Obesity is not just a problem. It is a medical condition that is associated with having an excess amount of body fat. It could be due to lifestyle, medical, genetic, environmental or any other factor. Obesity can lead to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, stroke, some types of cancer, etc. Losing as little as 5-10% of body weight can lower your risk of health problems and improve your overall health.
Our body is composed of three main components, i.e. fat, lean body mass (muscles, bones and organs) and water. The percentage of each component varies from person to person. It depends upon a number of factors including gender and age. So, when we have to lose weight, our focus should be on losing excess of body fat and excess water rather than the lean body mass.
Our body weight is determined by the amount of calories that we take in as food and the amount of calories we burn in the activities of our day. Achieving calorie balance is important for a healthy weight. To lose weight, the amount of calorie intake should be less than the amount of calories burned. If the amount of calorie intake is more than the amount of calories burned, it can lead to weight gain.
The best approach for weight loss is to eat a healthy balanced diet, do regular exercise, be physically active and modify our lifestyle and eating habits. It is the most effective way to lose weight and to ensure that the weight stays off over the long term. The formula of achieving a healthy weight loss is through 70% diet and 30% exercise. One should aim for a healthy weight loss of around 2-3 kgs per month. Short term drastic weight loss is rarely healthy or sustainable over time.
Diet for a weight loss is not about fasting, skipping meals, eating only one kind of food or restricting all those foods that you like. Any such type of fad diet or crash diet should be avoided as they lack essential nutrients required by the body. They also slow down the metabolism and even lead to loss of muscle mass and water from the body. It is all about eating mindfully and in moderation.
After achieving the target weight, it is also important to maintain the weight by maintaining healthy eating habits and exercise pattern. Turning healthy eating habits into healthy lifestyle habits is the best way to prevent weight regain.
Losing weight is definitely a challenging task, but not an impossible one. Healthy weight loss takes time and effort, but by making lifestyle changes that incorporate proper nutrition and physical activity, we can lose and maintain our weight in the long run.