How to Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight in a Healthy Way

Have you ever thought about how to lose weight? Whether you want to lose 2kg or 20kg, the same weight loss plans decide how quick you lose weight and how much you loss. You can reduce your body weight without the help of any weight loss programs or medicines by simply applying the following eating guidelines into practice. Our body weight depends on 2 things.  One is the amount of energy generating through food and the second one is amount of energy we burn through physical activities.

We commonly measure energy in calories. Also our body carries many chemical processes in order to sustain life. The sum of all these chemical processes is known as Metabolism. The amount of energy we burn in an hour by maintaining necessary body functions is called as basal metabolic rate. Hence if the daily amount of calories you get through your food is same with the amount of calories you burn daily, your weight will remain constant. Similarly if the amount of calories daily getting is more than that of the amount of calories you burn daily, you will gain weight slowly over a period of time.

Both the energy we intake and the energy we burn out are in control with ourself. The amount of energy we burn out every day is based on two things.

  • How much physical activity we are doing
  • Basal metabolic rate

 

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) may vary than the average in some individuals. It is due to some genetic reasons or other health problems. BMR depends on our body weight too. If your body weight is in higher levels, more calories are required to maintain your body functions. That means a 50kg individual requires less calorie to maintain his or her body weight than an individual who weighs 100kg.

The amount of calories we need to take each day depends on our job and life style to an extent. That means people who are doing labor work will burn more calories than people who are into clerical jobs. Hence for people who are into clerical jobs or those who doesn’t do jobs which needs heavy physical activity has to increase their amount of calories burned a day.

It is estimated roughly that, a woman aged between 30 to 45 years and who is leading an inactive life style needs around 1600 calories each day for keeping her body weight into normal. The same category man will require 400 calories additional to this to maintain his body weight. You need to add 200 calories more per day to this, if you are doing moderate level of exercise per day.

How to lose weight?

Reduce the calorie intake and increase the calorie burn through physical exercise would be the ideal approach to the question how to lose weight. To lose half kilograms, you need to burn 3150 calories approximately. You can do this either by reducing the food intake or by doing more physical exercise. Also you can reduce the food intake and increase the physical exercise simultaneously.

Let us assume that you are eating 450 calories extra in a day for a week and you are not changing your physical activities.   At this instance, you will gain a weight of half kilograms. 450 calories multiplied by 7 days is equal to 3150 calories. Similarly, if you eat 450 calories less per day without any change in physical activity level for a week, you will lose half kilogram.

Here are the list of most popular foods and the calorie they contain:

  • 1 cup of white cooked rice – 205
  • Egg – 102
  • Medium size apple – 72
  • 4 ounces of Vanilla Ice cream – 145
  • Medium size banana – 105
  • 8 ounces of Milk with 2% fat – 122
  • One slice of bread – 66
  • 1 spoon of salted butter – 102

 

Your basal metabolic rate is added with all the physical activities you do for the entire day. Hence this measures the amount of calories you burn in a day. For example, a person who weighs 75 kg and having an energetic walk for 1 hour will burn around 280 calories. The same time indulged in washing clothes will burn around 170 calories.

How quick you should expect weight loss?

Loosing half to 1 kg body weight per week is considered to be the healthiest and safest way by most of the dieticians and fitness trainers. As discussed earlier, changing food habits plus regular physical exercises are the most efficient ways to lose weight in long term.

Severe deficiency in food intake will result in quick weight loss.  But this is not safe and most of the people will not able to manage with it. If the calorie intake per day is less than 1000, our body begins to adjust with this situation of weak nutrition and starts reducing metabolic rate. Hence weigh loss will become even more difficult at this situation. This can even happen when you are skipping a meal or do fasting. Also you will get more symptoms like lowering of blood sugar, headache, and mood swing. These symptoms will make you to eat abnormal large quantity of food at a time and ultimately it will lead to weight gain. Also high restriction of food is impossible for long term. Hence when you stop this type of dieting and return to your old eating habits, you will gain weight quickly.

Best approach to weight loss plans

By going for meaningful food habits in a controlled way, and taking the exact calorie you need to maintain your health should be your approach to the question how to lose weight. Most of the time, weight loss happens automatically when you start avoiding foods like:

  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Fast food
  • Bottled drinks
  • Sugar
  • Bakery and oily foods

 

Sometimes you may have a temptation to take the foods mentioned above. At this situation, you need to limit the consumption and add a little more physical activity to your daily routine.

By changing bad food habits to healthy food habits, you can reduce the calorie intake. At the same time, if you are adding some extra physical activities to this, it will be a perfect weight loss plans for you. There is no need of expensive and inconvenient diet programs. Even after the weight loss, it is important to maintain your healthy food habits. Hence this balanced diet should consist of enough amounts of vitamins and proteins and less amount of sugar and fat.

