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This is the second post in a series on the topic of weight management. Previously, we have looked at the science of weight management and understood first about the fundamentals which affect weight gain or loss.
Now, let’s look at some of the common weight management methods in detail:
Exercise only, eat as you want
Exercising definitely burns calories. How much calories does it burn though? Let’s look at a few examples:
Can you imagine jogging 4 hours just to burn off that awesome milkshake? How about swimming 5 hours?
Exercise definitely helps us in increasing our calorie output. However, it cannot be our only strategy.
Our body is a wonderful creation in that there are many many bodily functions that is meant to keep us surviving. For example, when we feel cold, we tend to shiver. A shiver is a body reaction to allow us to produce more heat by shaking our skeletal muscles.
In the same way, when we suddenly cut intake of our food, as in a diet, our body survival function kicks in as well. Our metabolism drops. This in turn decreases our daily calorie output.
This explains why people who go on diets tend to lose weight very fast, but they also gain back equally fast when their metabolism drops.
High Protein Diets
High protein diets usually emphasize meat as the main source of protein or food intake, while avoiding foods containing carbohydrates. Of late, this has been in trend, coupled with high fats in the diet, it is also known as the ketogenic diet.
Eating meat as a staple food can easily create feeling of fullness and satiety. This allows for better control of appetite and reduces other food intake. Such a diet can be effective for some people in the short term in terms of weight management.
However, the American Heart Association does not advocate such high-protein diets for weight management. This is due to several reasons:
- High in saturated fat – raises the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer
- Lacking in certain vitamins, minerals, fibre and nutrients. A plant based diet would be much richer in these nutrients while at the same time mitigating the risk for chronic diseases
- High protein diet work by breaking down fat. In the process, Ketones are produced and these will place more stress on our kidneys
- High protein diet also causes higher levels of uric acid to be produced in our body. These increases the risk for gout and kidney stones.
Fruit only diet or Vegetarian diet
A fruit only diet means to have fruits only for all meals of the day. For a vegetarian diet, it has other starch-based foods in addition to the fruits in order to feel fuller.
Our body requires a variety of nutrients for good health. As such, limiting our nourishment only to specific fruits may enable us to lose weight in the short term, but is not ideal for prolonged period as the nutrients are insufficient.
In addition, some fruits are higher in sugar and calories, which may not be ideal for losing weight. Some examples would be durian, banana, mango, lychee and longan.
In a vegetarian diet, the food is often fried to give it better taste. However, the vegetable oil used for frying is high in calories and causes inflammation to our body. With the higher calorie, it may cause us to gain weight instead of losing.
Diet Supplements – Natural or Drugs
Similar to all drugs, the effects can be seen very quickly. However, the price to pay is the side effects which they may bring on as well.
Diet drugs often contain substances such as caffeine, ephedra, diuretics and laxatives. These substances threaten our health and even our lives when we use them for a prolonged period of time.
Some common side effects would be irregular heart rate, kidney and liver failure.
May diet drugs work by suppressing appetite. These are just short term solutions because there is no change in the overall lifestyle. As such, when the drugs are stopped, the weight comes back and often with a vengeance.
Some people opt for natural diet supplements, thinking that natural will be safe. However, there is still a need to be watchful on the ingredients as not all natural ingredients are safe for consumption.
One such natural ingredient that is not good for our body is guarana. It is commonly used in slimming products and the snapshot below is one such example.
The guarana seed is very high in caffeine and this helps to suppress appetite. However, it can cause many side effects by stimulating the central nervous system. Common ones include nausea, dizziness and anxiety.
Here is a summary of some of the ingredients we should be looking out for to avoid, together with its side effects.
So then, How can I Manage Weight Safely and Sustainably?
Having understood the different available ways we can lose weight, we know that there are many ways which can help us effectively lose weight. However, it is even more important to be a wise consumer in selecting a method in which it is also safe for us, and that we can keep off the weight sustainably.
In our next post, we will talk more about safe and sustainable weight loss. Stay tuned!!
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