Weight Loss Guidelines
Obesity is an enormous problem in the United States (pun intended). Obesity increases the risk of debilitating diseases like diabetes and arthritis. It increases the risk of deadly diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Successful health strategies for getting to and staying at an ideal weight can save untold suffering and billions of dollars in health care expenditures.
Epidemiological studies show that it is VERY difficult to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off using traditional and popular weight-loss programs. Our bodies have been genetically programmed over millions of years of evolution to pack on fat when times are good. In primitive times that meant when game and foraging foods were plentiful. In today’s times it means when high caloric foods are inexpensively ready and waiting for us at the fast food chains and fully stocked supermarkets. Our bodies and brains have also been evolutionarily programmed to conserve calories when calories are in short supply. In ages past when foraging or game was scarce it meant survival during lean times. Today it means when we are reducing our calories to lose unwanted weight our brains and bodies shift into an ultra calorie-conservation metabolism. This makes losing weight VERY difficult.
So the first health tip is that prevention of obesity should be the order of the day. At the first sign of a few extra added pounds weight reduction efforts should begin. It is easier to lose a little weight when you are a little overweight, but it becomes increasingly difficult to lose larger and larger amounts of weight.
The second tip is that once you decide to lose weight commit to it fully. Set a goal of your ideal weight and go after it whole-heartedly.
Third, recruit friends and family members to support you in your efforts. People who have a good support network are more successful than individuals who try to lose weight alone.
Fourth, keep a detailed, accurate diet diary. Measure all your foods and count every calorie consumed. Those who “calorie estimate” rather than actually measure and count precisely, underestimate calories consumed by an average 30%.
Fifth, choose a diet that suits your metabolic, digestive and taste preferences. Many people do well on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. This may not be good for people with kidney problems since the processing of the high nitrogen in the protein may be problematic. It may not be ideal for vegetarians, either. Some people do well with a low fat, no meat, vegan diet of veggies, legumes, beans, and whole grains. Diabetics do particularly well on this diet.
Medications for weight loss can be extremely problematic, amphetamines damage the nervous system and should be avoided. Serotonin and Norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors for appetite suppression can have short term benefits but serious long term disadvantages, including depletion of essential brain neurotransmitters. If appetite suppression greater than what can be gained from choosing the best diet for your metabolic type is needed to be successful, nutritional supplementation with targeted amino acids and co-vitamins has proven to be the most successful big weight loss approach. You must be committed to taking the prescribed dosage of nutrients everyday for success though.
Lap band and stomach stapling procedures are last resort measures for the morbidly obese who do not succeed on other less extreme weight loss regimens.
For generalized nutrition guidelines go to the free: Wise Nutrition Course.
Here are some helpful websites: