So what is obesity, exactly? Obesity is characterized by the accumulation of fat tissue. Some health practitioners define obesity by the amount of fat content of the body. Obesity is usually defined as a body fat content greater than 25% of the total weight for males, or greater than 30% of the total weight for females. The recommended body fat content for men is 15% to 18%; for women, it's 20% to 25%. These percentages vary with age, increasing as we get older.
The truth is there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. To find the method of weight loss that’s right for you will likely take time and require patience, commitment, and some experimentation with different foods and diets.
Everyone is different. How quickly you burn calories when you are not physically active can be very different from other people based on your specific genes, biology, and past. While scientists know that there are 3,500 calories in one pound, simply eating 500 fewer calories every day for a week (or 3,500 fewer calories in a week) does not always end in losing exactly one pound.
So, what's all the fuss and concern? Obesity has health consequences. The complications resulting of obesity can have a considerable negative effect on the quality and length of a person's life. These complications can also have a significant impact on health care costs. People who are obese are at a higher risk of numerous illnesses, including heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. Obesity also increases the risk of:
While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. Being free to simply avoid fried foods or cut back on refined carbs can set them up for success. So, don’t get too discouraged if a diet that worked for somebody else doesn’t work for you. And don’t beat yourself up if a diet proves too restrictive for you to stick with. Ultimately, a diet is only right for you if it’s one you can stick with over time.
In my research, I sometimes find that even products and approaches with studies behind them carry more risks than benefits. For these reasons, many experts maintain a skeptical eye. One University of Alabama professor made quite a few headlines earlier this year by calling most weight loss aids a waste of money, including some celebrities swear by.
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You probably think that vegetable juice is just a way to get more veggies in your diet, right? That's true, but veggie juice has also been shown to fill you up. In fact, when people drank vegetable juice before a meal, they ended up eating 135 fewer calories. Now that's some appetite suppression! Just be sure to drink the low-sodium varieties, which are less likely to make you bloat.
Eat good fats. It seems counterintuitive to eat fat when you’re trying lose fat, depriving your body of healthy fats will make it much harder to shed extra pounds. Include healthy fats like avocado, wild fish (salmon), coconut oil, grass fed butter (in moderation), nuts & seeds, which are essential to brain function, making hormones and supporting healthy cell membranes.
I challenge you — as I challenge myself every day — to find small ways to make positive changes to your lifestyle. Can you add five minutes to your cardio routine? Can you modify a strength-training exercise to incorporate the need for balance or core strength? Can you eat a new vegetable or re-try one you’ve shunned in the past? Can you add some protein to your afternoon snack?
If hunger and cravings (especially after meals) are a problem for you in your attempt to maintain a healthy weight, remember to eat your leafy greens! You’ll not only be feeding your body with the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, you’ll be regulating your appetite hormones in beneficial ways. While there are no thylakoid supplements yet on the market in the U.S., eating large servings of green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale will automatically increase your intake of this natural appetite suppressant. Nutrition experts like Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of the classic nutrition guide Eat to Live, for instance, recommend you eat at least one pound (16 oz.) of green leafy vegetables every day for optimal health and weight control. He may be onto something! Besides suppressing your appetite with leafy greens, there are a lot of additional weight loss tips natural health practitioners share with patients. You can read about ten of the top natural weight loss tips here.
The only diet medication which is currently licensed in the UK as safe and effective is orlistat, which is a lipase inhibitor. This means that it reduces the amount of energy that you take in from the fat contained in foods that you eat, and the undigested fat is passed along with your faeces. It doesn’t suppress the appetite, but instead works by preventing up to a third of the fat that you eat from being absorbed by the body.
Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things – such as posture – may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.
If you want to lose weight, you’d better avoid special “low-carb” products that are full of carbs. This should be obvious, but creative marketers are doing all they can to fool you (and get your money). They will tell you that you can eat cookies, pasta, ice cream, bread and plenty of chocolate on a low-carb diet, as long as you buy their brand. They’re full of carbohydrates. Don’t be fooled.
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The tips listed above are going to help you lose weight no matter what. There are going to be a few other factors that come into play, of course, but if you can combine these tips, you will be perfectly okay. Everyone should consider combining these tips with ones that are going to help you keep weight off no matter what. You can put yourself on the right path on your weight loss journey.
In our eat-and-run, massive-portion-sized culture, maintaining a healthy weight can be tough—and losing weight, even tougher. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t work for you. You’re probably right: some diets don’t work at all and none of them work for everyone—our bodies often respond differently to different foods. But while there’s no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve lasting weight-loss success.
Teaming up with other people who are also looking to lose weight may make individuals more likely to reach their weight loss goals. People can find weight loss support from friends, family, and online communities dedicated to healthful lifestyles. Studies have shown that simply receiving text message support can promote healthful behavior that can lead to lasting weight loss.
Riva's new book, Diabetes Do's & How-To's, is available in print and Kindle, along with her other books, 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It and The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes. Riva speaks to patients and health care providers about flourishing with diabetes. Visit her websites DiabetesStories.com and DiabetesbyDesign.com.
Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years and is still one of the healthiest beverages available to us today. It’s been the focus of hundreds of studies related to everything from preventing cognitive disorders like dementia to managing metabolic dysfunction. Recently, certain antioxidants and substances in green tea extract have been tied to beneficial effects on metabolic diseases and improvements in regulating appetite hormones.
Certain studies have shown that just three 15-minute exposures to grapefruit essential oil each week helped participants reduce their appetites and practice habits (like slow, mindful eating) that better control their weight. How can you use grapefruit essential oil at home or when you’re on the go? Trying adding several drops of pure grapefruit essential oil (citrus paradise) either to a diffuser in your office/home, to your shower or bath soap, or with a carrier oil to be massaged right onto your skin (just do a skin patch test to be sure you don’t have an allergic reaction first).
If you want to keep the hunger monster from rearing its food-devouring head, eat a small salad before you sit down for a meal. Just a cup or two of veggies is all it takes to signal to your brain that you're getting calories and nutrition. Since it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you're full, starting with a small salad before your meal, is a perfect way to get a head-start on that hunger signal.