A lot of people want to lose weight in the quickest way possible and are often fascinated when they use a weight loss product or service that produces a rapid weight loss in the first few days or weeks. While it might be appealing to think that they are at last on the right track and that they will finally be able to stick to it and lose unwanted body weight, there is however a flip-side to this rapid weight loss experienced.After experiencing the initial rapid weight loss, it is too often the case that a lot of dieters who make use of such quick fat reduction products find that they simply start losing hope as their fat loss rate almost always grinds to a snail pace. And while it might be great if all the bodyweight reduction experienced during the initial phase of the diet program was actually from body fat, the fact is that this is not the case.The truth of the matter is this – losing body weight is actually easy, but losing body fat is not as easy as it might seem. It would also not be an exaggeration to say that a lot of diet promoters are pretty much aware of this fact but somehow intentionally fail or refuse to enlighten dieters about this weight loss phenomenon.This is what is actually happening. A great percentage of the weight lost during the early phase of virtually any weight loss program is mostly due to water loss from body tissues because water forms part of every single cell in the human body. In fact, fat-free mass is 70-75% water, and body fat is just about 10-40% water.Due to the reduction of calorie intake during the early periods of using any weight loss product and in particular those especially designed to “supposedly” facilitate quick fat reduction, the body is forced to release and burn its stored glycogen for energy fuel. Glycogen is essentially made up of 75% water and 25% glucose and therefore when glucose is metabolized, water is largely produced as a by-product.Consequently, about 75% of the weight lost during this initial rapid bodyweight reduction is mostly from lean body mass (muscle and water) and 25% from unwanted body fat. Normally, for every gram of glycogen that is burned, the body loses about 4 or 5 grams of weight. When body water is lost in this way, and due to the fact that water is heavy, the drop in pounds is easily noticed on the scale.It is only when the body’s glycogen stores become significantly depleted that the body begins to burn fat for energy. However, each gram of fat has about twice the calorie content of 1 gram of glycogen and therefore it would require burning double the amount of calories needed to lose 1 gram of glycogen to lose 1 gram of fat.Therefore, since fat contains only about 10-40% water, when the body moves into the fat burning phase of a weight loss program, the bathroom scale tends to be much slower than when glycogen was being burnt for energy at the beginning of the diet.Taking into account the aforementioned points, it is unfortunate to note that there are actually some weight loss programs that in an attempt to show prompt results incorporate the use of diuretics to give the illusion of weight loss. Diuretics, both drugs and diuretic herbs, promote body water loss through the kidneys. Apart from these diet programs leading to body water loss which easily shows up on the bathroom, the dieter risks getting dehydrated.Equally, be it a conventional diet, a fad diet, or a diet pill, the early rapid bodyweight reduction effect mostly likely to be experienced is virtually the same – body water loss. However, diets that employ have severe caloric restrictions or that are high in protein can significantly increase this effect.Actually, the natural course of weight loss is to experience a quick loss of weight resulting from the loss of water from body tissues which is then subsequently followed by a significant slowdown in fat loss as the body now switches to burning its fat stores to meet it energy needs. After the initial rapid bodyweight reduction phase of a weight loss program, the rate of further healthy fat loss should be somewhere around 1-2 pounds per week, or slightly more depending on the individual’s make-up.Therefore when a diet plan or some other fat reduction program claims to have the ability to help you lose as much as 10-30 pounds of body weight within a questionable period of time, say 1 week, you now have an idea of what you are up against. You simply can’t burn fat that easily, instead you will be losing your body water.When dieters have a proper understanding of the body weight they are more likely to shed during the early days of a diet program, their focus and expectations will not be unnecessarily raised as they now understand just where they are and what to expect.Understanding the little intricacies involved in losing weight such as the body water loss concept above, helps dieters to be far better poised to set realistic fat reduction goals. This allows for a design of a fat reduction plan that anticipates how to handle situations and other inevitable minor setbacks that test the dieter’s resolve without him or her feeling unnecessarily discouraged.A sensible and long-term focused weight loss program should therefore target body fat loss instead of concentrating solely on scale weight loss. For successful and long-term weight loss, there is the need for an individual to make some positive and permanent changes in his or her lifestyle such as the incorporation of a calorie-controlled diet with regular physical exercise.
