Weight loss is a matter of two things: calories and composition. A diet which reduces the total caloric content sufficient for human consumption is called a low-calorie diet. Normal metabolism should be maintained, and excess, protein, mineral, water, and fat needs must still be fulfilled. If the total caloric intake is less than the required calories used in physical activity, weight loss will occur. It is also important that the right foods are consumed in the right amounts.
For most people, modest weight loss takes place after about a month’s period of change. Most people need about a pound a day more than the body uses at first, so they lose about ten pounds in the first month. Weight loss will slow down after this point, depending upon the severity of the loss and other factors. It may take up to six months of such a course to achieve a desired body weight.
Intentional weight loss is different from dietary changes. These refer to efforts to lose weight by reducing food intake rather than simply removing calories from the diet. Under this classification, foods may be increased or decreased. This type of intervention was introduced as an alternative to the traditional methods used to combat obesity, such as through the control of portion sizes and the encouragement of eating smaller meals. Today, there is debate surrounding the validity of intentional weight loss, with some claiming it promotes obesity and others supporting its use as a tool for combating the problem of obesity.
An individual who has been determined to be overweight, usually through medical means, can attempt to reduce weight through various types of dieting and/or exercise. In the past, dieting involved increasing the amount of calories ingested, while decreasing the total amount of physical activity. This approach was believed to result in permanent weight loss. However, recent studies have shown that long-term effects of this kind of diet are actually harmful to an individual’s health. In fact, it has been proven that weight loss through dieting can lead to more frequent regimens of dieting.
An unintentional weight loss includes situations where an individual is not eating due to cultural or psychological reasons. Such situations could include binge eating, snacking and drinking. An example of an unintentional weight loss would be a person suffering from depression who consumes high amounts of sugary drinks throughout the day. Although not technically an “unintentional” weight loss, the patient would not have intentionally lost weight. In addition, many cases of unintentional weight loss include the patient not making an attempt to regulate his or her diet.
Obesity is associated with a number of serious health risks, among which are the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure, and other medical conditions. It has also been established that weight loss leads to a decrease in the production of glycogen in the liver, a condition known as glycogenosis. Glycogen is a glycolysis product in the liver that converts glucose to glycogen. This contributes to the accumulation of fats in the liver, which in turn may lead to the progression of liver cancer. Other complications that may result from weight loss include constipation, iron deficiency, dehydration, elevated blood pressure, fluid retention, decreased mental alertness, increased muscle bulk, increased fat deposits, liver inflammation, fragile nails and hair, among others.
Bariatric surgery and lap-band surgery are two popular forms of weight loss surgeries. Bariatric surgery involves a major medical intervention. Lap-band surgery is also a major medical intervention. Both these surgeries involve major changes in the patient’s eating habits and exercise routines. The risks involved in both procedures are very high and the success rate of these procedures is very low.
A good weight-loss program should incorporate some form of weight management. However, weight management should not be considered a substitute for dieting and exercise. It is however important for people who are overweight to manage their weight to prevent health problems that can arise as a result of a poor diet and or exercise routine. A weight loss program should be part of a comprehensive weight management plan.