WEIGHT LOSS - A COMMON SENSE VIEW
by Joseph Patrick Jakubal
LOSING WEIGHT - A CONTEMPORARY VIEW POINT
The recent interest in weight loss by people living in affluent societies has risen sharply over the past 100 years due to new perceptions of beauty and a renewed interest in health.
EFFECTIVE METHODS OF WEIGHT REDUCTION: Weight reduction can only be realized when total calorie output is in excess of total energy input (food). Any diet that seeks to restrict carbohydrates or total caloric intake will ultimately meet with success.
LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET: The basic idea of a low carbohydrate diet is to limit the amount of carbohydrates ingested so the body will convert fats into energy (rather than storing them). This type of a diet is useful for people who are mildly above their excess weight. Typically, the dieter will consume no more than 120 grams of carbohydrates daily. A general diet of this type would eliminate foods that contain sugar, starches, alcohol and flour.
Of course, this is not an easy diet to adhere to because many people have a "sweet tooth"and/or miss the full feeling that comes from eating starches like potatoes, bread, cakes, etcetera. Also, a regular alcohol drinker may find (s)he is out of her/his element at social gatherings.
Safe foods for this diet would be unbuttered vegetables, salads and clear soups.
LOW CALORIE DIET: This type of diet is typically used for people who are over 15 % of their maximum recommended weight or those who find the low carbohydrate diet does not work for them. The idea of this diet is to change the metabolic balance of the body towards excess energy output rather than intake.
This diet allows more variety than the "low carbohydrate" one but must be adjusted regularly to avoid monotony ... also, the dieter must watch out for protein imbalance and vitamin deficiency.
STARVATION DIET: A starvation diet is sometimes recommended for obese individuals. Typically, the patient is hospitalized ... vital salts, fluids and vitamins are administered through an IV (intravenous) tube.
CRASH DIETS: The idea behind these diets is to eat only one or two types of foods per day ... for example, bread and butter, or banana and milk, or grapefruit and coffee, or eggs only. These diets do cause weight loss at a fast rate because total calories are low. The problem with these types of diet is that once it is ended the dieter will often put all the weight back on and sometimes even more. And, when these diets are implemented for long periods of time, vitamin deficiencies, excess cholesterol and protein deficiencies result.
SURGICAL INTERVENTIONS: Surgical methods include ...
SUPPORT GROUPS: Many people find dieting without the aid of a support group to be very difficult and that greater results can be achieved when they join a group of people who have similar goals. National and local weight reduction clubs can be of benefit for many.
WEIGHT REDUCTION MYTHS: Nowadays, it seems as though everyone is looking for a "magic pill" that will solve their problems. For example, a hormone called "thyroxine" was once used as a weight reduction medication because it is known to exert some control over metabolism. However, now it has been found that it is ineffective in healthy people and can have dangerous side effects. Also amphetamines were the darlings of the medical establishment in prior years but were later discovered to be habit forming.
HYPNOSIS: Hypnosis can work on motivated individual who are susceptible to entering into the hypnotic state. However, for the most part, results have been disappointing. The basic idea is for the slimmer to enter into a trance and then accept a post hypnotic suggestion that continues to work after the trance has ended. A decrease in food intake is often achieved in the short term but relapses are common.
ANOREXIA NERVOSA: An eating disorder that mainly affects teenage and young adult females ... it is often the result of excessive dieting. Over a period of time the sufferer actually wastes away because of starvation (death can result). Medical and psychiatric care is required.