Weight loss refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue.
In any discussion on how to lose weight, it should be noted that the issue itself stems from instances of people being overweight, being obese. The two conditions are worrisome but obesity is obviously worse. According to reports published in January 2015, worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. Most of the world's population live in countries where weight issues and obesity kills more people than underweight. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.
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Judging by these reports, it goes without saying that many persons would be looking to shed some unneeded weight. How, then, can weight be safely and healthily shed?
If you’re wondering how to go about it, below is a helpful list on how to lose weight:
Lack of sleep can cause you to eat more throughout the day and not have enough energy for your workouts, so aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. It's an easy and effective way to keep your weight-loss goals on the right track.
Strenuous exercises are not necessarily needed to lose weight, but it is highly recommended. Advisedly, you should visit the gym 3-4 times a week. Do a warm up, lift weights, then stretch. Ask a trainer for some advice if you are new to the gym. Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat. If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some easier cardio workouts like running, jogging, swimming or walking will suffice. You can burn a few extra calories by making an effort to move a little more during the day. Taking breaks to walk around the office, opting for the stairs instead of the escalator, and parking a little farther from the office entrance are all simple ways to up your calorie burn.
When dealing with the question of how to lose weight, many people usually think that avoiding food is the answer, but of course, such notion is far from the truth. While a little hunger can be good for you, starving yourself all day in order to go all out on that meal later in the night is both unhealthy and diet sabotage. Properly plan your meals and snacks, and take them in a timely manner, in order to avoid low blood-sugar levels that tend to make you crash.
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When it's time to snack, cut back on sugars and starches (carbs). These are the foods that stimulate secretion of insulin the most. If you didn’t know already, insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body. Instead, go for proteinous and fibre-rich foods which will also fill you up. You'll be able to eat fewer calories while still feeling satisfied. One of these 150-calorie foods will surely hit the spot; beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon, etc. fish and seafood, eggs, etc. When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients.
Drinking water can have benefits for weight loss. In one 12-week weight loss study, people who drank half a liter of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44% more weight. Drinking water has also been shown to boost the amount of calories burned by 24-30% over a period of 1.5 hours. Alcohol on the other hand, has about 7 calories per gram, which is high. If you like alcohol but want to lose weight, then it may be best to stick to spirits (like vodka) mixed with a non-caloric beverage. Beer, wine and sugary alcoholic beverages are very high in calories and are surely not good for you if you intend to lose that weight.
Try to keep your dinner to about 25% of your daily calories, and have it at least two to three hours before going to bed. Eating too much too late can cause digestion and sleep issues that make it hard to stick to a healthy routine.
Shedding weight is generally a much slower process than most people want. Many people have unrealistic expectations of what is achievable with a healthy diet and exercise. The truth is, not everyone can look like a fitness model or bodybuilder. The photos you see in magazines and other places are often enhanced using Photoshop. If you have already lost some weight and you feel good about yourself, but the scale does not seem to want to budge any further, then perhaps you should maybe accept your body the way it is. At some point, your weight is going to reach a healthy set point where your body feels comfortable. Trying to go beyond that may not be worth the effort, and may even be impossible for you.
Apart from the steps listed above, some people might seek further answers to the quest on how to lose weight. It needs to be pointed out here, that weight can also be shed by clinical methods, which in essence is the use of prescription drugs to drop weight. However, what is important to note is that most of these drugs, regardless of what they advertise, usually have negative side effects which may prove fatal if used repeatedly over a period of time. It is advised to consult one's doctor before using any weight-loss drug.
While obesity is a concern for many people as the reports above suggest, it should be noted that not everyone observing a weight-loss programme/regime is fighting obesity or trying to ward it off. People lose weight for several reasons: to get a job, fit in, look good and attractive to people of the opposite sex, etc.
On a final note, unexplained weight loss that is not caused by reducing calorie-intake or constant exercise is called cachexia and may be a symptom of a serious medical condition.