Many people today feel that dieting is a good idea. It is for many. According to a recent study, in America, the average person's intake of calories is now around twenty-two percent (22%) greater than just the previous generation. Is it difficult, looking at this, to see how obesity has become the problem it has?
And, as you see constantly on TV and in news print, there are many diet programs and products being advertised.
However, dieting does have certain risks. This is especially true in an environment of lots of fad diets vying for attention. The natural desire for rapid weight loss can lead to health problems that offset the dieting benefits. One of the problems of rapid weight loss is the so-called Rebound. Of course, this just defeats the purpose of the dieting. The lost weight just reappears. A rather self-defeating proposition.
Let's explain first just what is meant by dieting.
Without regard to which particular weight loss plan is chosen, the underlying basis of all plans is really quite simple: When the number of calories used is greater the number of calories consumed, weight loss occurs. The body uses previously stored calories (as fat) to make up the difference. On the flip side of this coin, when the number of calories used is less than the number of calories consumed, weight gain occurs. The excess calories are stored by the body as fat. In short, weight loss is the result, overall, when more calories are used than the number of calories consumed.
First - A few 'Calorie Facts':
On average, about seventy (70) calories are used in one hour when in a state of rest. A vigorous hike of one hour will burn about four hundred forty (440) calories. About two hundred forty (240) calories are used in one hour long brisk walk. Jogging will use about six hundred (600) calories per hour. But - compare that to the average calorie intake of two thousand (2,000) calories per day. Looked at this way, it can be seen that it becomes fairly difficult to lose weight through exercise alone.
Reducing the number of consumed calories can be achieved by cutting down on the amount of certain drinks and foods. This might mean that instead if a candy bay, you have have an apple. Or, instead of a higher calorie cappuccino, you have fruit juice.
Second - For dieting to provide any benefit, it must be done right. This requires the appropriate weight loss plan.
Diets that lead to too rapid weight loss typically result in the dreaded rebound. Many of those that have taken this path have been frustrated by the return of those difficult to lose pounds reappear in a short period of time. Many times this experience just encourages one to overeat, as the motivation to lose weight vanishes.
An additional health risk is that of not getting the needed nutrients you need. There are a number and amount of certain elements needed to maintain a healthy body: Unsaturated fats are needed daily for proper hormone balance and nerve function. The basic energy source of the body is carbohydrates. These are needed to power many bodily actions - from life preserving cellular functions to just simple, basic movements. Potassium and sodium are vitally important for nerve function and heart function.
On the flip side of the risks, there are advantages for those committed to a healthy weight loss plan and diet.
As is becoming more popularly know, a critical factor in the development of diabetes is obesity. Diabetes increases the chances of coronary heart disease and bone stress. Additionally, it is also a factor in those experiencing depression. Proper dieting with the right weight loss plan can combat obesity, and these serious health affects caused by obesity.
The desire to have an attractive body is not just an exercise in vanity. An attractive body is a fit body - one that can provide the energy needed to perform your desired goals. A body that cannot provide the needed energy makes it difficult to maintain motivation for completing tasks and goals that one may have.
Also, from a social or psychological perspective, wanting to have a fit and attractive body is perfectly ok. After all, we are social beings. So, being proud of a fit and attractive body is evidence of positive self esteem, which in itself is a fundamental factor in basic well being.
When done appropriately, healthy dieting can be a longer term strategy, not just a quick fix, with certainly more advantages than risks.