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Weight loss

Weight loss

A-Z of Weight loss, Health and Fitness

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Aerobics

An exercise that improves the health, strength, and efficiency of the heart and lungs. Aerobics as a concept goes back to the 1960s. The difference between aerobic activity and other kinds of exercise is that when you do something aerobically, you sustain movement over a period of time. This can be running, swimming, even dancing. You often need to be fit before you start because many aerobic exercises are too rigorous for beginners.

Work up to a form of aerobic exercise intense enough to raise your pulse to 120 beats a minute for about 30 minutes three times a week.

 

Bones

As your age, your bones suffer a steady loss of minerals. In women, this accelerate after the menopause. Physical activity and adequate calcium in your diet can help prevent the bone loss and thus reduce the problems of osteoporosis (brittle bones), fractures, loss of height and ‘dowager’s hump’. Doctors suggest an adequate calcium intake is about 700mg before the menopause, 100mg during it and 1500mg afterwards. Good sources of calcium in food are sardines, muesli, fresh skimmed milk, cheese, cottage cheese, natural yogurt, self-raising flour and baking powder.
 
The tap water in many areas contains appreciable amounts and cooking foods in hard tap water can enhance their calcium content. If you cannot get enough from your food, you might require calcium supplements, but ask your doctor first. Eat wholewheat bread and cereals rather than sprinkling bran on foods, because this can interface with calcium (and iron) absorption.
 

Circuit Training

This is a system of continuous weight exercises done at ‘station’ set up around a course. Each is designed to exercise a different group of muscles an strengthen the heart and lungs. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the number and strenuousness of the exercises.

Diets

Weight loss diets aim to reduce the number of calories you eat, so you burn more energy than you take in, and therefore use more of your fat reserves. In the first week of a diet, water loss represents at least 70 percent of the weight loss. Low carbohydrate diets that reduce bread and potatoes lead to most water loss and leave you feeling tired and dehydrated. High protein diets are also not recommended. Your body converts excess protein into ammonia and organic acids and eliminates them through the urine, making your kidneys work overtime. Once you stop dieting, your appetite may boomerang so that you eat more. Exercise is important to help preserve and protect your lean body tissue while you are dieting. If you lose weight without exercise, about 25 to 50 percent of the weight lost will be lean tissue, whatever diet you use.
 

Energy

Food provides your body with energy. This is measured in calories. Take in more calories than your body can utilize and it will be stored as fat. If you take in fewer calories than you need, your body will call on its fat deposits – eventually.
 

Fat

A woman’s natural stores of fat enable her to survive longer without food or even heat. When she becomes too thin, and her fat percentage of body weight falls too low, menstruation ceased and she will be infertile. But too much fat leads to poor health.
Weight alone does not indicate whether you are too fat. Doctors use an implement called skinfold calipers to do an accurate ‘pinch test’ and determine the fat content of your body. The ideal body fat percentage is 25 percent for women and 15 percent for a ma. But people who exercise regularly have an ideal body fat percentage of 5 percent less. If you are 35 percent fat, you are moderately obese. More than 60 percent of the fat is gross obesity.
 

Glucose

All the carbohydrates you eat are turned to glucose and pass through the liver to be circulated in the bloodstream, The glucose is used immediately or stored. But the liver can only store up to about 12 hours worth of glucose. That’s why breakfast is important – to stop morning fatigue and increase your body sugar levels. Your brain needs glucose all the time, so depriving yourself of carbohydrates or fasting will make you tired and dizzy.
 

Hunger

Eating brings a higher level of glucose in the blood which prompts the release of insulin, but it seems to take about 20 minutes from when you begin eating for your brain to register a feeling of fullness. Insulin enters the bloodstream of a fat person slowly, and this could be one reason why some overweight people eat more and for longer than the slim, This link between insulin and a feeling of fullness is one reason you should not eat quickly if you are slimming. Drink something like unsweetened grapefruit juice, coffee, or tea before a meal also has a ‘turning down’ effect on hunger, as does regular strenuous exercise.
 

Isometrics

Exercises that contract muscles and help to strengthen them, without producing movement. There was a lot of interest in this in the 1960s, but it has lost favor today. It has no training effect on the heart and lungs, and should not be attempted by anybody with high blood pressure.
 

Junk Food 

This term is applied, often misleadingly, to a variety of foods.
Some fast foods are indeed high in fat and sugar, and processed foods may include various additives.
However, Convenience eating is here to stay, so it pays to read the labels and to think twice about take-ways when you’re slimming.
 

Keeping Slim

Once you have got to the weight you want, the problem is how to stay there. If you embark on a fad diet and do not exercise or change your habits, then the fat will creep back. To keep slim and fit, you need to be more physically active. Once you stop being sedentary, you will be able to eat nutritious food and not think about the calories so much.
 

