Only Dieting Is Enough for Effective Weight Loss
Therapeutic weight loss, in individuals who are overweight, can decrease the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes . Overweight and obese individuals are also at greater risk of health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis . For healthy weight loss, a physician should be consulted to develop a weight loss plan that is tailored to the individual. A weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight.An easy way to determine your own desirable body weight is to use the following formula:
Women: 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height plus 5 pounds for each additional inch.
Men: 106 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height plus 6 pounds for each additional inch.
For a small body frame, 10% should be subtracted. For a large frame, 10% should be added.
Body fat and body mass measurements are used to determine whether a person is under- or overweight. A registered dietitian or exercise physiologist can help you calculate your body fat. Weight loss, in the context of medicine or health, is a reduction of the total body weight, which can mean loss of fluid, muscle or bone mass, or fat.The loss of weight associated with a chronic illness is referred to as cachexia. Unexpected, unintentional weight loss is a common symptom of illness and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional:
The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended by physicians, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical exercise.Usually, health professionals will recommend that their overweight patients combine a reduction of the caloric content of the diet, with an increase in physical activity.
But ,a new study debunks the widely held belief that diet plus exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. Researchers report that dieting alone is just as effective as dieting plus exercise.
"For weight loss to occur, an individual needs to maintain a difference between the number of calories they consume everyday and the number of calories they burn through metabolism and physical activity," Dr. Leanne Redman of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, explains in a press release.
"What we found was that it did not matter whether a reduction in calories was achieved through diet or burned everyday through exercise."
Thirty-five overweight but otherwise healthy adults -- 16 men and 19 women -- completed the 6-month study. Twelve were assigned to a diet-only group; they reduced their calorie intake by 25 percent. Twelve were assigned to diet plus exercise; they reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent and increased their exercise by 12.5 percent. The remaining 11 subjects made no significant diet or exercise changes.
Redman and colleagues found that the diet-only group and the diet plus exercise group lost roughly the same amount of weight, albeit by different means. They lost about 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their fat mass and 27 percent of their abdominal "visceral" fat -- the deep internal fat linked to heart disease risk.
Therefore, if the goal is purely shedding pounds, diet or exercise will work, according to this study. However, as the researchers point out, regular exercise can improve aerobic fitness and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
The study also found that exercise did little to tone specific areas of the body. Fat was reduced consistently across the whole body and not more in any one trouble spot.
"Our study then would indicate that weight loss cannot override the way in which any individual stores fat. Perhaps an apple will always be an apple, and a pear, a pear," Redman concludes.
This suggests that people are "genetically programmed for fat storage in a particular pattern and that this programming cannot be easily overcome by weight loss," the authors note in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Weight gain occurs over a long period, and similarly weight loss won't happen overnight.Unfortunately, people often find diets hard to sustain, in part because they tire of avoiding certain foods, loading up on others or feeling deprived and hungry. And their diet is often temporary, something to endure for a while before returning to former ways. As a result, any lost pounds come right back once the diet stops.The key is to institute changes in your diet and lifestyle that are sustainable long-term. Here are some tips:
- Follow a plan for healthy eating. Avoid fasting, fad diets and diet drugs.
- Take a class in preparing low-calorie meals or find new recipes in low-calorie cookbooks.
- Keep a daily record of everything you eat and drink. Don't forget to write every nibble down!
- Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and avoid alcohol.
- Join a weight loss support group.
- Substitute relaxation techniques such as deep breathing during stressful times when you're tempted to eat.
- Begin introducing physical activity such as walking or swimming.