounds overweight, you may be robbing yourself of almost a year of life.

Getting rid of that extra weight is therefore important.

Healthy diets

Soon our world will be full with professional dieters. Those are people who go from diet to diet with the hope of losing the excess weight. When one fails or even before they have allowed it a chance to take effect, a new one comes on the market and they abandon the old. We want instant gratification.

In spite of the fact that Americans spend more than $30 billion per year in weight loss programs, new ones are constantly coming out. It means that the majority are ineffective for the permanent maintenance of the weight that may be initially shed.

Many people lose the weight for a few days/months and then regain it, most times with something extra. This is because many of the diets on offer – especially for quick weight loss – contributes to water and lean body mass loss. This makes it easier later on to regain the weight. It will also be much harder to lose it in another attempt. Fat is hardly used up in such diets. Hence, the up and down experience of dieters.

Proper nutrition is therefore a main factor in losing weight and maintaining that weight loss.

What should you eat? Food that contain complex carbohydrate calories instead of

refined and fat calories. These would be food such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts

Nuts should be eaten sparingly though.

What is great about a complex carbohydrates diet is that it signals the body that its time to stop eating. If attention is paid to the signal, then overeating will not occur. Our bodies regulate our appetite according to the amount of carbohydrate contained in the meal.

So a meal with less complex carbohydrates will result in the consumption of more calories. A complex carbohydrate diet will result in fewer calories being consumed.

Foods that contain fats are addictive. That’s why we find it so difficult to give it up even though we know that it leads to weight gain and damage to our circulatory system. So when the craving comes on – or even before – we eat the fatty food. However, there is nothing in it that signals that we have had enough, so we continue eating, to our detriment.

Since fatty food contains much more calories than complex carbohydrates foods, and they are burned less slowly than the complex carbohydrates, we continue to gain weight.

Most people base their diet on what is taught to them. Half a century ago, this was learnt from our parents and grand parents. Today, the television, magazines and to some extent, the internet educate our food choices.

Diet is a huge money making field. Food production is based more on what can be processed more profitably than what is healthy for the consumer. Nutritious elements are removed from some food during processing and later sold as an additive. A lot of times, the nutrient removed is most needful for the food to be effective for our bodies.

It therefore lies heavily upon the individual to properly educate himself about what is the most healthy diet for weight loss and how to maintain it once it has been achieved.

When we eat a high fat diet – and I am especially referring to eating fat from early in our life – our bodies produces billions of fat extra cells. These cells go on to resist weight loss as we get older.

What combining diet and exercise can do

While what we eat is the biggest contributor to our weight, a lack of exercise goes a long way in determining how heavy we are and our overall physical fitness. If our input – that which we eat – is greater than output – that which we use up – then it is obvious that we will continue to gain weight.

So how do we ensure that we use the fuel that is being placed in the body?

It must first be noted that skipping a meal or meals is not the way to go. The body will compensate for the lack of calories by using up less. In the long run, this may result in weight gain instead of weight loss.

It is therefore wise that you know what your calorie intake for the day should be. This can be determined by multiplying your ideal weight by 10. So that if your ideal weight is 153 your calorie intake per day to maintain body function would be 1530. This is called your BMR or basal metabolic rate.

In order to know how many calories can be eaten and not gain weight, add 30 percent of your BMR to your BMR calories and that would be the amount that can be consumed per day without you gaining weight. Using the above figure, 30 percent of 153 = 459. So you daily caloric need would be 1530 + 459 = 1989.

Eating the fiber-rich complex carbohydrates diet is still critical to this working out well. This type of calorie will assist in speeding up how fast we burn that fuel.

The good news is that a diet containing vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans and fruits uses 28 percent of the calories they bring to be stored in the body. This means that by the time this type of calorie is stored, you have 28 percent less of it remaining in the body. In comparison, only 3 percent of fats is burnt during storage.

More reason to go complex carbohydrates.

Now we take a look at our output. In discussing exercise, I pointed out that one of the best and cheapest form is walking. This is still true.

If you are on a weight loss program and it does not include exercise, then take it from me, the long-term benefits will be minimal if any at all.

Since walking is one of the cheapest and easiest way to exercise, then it is also one of the cheapest and easiest way to burn calories. So get into that walking shoes and take to the pavement, road or park.

Exercise leads to an increase metabolism that results in greater calorie consumption.

It is recommended that we burn approximately 100 to 300 calories per day if we want to see real weight loss. This can be achieved by 20 – 30 minutes of walking briskly once per day. If you walk for a shorter period, then do so twice for the day.

Look at this piece of statistic:

“If you cut your daily calories by 500 by avoiding animal fats, and walk briskly for 40 minutes five times a week, you’ll lose 5,600 calories, or 1.6 pounds, per week. (Dieting: Victory from the jaws of defeat)

Do you grasp what that mean? in two months, if you do not let up, you can lose almost 11 pounds! Is’Isn’t that exciting?

That should get us up from the couch and our procrastination.

It has to be maintained

Recently I chatted with a friend of mine. She had started walking about two weeks ago after having some health issues. On the advice of a young man who is into fitness, she started walking in her open garage. Two weeks later she was beaming. She was able to fit into a dress that she had to leave hanging in her wardrobe for the past years.

She did not count calories and did not drastically change her diet. Just cut down eating late at night and added more vegetables and fruits to her diet. This gave me added incentive to go out and lose mine while I firm up my muscles.

Dropping off the weight is good. Maintaining your ideal weight is great.

To do so, your diet must be a lifestyle and not a fad.

If you do the right thing – follow the best diet plan and exercise program – and then, after achieving you weight and fitness goal, you return to the old way, then you have just wasted your time and lots of money. In addition, you place yourself once more in a position to be unhealthy and closer to the grave.

So while being temperate in your pursuance of that healthy diet and your work out, it is not something that should be abandoned. You may find walking become boring after a time. Challenge yourself; walk for a longer distance or take another route. Better yet, take a friend or your spouse with you.

Alternatively, you can also change the type of exercise that you do. Swimming is almost as effective as walking, as a form of weight loss.

Cycling is another good form of exercise that you can use for weight loss. Some prefer to ride than to walk or swim. Plus that, you cover more miles and can find yourself in interesting places if you choose a different rout each ride. So if you prefer the bike, get on it and churn those pedals.

Remember though, that in spite of the form of exercise that you do, maintaining your ideal weight must be balances with the ideal diet and exercise – all in moderation.

Stay in shape

One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen is that of an old – or should I say aged – person, looking 20 – 25 years younger than they are.

Interview them about how it was done and most times the response would be about eating the right foods, getting adequate exercise and having a good relationship with people.

There would be some who would mention proper rest and others who would add that a good relationship with God were the main elements to their great looks.

Dieting is good, if you eat the right food. It should not be a means to an end but instead, a lifestyle. Losing the weight and then regaining it and adding more to it is counter-productive. Get into the habit of that fiber-rich complex carbohydrate calorie diet and do not go away from it.

Choose a form of exercise that allows you to increase your metabolism and stick to it. Swim, walk, cycle, do aerobics if you can afford the gym or have the knowledge to do it effectively, but combine your diet with exercise.

You have found the healthy diet for weight loss.

You can get in shape, be in shape and stay in shape.

Come on, get up.



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