Many people attempt to lose weight and most are successful to some degree for a while, but after a year or so almost all are back to their original weight. Losing weight and staying thinner is clearly a difficult thing to do. Before starting on a slimming regime the subject should be sure that there is a need to lose weight, that there is sufficient motivation to do so and that it is understood that eating habits will have to be changed permanently and that circumstances will allow for this. Further, although losing weight may bring better health, better appearance, more comfort and improved job prospects, it will not necessarily bring happiness or cure all problems.
At the start of a slimming term a realistic target should be set and some degree of flexibility allowed for. Some people lose weight more easily than others. For most, there is no urgency to lose weight and a reduction of about 0.5 kg (1 lb week after the first four weeks can usually be achieved without causing much hunger or loss of muscle Power. of stored carbohydrate (glycogen) and its accompanying water, amount to about 4 kg, after which the fall in weight slows down. , which can be harmful and has no effect on the rate of loss of body fat. Diuretics should never be taken to reduce body weight.
Losing weight at a slow rate has two advantages. First, the reduction in food intake is small and most people can soon accomodate to it. Second, it enables the subject to get used to a new style of eating over a fundamental period and this new eating pattern can gradually and permanently replace the previous one. Body weight should be measured about once a week, using the same scales in the morning before eating or drinking and after emptying the bladder. Change in body water and in the weight of the contents of the gastro-intestinal tract can together cause a 0.5-1.0 kg variation each day even on a constant food intake. It may take a few weeks to find the amount of food needed for the rate of weight loss desired. The diet should be as varied as possible with only a little fried foods, fatty meat, full-fat cheese, biscuits, cakes, fat spreads, snack food and alcohol. Intake of fruit and vegetables should be increased.
Diets designed to achieve rapid loss of weight can be dangerous and do not teach a satisfactory eating habit. Unlike the small small effect that losing weight slowly has on general well-being, the debilitating effect of rapid weight loss can be very marked. People taking only about 1800 kcal / day, which is near the resting metabolic rate, have a fall in metabolic rate, a fall in the pulse rate, a decrease in general activity and a decrease in tolerance to cold. All these changes are attempts by the body to conserve energy and result in a reduction of the rate of weight loss. In addition, a much reduced energy intake may produce a constant anxiety about food, irritability, lack of interest in everyday things and some degree of depression. These mental changes may persist for months after normal eating is resumed.
If, during dieting, much exercise is taken, muscles may hypertrophy, so that although fat is being lost, body weight may not be declaring very much. An inactive diet may show greater weight loss but the very active person will probably be much fitter.
People only mild overweight (body mass index 25-27) may find that the small advantages of their losing weight are not worth the effort of dieting and will very likely be better off doing nothing. This is especially so for the elderly.) Per body mass index greater than 35 needs specialist advice immediately at an obesity clinic. In addition to being obese there are very likely medical problems requiring caring.
There are no such things as slimming foods: all foods will result in overweight if enough is ateen. No food can make you thinner. Pills and preparations to lose weight should never be taken except on medical advice.