What is Weight Loss?
There are literally hundreds of diets and products that claim to be the answer to weight loss. However, the basic equation for losing weight never changes. In order for an individual to lose weight, energy intake must be less than energy expenditure. This goal can be achieved by decreasing caloric intake (dieting), and/or by increasing the rate at which calories are burned (exercising). Most individuals will begin to lose weight if they decrease their caloric intake below 1,500 calories per day and do aerobic exercise for 15-to-20 minutes 3-to-4 times per week.
What causes Weight Gain?
Weight gain is often tied to resistance to the hormone insulin. As fat cells in the abdomen grow in size or number, they secrete a number of biologic products (e.g., resistin) that dampen the effect of insulin, impair glucose utilization in skeletal muscle, and promote glucose (blood sugar) production by the liver. Also important is that as the number and size of fat cells increase, they lead to a reduction in the secretion of compounds that promote insulin action.
What dietary factors are important in Weight Loss?
Dietary carbohydrates play a central role in any weight loss program through their effect on insulin sensitivity. It is important to avoid refined sugars, white flour products, and other sources of simple sugars as these are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar, severely stressing blood sugar control.
Increasing the intake of dietary fiber, especially the soluble form, is very important. Soluble fiber is capable of slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, thereby preventing rapid rises in blood sugar. These fibers are also associated with increasing the sensitivity of tissues to insulin and improving the uptake of glucose by the muscles, liver, and other tissues, thereby preventing a sustained elevation of blood sugar.
Particularly good sources of soluble fiber are legumes, oat bran, nuts, seeds, pears, apples, and most vegetables. Large amounts of plant foods must be consumed to obtain enough dietary fiber, although beans, peas, and legumes are overall the best sources for high fiber intake in relatively easy amounts to ingest.
What nutritional supplements should I take for Obesity?
Mulberry leaf extract has shown an ability to help to improve blood sugar control and promote weight loss. Dosage: generally equivalent to 3,000 mg of dried mulberry leaves per day. The dosage for a 10:1 extract is 100 mg three times daily before meals.
Green coffee bean extract is rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to improve glucose metabolism, inhibit the accumulation of fat, and decrease the absorption of glucose in the intestines. Only raw green coffee beans contain a significant amount of this health-promoting compound. Dosage: 400 mg three times daily.
Green tea extracts concentrated for catechins (polyphenol flavonoids) safely enhance the metabolic rate and promote weight loss. However, these compounds are often difficult for humans to absorb efficiently. Dosage: 150 mg twice daily.
How do I know if the recommendations are working?
When you jump on the scales, you are looking at your total weight, not the relationship of fat to muscle or body composition. While being overweight is a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes, it is not the critical risk factor. Correctly stated it is increased body fat that is associated with these diseases, not increased body weight. To more accurately determine body composition, it is advisable to use a scale that can measure body fat percentage. Ideally, women should strive to keep their body fat percentage below 25% and men 20%.
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