In the first article of this three-part discussion, entitled “HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT CONSISTENTLY“, we have established that weight loss is good. And we have established that weight gain is bad and dangerous.
We have laid the foundation for the understanding of weight loss. In these subsequent two articles, we get into the practicalities of how to lose weight, and how NOT to try to lose weight.
The second and third article are a discussion on Diet, Exercise and Weight loss. We will first explain how to exercise to lose weight. Then we will lay out a diet plan to lose weight.
But after the “commercial break”, we will begin by exploring why it is hard to lose weight (seemingly!)
WEIGHT LOSS GUARANTEED
To begin with, it must be stated that the weight loss advice offered in these two articles, has been tried and tested. The Author used the weight loss program in Family Practices situated in urban, peri-urban and rural practices for two decades.
The advice provided here produced positive weight loss results in 80-90% of clients. And importantly, the weight loss is consistent. Esteemed Reader you will continue to lose weight consistently, for months and months, and improve your health and fitness.
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WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCT LINKS FOR THESE THREE ARTICLES (MORE IN THE OTHER ARTICLES)
In the first article, we presented some exercise equipment to aid in weight loss, and some gym equipment. Let us now present some smaller items that will help you to exercise to lose weight.
WHY IS IT HARD TO LOSE WEIGHT?
A lot of people, even if they are aware about weight problems, approach the problem wrongly. Firstly, you need an in-depth understanding of the issues. You need to be given the background information such as we have begun to provide here.
If you are overweight or obese, you need to really
– acknowledge the problem and
– understand the reasons why to lose weight
– be genuinely prepared to correct the problematic situation
– seek professional input / guidance
– if possible, and especially in the case of serious overweight, have a support system (Personal Trainer, gym, aerobics class, walk mates, etc).
It is not advisable to rush into a weight loss program, without having prepared oneself psychologically. And, embarking on a weight loss and / or exercise program without being assessed physically by a Health professional, is dangerous and strictly advised against.
The other problem is that many products or programs are advertised as “best way lose weight”. The reality is that weight loss succeeds with not one “best way”, but with a comprehensive range of interventions that include diet, exercise, psychotherapy, and occasional pharmacological agents.
Many people also seek “how to lose weight fast” and “how to lose weight fast for free”. Weight gain does not happen fast – it usually takes months or years. Therefore weight loss cannot be expected to happen fast.
People aiming to lose weight fast, sometimes try to achieve weight loss by abusing medications such as diuretics (“water tablets”). The problem with weight loss enforced like this, is that health problems like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can occur. Here we will demonstrate how to lose weight naturally and physiologically.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT
This is the most important basis to remember:
In order to avoid weight gain, your Energy / Calorie intake must be equal to, or even less than, your Energy usage.
And TO LOSE WEIGHT, YOUR ENERGY (CALORIE) USAGE MUST BE GREATER THAN YOUR INTAKE. That is, you must be in negative calorie balance.
Negative calorie balance can be achieved by a good combination of diet and exercise. There should be a good weight loss diet, rich in all essential nutrients, but low in calories. And you should know what exercises help you to lose weight, how you schedule them to fit your circumstances, and with what frequency and intensity you perform them.
In the next two paragraphs, we will:
– discuss exercises and weight loss
– outline a diet and weight loss plan (this will be in the 3rd article)
We will finish off the discussion in the third article, by answering a pertinent question, “how much weight can I lose?”
EXERCISES AND WEIGHT LOSS
This is an important component of a weight loss program. But it is also the most complex. There are a lot of factors at interplay, and the Science behind it is still being unraveled.
What is the best time to exercise for weight loss? Most people choose to exercise in the early morning, on an empty stomach. The idea is that stored fat is thus burnt and used to provide energy for the exercises.
Early morning exercises are also convenient for many people in that after exercising, they bathe or shower, then set about their daily work. Afternoon exercise demands another visit to the shower!
Early morning exercises may work for many people in terms of losing weight. But it has been found that hormones like cortisol, that aid catabolism (and hence breakdown of fat) actually peak later in the day. So, the complexity can be seen here.
Also, although exercising before any meals could aid weight loss, another school of thought is that it could be deleterious. This is because in addition to fat, the body could turn to the GLYCOGEN in your muscles, to provide energy. This school of thought advocates a small snack (e.g. yoghurt, fruit) before early morning exercises.
And certainly, to prevent muscle breakdown and deconditioning, a meal must be taken within an hour of completing exercises.
How much exercise is required? For this one, there is no confusion. The barest minimum exercise for anyone, is 35 minutes a day, 4 days a week.
But it is important that the exercise is of enough intensity. The exercise should raise the heart rate, in a sustained manner. And the exercise should be enough to work up a sweat.
Walking for exercise and weight loss is however an excellent idea and should never be underrated. It is:
– free (absolutely no equipment needed. Walk barefoot every now and then),
– practical (can easily be fitted into daily routines),
– natural (humans are built to be walkers as their prime mode of movement),
– enjoyable (alone, as a couple, in fun walks, etc) and
– often therapeutic. Take frequent walks out there, in the forests, hilltops, etc. Be in touch with Nature.
It has long been taught that we need to avoid elevators, lifts and vehicles as much as possible in our daily lives. But now the Scientific evidence backing up that teaching is flowing in. A massive UK study done over decades is showing that public servants who walk to work live longer, and are leaner and healthier than those who use vehicles.
Cardio exercises and weight loss
More needs to be said the issue of raising the heart rate or pulse rate when exercising. The heart is a very muscular organ. When we exercise and increase its rate, it works harder and harder to pump blood to the working muscles and other parts.
A hard working heart burns a lot of calories, very fast. That is why cardio exercises are probably the best exercises for weight loss.
However, resistance exercises still need to be incorporated into a workout routine, to build strength of the non-cardiac muscles. This also helps endurance.
Weight gain is bad, in many ways. It puts our health in dire danger, and causes premature ageing and death. This has now been established beyond doubt, and Esteemed Reader you need to avoid or reverse weight gain.
Weight loss is good, for anyone of any age, gender, health status, etc. It improves the quality of life and sense of well-being. It is never too late to embark on a weight loss program.
The third and last article, is entitled “Diet For Exercise And Weight Loss“. In it, we are going to go deeper into the HOW of diet and weight loss.
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