• Tips & Advice

THE FACTS ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS

Being obese can have serious health consequences. These include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, and some forms of cancer. Losing weight can help reduce these risks. Here are some general points to keep in mind:

Any claims that you can lose weight effortlessly are FALSE. The only proven way to lose weight is either to reduce the number of calories you eat or to increase the number of calories you burn off through exercise. Most experts recommend a combination of both.

Very low calorie diets are not without risks, and should be pursued only under medical supervision. Unsupervised very low calorie diets can deprive you of important nutrients and are potentially dangerous.

Fad diets rarely have any permanent effect. Sudden and radical changes in your eating patterns are difficult to sustain over time. In addition, so called "crash" diets often send dieters into a cycle of quick weight loss, followed by a rebound weight gain once normal eating resumes, and makes it even more difficult to lose weight when the next diet is attempted.

To lose weight safely and keep it off requires long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Many experts recommend a goal of losing about a pound a week. A modest reduction of 500 calories per day should achieve this goal, since a total reduction of 3,500 calories is required to lose a pound of fat. An important way to lower caloric intake is to practice healthy eating habits.

SENSIBLE WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

Losing weight may not be effortless, but it doesn't have to be complicated. To achieve long-term results, it is best to avoid quick fix schemes and complex regimens. Focus instead on making modest changes to your life's daily routine. A balanced, healthy diet and sensible, regular exercise arc the keys to maintaining your ideal weight. Although nutrition science is constantly evolving, here are some generally accepted guidelines for losing weight:

1. Consult with a qualified health professional to determine ideal body weight.

2. Eat smaller portions and choose from a variety of foods.

3. Load up on foods high in fiber: fruits, vegetables and whole grains

4. Limit portions of foods high in fat: dairy products, red meat, cakes etc.

5. Exercise at least three times a week.

6. Drink lots of water.

7. Avoid caffeinated beverages.

8. Avoid eating close to bedtime.

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18.5 or less Underweight
18.5 - 24.9 Normal
25.0 - 29.9 Overweight
30.0 - 34.9 Obese
35.0 - 39.9 Obese
40 or greater Extremely Obese