Weight loss, when pursued intentionally to achieve physical fitness and/or health condition improvements is expressed in reduction of the total weight via loss of body fat and consequent reduction of lean mass and body fluids.
Weight reduction occurs when the body is using more energy then it’s receiving nutritionally.
The common goals of intentional weight loss are
- Improvement of body appearance
- Enhancement of athletic performance
- Improvement of overall health and/or specific health conditions
- Meeting requirements of participation in certain sports
Weight loss can be achieved via
- Limiting of calorie intake
- Reducing carbohydrate intake
- Lowering fats intake
- Detoxification diet
- Accelerating of metabolism by increasing the number of smaller meals per day up to 7
- Increasing the speed of metabolic process via natural supplementation
- Intake of chemically produced medications
- Carefully planned weight training exercise followed by a 20 minute cardio exercise 3-5 times per week while reducing the amount of time in gym to 1 hour per session
- Sleep pattern normalization to stabilize hormonal levels
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Changing of life style – less sitting, more doing!
The long term diet & physical activity management is most effective unlike short term crash diets. Short term excessive weight reduction often leads to rapid weight gain. The normal volume of intentional body weight loss is less than 1-2 pounds per week and depends on current body weight and skeletal size ratio.
Wight reduction requires careful diet planning and an exercise plan. To maintain a reasonable health during the weight loss program, the calorie intake should be no more than 500 calories below the normal volume. The absolutely lowest nutritionally balanced calorie intake for healthy individuals should be 1500 for men and 1200 for women.
Improper methods of losing weight are
- Starvation and extremely low-calorie diets (crash diets)
- Moderate consumption of weight reduction supplements and/or medications
- Rapid detoxification and cleansing
- Purging via laxatives and vomiting
- Intake of diuretics to induce weight loss via excretion of water
- Extreme exercising
- Use of tobacco, coffee and other substances that increase metabolism rate
It is important to keep in mind that intake of weight loss supplements and medication can lead to serious side effects such as malabsorption of nutrients, gastrointestinal damage and dangerous state of dehydration via electrolyte imbalance that may affect several organs.
Common side effects of accelerated weight loss are
- Sagging of the skin (loose skin)
- Loss of energy
When too much weight loss occurs very rapidly, it may result in a vast number of serious adverse health effects.
The dangers of too much weight loss within a short period of time are
- Gall stones
- Hormonal imbalances
- Hair loss
- Excessive loss of lean tissues
- Muscle wasting and severe weakness
- Body temperature regulation problems
- Impaired immune system function that results in difficulty of fighting of existing and new infections
- Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance that may result in seizures and coma
- Subsequent weight gain
- Risk of death
It is worth noting that majority of people who achieved a rapid weight loss will gain their lost weight back. This may occur even if the weight loss diet and exercise volumes are maintained at the same level. The weight reduction at any rate may also invoke long term chronic health problems to those with preexisting conditions. Therefore it is strongly recommended to consult with a doctor prior to initiation of any weight loss programs.