We are always on a quest to improve our physical aspects, be it for health reasons or for vanity. We can bet that losing weight tops the list. No one is ever satisfied with their weight. There are always 5-10 pounds that you would gladly want to get rid of, no matter what! Keeping your weight within a given range is important for your overall health, as it reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, later on in life.
With the recent trends in upsizing of food, obesity has become an epidemic. With an increase in obesity, quiet a number of weight-loss programs and diets have popped up, as well. And it may seem easy to lose weight by going on a diet, but does it actually work?
Is it just the diet part that needs control? Do we include exercise or cut it out? There are a lot of questions and we will answer all of them for you. Let us start with the basics of how a diet works.
Diets and How They Work
Diet is considered more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight. You gain weight when your calorie consumption is more than your expenditure. By lowering your calorie intake, you can lose weight. But it is not as simple as it sounds. Your daily calorie intake depends on your lifestyle and your daily activities.
If you have a sedentary life style, you may need a low calorie intake to go through your day as opposed to a person who leads an active life.
Even if you are not doing anything, your body requires a significant number of calories. These calories are utilized to perform normal bodily functions.
Calorie Reduction Diet
When it comes to dieting, you have to cut back on the calories. The key is in consuming less calories than you burn. 3500 calories burn 1 pound of fat only. So if you count your calories on a regular basis and then reduce it by 500, you can expect to lose a pound in one week. It may not seem a lot, but over a period of time, you will lose a significant amount of weight. A calorie-controlled diet is the way to go forward.
In a calorie-controlled diet, you make choices based on their nutritional value. Add in healthy foods and cut out as much of sugar and processed foods as you can. Clean out your pantry and throw away the junk. It may seem like an uphill task but it pays in the end and goes a long way.
The weight loss is permanent, as you are making life-long changes instead of short-term changes. Doing it gradually is the key, as you slowly and steadily get accustomed to these changes. Taking diet pills can further aid in your weight loss journey.
Well, the name says it all. Crash diets are diets that help you lose weight rapidly. They are enticing, but they do not give long-lasting results. Many of the crash diets radically restrict your calorie intake and most of them miss out on one or two of the food groups.
These are nutritionally unbalanced and lead to ill-effects on your health. When you reduce your caloric intake radically, your body starts using up stored energy in the liver and muscle. However, most of the initial weight loss is due to water and muscle wastage. Your body responds by slowing down the metabolic rate. So, in effect, crash diets are counter intuitive.
These crash diets are also associated with weight gain, once the diet is over. Yes, they do lead to an immediate weight loss that you can see on the scale, but in the long run, they are not good for your health. Depending on the diet, following side-effects can be encountered.
- Slowing down of metabolism.
- Failure to provide the body with important nutrients wreaks havoc with normal bodily functions.
- Reduction of carbohydrate intake leads to lack of energy.
- Increase in protein/ fat intake leads to increase in cholesterol, which in turn raises the risk of developing heart diseases and stroke.
When it comes to weight loss, exercise is not considered as important as cutting back on calories. That said, both go hand in hand. Exercise does not burn as many calories as most of you think and that is why it is not considered as an important tool for weight loss, alone.
An example is that a person can burn 211 calories in 1 hour of water aerobics, which is way less than the calories in a simple no-grilled cheese sandwich. However, exercise is important to keep your brain and body engaged. And yes, you do burn calories, albeit a small number.
Diet and Exercise, Together?
For effective weight loss, it is imperative that you combine a calorie-deficient diet with a good exercise program. Exercise programs can include a brisk walk, a jog, strength training and yoga. Strength training and HIIT have been very popular in recent times and rightly so.
They kick start metabolism and help you tone down. But with both of these exercises, your appetite can increase significantly, so you have to be wary of what you eat.
Strength training increases calorie burn during the workout and even after the workout. However, you’ll need to combine this with a cardio workout to get the optimal weight loss results. Doing strength training alone has been associated with a weight gain, which you do not want to see right now.
Taking diet pills to maximize your results can be a good option.
So What is Best?
To lose weight, the best way to move forward is to keep a food journal and log in your daily caloric intake. A reduced calorie diet, coupled with at least 30 minutes of exercise, can work wonders for your weight loss.
Combine it with diet pills and you’ll get optimal results. Keep in mind that crash diets don’t work and on the contrary, they play with your health.
Losing weight is all about getting to a fitter and healthier you. Lose weight the healthy way!