Live example of successful weight loss plans

This is a story of a 40-year old woman who was on a clerical job. She has gained almost 8 kg over a period of 1-year due to lack of healthy food habits and some mental tensions. Hence she has decided to lose this 8 kg which she has gained. She was also aware about the consumption of more calories due to the nature of her job. Hence she fixed a target of losing half kilogram per week so that she will lose her whole 8 kg gained by the end of 4th month.

Also made the following changes in her food habit, which cuts around 450 calories on an average per day.

  • Skipped 1 can of cola – Saved 150 calories
  • Daily intake of 2 cups of cooked white rice was reduced to 1 cup – Saved 205 calories
  • Daily intake of half liter milk was reduced to .25 liter – Saved 122 calorie

 

Also she bought some small changes in her physical activity level which follows.

  • Instead of going by car, she opt a bicycle for going to her office daily
  • Added a 20 minute walk every day after her dinner

 

So after the end of 4th month, she comfortably lost around 9 kg instead of her target of 8 kg without any weakness in energy level or any physical tiredness.  Here you can see that the changes she has made were very minimal and gradual.

Special diet programs and weight loss plans

When it comes to the question how to lose weight, many people go for different methods like diet programs, nutrition & fitness books, and diet products etc. Many others attend counselling sessions and seminars too. Today this has become an industry where crores of rupees are transacted. Many people are searching for services on how to lose weight. Before selecting any of these weight loss plans, you need to keep in mind that you have to burn more calories than you intake. Then only these types of programs/services will give you result in losing weight. No weight loss plans/programs can change this truth.

Most of these how to lose weight programs have their own theories. Also all these programs have worked well for some folks while for others, it doesn’t. This is mainly because people differ in food habits, their choices, and their desire to eat. Before choosing any weight loss plans, think enough whether the how to lose weight program is sensible for you or not. If the program consists of meticulous counting of portions and calories, will you able to complete the task? As per the program, if you are restricted to eat particular food items, will you start a strong desire for these food items? Will you able to follow their theories strictly?

Also you have to keep in mind that all these how to lose weight programs are for life long. After achieving your weight loss target, if you return back to your previous food habits, definitely you will gain weight again. It is proven that success of any weight loss plans depend on long term healthy diet preferences. Instead of that if your diet is overly stringent; you will end up in binge eating and increase of weight thereby.

When should you consider surgery or medication?

There are several tablets available for weight loss and it is only for people who are at risk of obesity. If your body mass index is greater than 30, your doctor may prescribe you these tablets. If you are diabetic or having high cholesterol level, and having a BMI greater than 26, then also the doctor will recommend tablets for weight loss. Tablets are not the ideal choice for weight loss plans due to beauty purpose.

Weight loss surgeries are also available nowadays. This is known as bariatric surgery. It is ideal for those who are at high obesity or people who are a failure to tablet treatments. Bariatric surgery is for those who have a body mass index greater than 40. Also, in case of diabetic and cardiac patients having a BMI greater than 35, doctors will  consider bariatric surgery.

Importance of weight loss

Keeping a healthy body weight is necessary for the prevention of life style diseases. Also it will keep you pleasant both mentally and physically. Excess body weight will lead to excess body fat and obesity. Following health conditions are in association with over body weight:

  • Cardiac diseases
  • Hypertension
  • High blood sugar
  • Stroke
  • Lack of proper sleep

 

Hence controlling your body weight to the normal levels has a big positive impact on the above mentioned health problems. Moreover, it will increase your motivation level and self-esteem.

10 tips for weight loss

  • You should have a strong desire to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight for impressing others, you may fail.
  • Find a how to lose weight plan which suits best for you. Those successful plans for others may be a failure for you.
  • Don’t lose confidence on your failures. Failures are due to the wrong changes and replace it immediately with the right one. If you miss some exercises for few days, it doesn’t means that you have failed in your attempt.
  • Don’t make your stomach empty completely. Hunger will make you start eating more.
  • Instead of skipping the meals, try to eat small quantity of food at regular intervals.
  • Try to avoid the occasions where you are more prone to eat unhealthy food. Avoid the company of people who are forcing you to have unhealthy food.
  • For one or two occasions, you may force to have unhealthy food and don’t give up your weight loss attempt for this reason. You can come back strongly with a fresh start again.
  • Try to fill your refrigerator with low carb, low sugar snacks.
  • Always start your meals with a cup of green salads. This will fill your stomach quickly by preventing the more intake of high calorie main food.
  • List out some restaurants which display the nutrition content on their menu page itself.

 

Published by

Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic

Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic

Hi! My name is Aleksandar Grbovic. I’m a radiology resident with five years of experience in General Medicine. As a medical writer, I have only one goal in my mind - to bridge the gap between doctors and patients point of view by breaking down complex medical topics and presenting them in lay people language. Knowing that my writing might help someone out there connect the dots is what keeps me motivated.

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