Low Fat

Fat contains twice as many calories as carbohydrates, and too much fat is believed to be bad for health. So a lower-fat way of eating is sensible. A simple way to cut down is to choose less fatty cuts of meat: poultry and fish rather than red meats and pork. Cut off visible fat and the skin off chicken after cooking. Eat fewer sausages, salami, and pies. Eat less hard cheese, butter, and ordinary margarine. Don’t try foods and cut down on cakes, biscuits, pastry, and chocolate.
 

Metabolism

Metabolism is the sum of all the chemical reactions that happen as your body makes new tissue, produces energy, digests food, and keep on functioning. Metabolic rates vary. If you are fat, your metabolism may be low, using food or fuel sparingly and storing the rest. Experts now believe that activity is the way to ginger up a sluggish metabolism. Vigorous exercise is thought to encourage the body to use more calories of energy even when the body is at rest.
 

Nibbling

It is believed that eating little and often burns off more calories than eating fewer, larger meals. Eating, like exercise, encourages the body’s brown fat to burn calories as energy. But, to slim down, you must choose your food carefully. Eat fruit vegetables rather than sugary or fatty foods, crisps, biscuits, or chocolate. Smaller more frequent meals also keep insulin level steady; you are less likely to feel hungry and go on a binge.

 

Obesity

Obesity has been defined as an excessive enlargement of the body’s total quantity of fat. According to the weight charts, you are obese if you are 20 percent or more above the ‘acceptable’ weight range.
 

Pulse

This is your heart rate, checked by lightly pressing your finger or fingers(not your thumb) on the inside of your wrist, about an inch from the thumb. At rest, an average pulse rate is about 70 to 80 per minute. Taking your own pulse is a guide to how exercise is affecting your body. For your own guideline, subtract your age from 200, then subtract another 40 for unfitness, if you are a beginner. That is the initial maximum rate you should aim for during exercise.
 

Quick Weight Loss

 
Crash dieting is not to be recommended. It took time to get fat and it will take time to get into the habit of better eating and taking more exercise to become slim.
 

Running

Running is a good way to get fit and lose weight. But you need to start off slowly if you are a novice. Start by taking brisk walks, then walk and run a little. Gradually increase the time you run. Buy a good pair of cushioned running shoes to protect your feet and legs from jarring.
 

Smoking

The dangerous effect of cigarette smoking are well documented; they range from heart disease and lung cancer to bronchitis and emphysema. Think of every cigarette smoked as decreasing your life expectancy by 5 minutes. It is less dangerous to be obese than to smoke. But to be both fat and a smoker is to court disaster.
 

Thin

Thin people are thought to eat when their bodies tell them they are hungry, while fat people may eat in response to cues from their surroundings. However, being thin is also a matter of genetic inheritance.
 

Unsaturated Facts

The sort that stays liquid at room temperatures such as sunflower or maize oil or kinds of margarine called ‘polyunsaturated’ is thought by many experts to be better than the animal fast found in eggs, meat, hard cheese, whole milk, butter, and ordinary margarine. But try to reduce all fast in your diet.
 

Vitamins

These simply trace elements in food that are vital to health. A diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as wholewheat cereals or bread, should provide all the vitamins you need. Smoking reduces Vitamin C uptake, and you may need to take extra food or vitamin supplements if you are old or ill, or have tooth problems that stop you from eating a varied diet. But vitamin pills are not an insurance policy and you should never take any pill as a matter of course.
 

Water

The body has a big percentage of water; and it is useless to try and restrict your liquid intake to lose weight. The body adjusts its water levels, and any water lost at a sauna or through heat is soon replaced.
 

Xtreme

It is not a good idea to go on extreme diets of any kind. Crash dieting is pointless in terms of weight loss that stays off.
 

Yo-Yo Syndrome

This is the disappointing lose weight-regain-weight fact of life for many dieters, who try to slim by reducing food intake alone. Any diet that reduces the calories you eat will cause a weight loss, whether it is healthy or not. But unless you exercise, you will lose lean tissue. A very stringent diet educates your body into thinking it is in a state of famine – so it tries to store food ( in the form of fat). Too many diets can lower your metabolism.
The weight lost fastest is weight regained fastest. As soon as you stop dieting, you regain the lost weight, but as fat rather than muscle you have lost. So you may be fatter than before. Exercise helps preserve and protect your lean body tissue while you are dieting.
The loose weight permanently, you need to lose weight slowly on a nutritious well-planned diet (1200 to 1500 calories a day preferably) together with a program of exercise. The key to weight control is also a change of lifestyle, to alter the behavior that made you fat in the first place.
Fat people do not necessarily overeat. Thin active people generally eat more than fat sedentary people. The obese may have faulty body mechanisms governing their output of energy and storage of fat but they can be altered with time.
 

Zen Macrobiotic Diet

A quasi-mystical fad diet, it can lead to mineral imbalance, vitamin deficiencies, and rapid lean tissue rather than fat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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