The Many Ways of Weight Loss

Mr. Happy

There Are Many Ways to Weight Loss

You can achieve weight loss in many controversial ways. However, there are a few things about dieting and weight loss that most experts agree upon in general.

“Super” models starve themselves – but that is one of the many ways of weight loss experts agree you should avoid. Besides, most of us don’t want to go that route – walking around pale, weak and hungry all the time!

So just what are the ways of weight loss experts agree are effective?

Water for Weight LossFirst, water. Drink a lot of water. Most of us don’t drink enough water from day to day. The popular advice of getting in eight,  8-ounce glasses of water a day (maybe more, depending on your weight) is sound advice.

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you drink a full glass of water before beginning your meal, your stomach simply doesn’t hold as much food. (See “Why Water?” for more vital information on water).

Some people have the notion that drinking more water can make you gain weight, or become bloated, but this is simply not true.  It’s when you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, your body gets dehydrated. When it does finally get water, it holds onto it and stores it for a future need. That’s when we feel swollen, and bloated with water weight. If you give your body enough water on a regular basis, it releases it naturally. Drinking enough water gives you the benefit of hydration and satiation.

Always eat balanced meals.  This might be the one thing we learned in elementary school that we really can use in our adult life – the basic food groups.  Proteins and carbohydrates are essential to a healthy meal. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diet, and proteins burn fat. At a bare minimum, each meal should consist of a protein and a carbohydrate. For more information on these two vital elements and their ways of weight loss, see Protein vs. Carbohydrates: A Weight Loss Choice?

Meals for Weight LossNever skip meals.  One of the worst things we can do, in our attempt to lose weight, is to skip a meal.  We have seen it countless times as a way to weight loss: Motivated to lose weight, an individual decides to eat just twice a day. But your metabolism needs the consistency of regular meals. Consequently, an erratic eating schedule leads the body into starvation mode.  Your body then takes everything you ingest and stores it as fat to be used for energy.

Finally, exercise.  You just can’t lose weight when you maintain a sedentary lifestyle, unless you do literally starve yourself. People who exercise live longer and feel better. And, they lose weight quicker. But, keep it simple. Thomas Jefferson said,

“The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.”

It’s never too late to get in shape. We have a whole separate section on exercise, but you don’t have to join a gym and become the next famous body builder. There are plenty of ways you can get enough exercise to aid in your weight loss efforts.

The Simple Weight Loss Formula

Man Taking QuizOf course, there is a simple formula to help calculate weight loss:  consume fewer calories than what you burn every day. For example, if you consume 2000 calories per day and you burn 2500 calories per day, you will lose weight.

You might just say “Why don’t I just cut down on my calories intake considerably, hence I don’t really have to burn many calories to lose weight?” Well that would be starving yourself and is not a good idea at all. This will make you weaker, hungrier and you will eat quite a lot after. Your body needs food and calories to get energy. You need to eat enough so as not to starve yourself and be able to burn these calories and more after. On the other hand, if you burn up the exact same amount of calories that you take, you will stay the same.

The secret to losing weight without going hungry is to make the right food choices. You need to choose foods that are low in calories but can satisfy your stomach so you don’t become hungry.

The Weight of Your Food

We found a very interesting study that illustrates how the way we eat affects our weight.  It was performed by New Zealand’s University of Auckland.

The researchers divided male participants into three groups. Each group was put on a diet with different fat percentages (their total daily calories were composed of 60, 40 or 20-percent fat) but no calorie limits. The men were told to eat as much they wanted from the food choices they were allowed.

Group of Three

As expected, the men eating the 20-percent fat diets lost weight because they were consuming fewer calories. Fat contains nine calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, the more fat a food contains the more calories it will have. However, in spite of the lower calorie diet, the men in this group were not at all hungry.

What the researchers discovered was that the men in the low-fat group unconsciously compensated by choosing foods that weighed the same as the men in the higher-fat groups and, therefore, were not hungry.

What this suggests is that the weight of the food you eat may play a more important role than fat or calories in satisfying your hunger. In other words, you may not need to eat high-calorie or high-fat foods to feel full but your stomach has to feel the weight of a certain amount of food.

There are several other studies suggesting that people tend to eat the same weight of food daily, regardless of the fat or calories that the meals contain. It’s almost as if your stomach has an internal scale with a pre-determined weight that has to be reached for you to be satisfied and not hungry.

Bowls of SoupThis may explain the rationale behind drinking a glass of water or having a bowl of soup before eating to cut down on your appetite. It may also explain why people can go on a low fat diet and yet gain weight if the majority of their food choices come from starchy food that is highly processed and low in fiber.

You can eat many slices of fluffy white bread before you feel full while eating two slices of whole wheat multi-grain bread already makes you feel like you swallowed the whole loaf. Eating high fiber foods like oatmeal helps you eat fewer calories (seven ounces of oatmeal only has 120 calories) without going hungry.

By now you are most likely getting the idea for the ways you can apply some expert-approved weight loss ways to help you achieve those weight loss goals. May you have much success!

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

1 thought on “The Many Ways of Weight Loss”

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