Definition: Defining the Meaning of Dieting
Dieting is defined as the practice of eating food in a regulated and supervised fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight. Dieting is often used in combination with physical exercise to lose weight, commonly in those who are overweight or obese. Some people, however, follow a diet to gain weight (usually in the form of muscle). Diets can also be used to maintain a stable body weight.
Obesity and being overweight is a problem all over the world and especially in the United States with over 200 million Americans being classified as overweight. These people have a critical risk for developing serious chronic diseases, early disability and even death as a result of being overweight.
Being overweight also harms a person's sense of well being. They may have lowered self-esteem, depression and eating disorders. In today's social environment, the ideal physical form is slim and sexy. Failure to match this form can destroy a person's self image.
The keys to dieting and losing weight fast in a healthy way are discipline and the will to achieve the desired body weight. This natural process involves moderate diet of healthy foods and enough exercise to burn approximately 150 calories a day, every day. It is a good idea to check with your family physician before you begin any type of diet or exercise regimen.
Eat moderately and frequently
It is smarter to eat smaller meals every 3-4 hours instead of three large ones daily. This burns off more calories & you tend to not get hungry before your next meal. Carry healthy snacks like cut up veggies and stay away from junk food.
Put together a good exercise routine that will firm up your muscles. It can be just 15-30 minutes, but make sure it is a workout that truly makes you sweat & breathe harder. Every extra bit of exercise you can do will help you reach your goal. It all adds up. Some experts recommend wearing a pedometer and aiming for walking 10,000 steps a day.
Make sure to drink plenty of water. Water suppresses appetite. The recommended water intake per day is 8 to 12 glasses/day. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. If you do not like to drink water, there are alternatives such as green tea, sugar-free lemon-aid and no calorie drink mixes.
Fiber is important in your diet because it helps control blood sugar level, lower blood cholesterol and manage weight. Most people today do not eat near enough fiber in their diet. Some healthy sources of fiber are broccoli, potatoes, apples, beans, brown rice, whole grains, and strawberries.
The key is eating mostly complex carbohydrates (moderate amount) and eating them with protein. Complex carbs are broken down to sugar at a much slower rate during the digestive process than simple carbohydrates; they therefore do not raise the blood sugar levels as fast or as much as simple carbs. Examples of complex carbs are whole grains, broccoli, squash & berries. Simple carbohydrates are sugar, alcohol, full calorie sodas, refined white flour, potatoes and most desserts.
Protein is a vital part of your diet. Every time you eat, be sure to include some protein, it will aid you to feel full faster, prevents sugar cravings and maintains muscle mass, which is a very vital part in burning fat. Good sources of protein are: fish, poultry, beef, pork, soy (tofu). Trim off visible fat. Beware of high fat/ high calorie sauces & gravies as they make weight loss difficult.
Sugar can be a huge downfall for someone wanting to lose weight.
Today, a person can still enjoy sweets due to the availability of good calorie-free sweeteners. The most common one is Splenda/ Aspartame. It is a chemical, not natural. It does a good job of sweetening both hot and cold foods. The body does not recognize it as a carbohydrate so it has no glycemic effect. Aspartame has been linked with toxic poisoning and illnesses.
Xylitol looks and tastes like sugar.
It is natural and is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts. It has only 40% of the calories of sugar and has little to no glycemic effect (it does not cause elevated blood sugar levels). It also is effective in both hot and cold foods and is very beneficial in reducing tooth decay.
Stevia, is natural and tastes sweeter than sugar and works well for both cold and hot foods. Our bodies do not metabolize or break down the stevia complex so it does not affect blood sugar levels at all.
Quick Facts: Dieting
- Diuretics induce weight loss through the excretion of water.
- The glycemic index (GI) factor is a ranking of foods based on their overall effect on blood sugar levels.
- Diets to promote weight loss are generally divided into four categories: low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, and very low calorie.
- Very low calorie diets provide 200-800 calories per day, maintaining protein intake but limiting calories from both fat and carbohydrates.
- Low-calorie diets usually produce an energy deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day, which can result in a 0.5 kilogram (1.1 lb) to 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) weight loss per week.
- The most recent prescription weight loss medication released is Acomplia (generic name Rimonabant), manufactured by Sanofi Aventis.
- Low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins and Protein Power are relatively high in protein and fats.
- Low-fat diets involve the reduction of the percentage of fat in one's diet.
- Lengthy fasting can be dangerous due to the risk of malnutrition and should be carried out under medical supervision.
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