At any given time, more than half of U.S. residents are trying to lose weight. With overall body weights increasing, along with the rates of diseases that have been correlated with higher weights, many people feel that dieting is their only option for good health. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to reduce is doing it in a healthy way. Weight loss is an industry worth more than $60 billion dollars in the United States, and much of that industry is dedicated to selling products rather than keeping people healthy. Here’s a look at what you may not know about losing weight.Types of Weight Loss TechniquesThere are many methods available for trying to lose weight. Restrictive diets are among the best-publicized. These include calorie restriction, in an attempt to take in less energy than you expend, as well as diets that restrict food by type, such as low-fat, low-carbohydrate and low-sugar diets.In addition to using restrictive diets, some people also attempt to significantly increase their activity. This has a similar effect to that of a calorie-restricting diet, but it increases the amount of energy spent rather than decreasing what goes in. Increased activity tends to require greater schedule and lifestyle changes than simply changing your eating habits, but it comes with added benefits such as increased strength and better cardiovascular health.Last, and potentially more profitable for the weight loss industry, are devices, supplements and other products intended to produce weight loss. These include diet pills, natural weight loss supplements containing acai, African mango and a range of other substances, plus belts and other devices. The basic principle behind some of these products has been shown to help with reduction when it’s combined with other mainstream methods, but the majority of diet pills and other products don’t do much to help. They can even be harmful to your health.Weight loss EffectivenessWith more than 50 percent of the population paying attention to weight, you’d expect the pounds to be coming off. Most people, however, are experiencing little to no weight change. Some people even find that their weight goes up after they attempt to reduce. Depending on the study, statistics show that between 30 and 60 percent of dieters not only regain all the weight they lose while dieting, they actually become even heavier than they were before they started the diet. These patterns hold true across a wide spectrum of weight-loss techniques. Only about 10 percent of all dieters are able to maintain their loss after several years, no matter how much weight was lost during the dieting period.Out of people who do lose weight effectively, the most viable target is a loss of about 10 percent of their highest weight. That’s the number recommended by the National Institutes of Health for people who are obese or overweight. Losing more than this can be difficult and is rarely effective.Many people attribute this lack of effectiveness to poor willpower on the part of the dieter, but recent research has shown that the problem is more complex than this. A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that losing weight changes the way the body produces hormones associated with metabolism. This means that people who attempt to reduce are hungrier and suffer from higher appetite levels than they did before the loss. This lasts for at least one year after weight loss, making it far more difficult for someone who has dieted to maintain a lower weight than it is for someone who has never undergone a weight loss program.Dangers of DietingIt’s not just poor rates of effectiveness that make weight loss a complicated subject. Trying to get rid of fat can also be dangerous. This problem is greater with extreme diets that promise to take off a lot of weight very quickly. These diets can encourage loss of muscle instead of fat. They also increase the risk of heart disease, a slowed metabolism, and other health problems. Liquid diets, extreme calorie deprivation, and fad diets that eliminate whole categories of food are the most dangerous; but any kind of diet can be hazardous to your health if you repeatedly lose and gain weight, or “yo-yo.”Diet pills can cause serious health problems, too. These weight loss supplements are usually made to be taken for only a short period of time and often contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. This type of diet pill can increase anxiety and irritability, produce insomnia and other sleep problems, and even cause cardiovascular problems in people with existing heart weakness. Fat blockers can produce intestinal discomfort and other digestive problems. They can also produce malnutrition by blocking the body’s ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals. Diet pills that work as appetite suppressants can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Even herbal weight loss supplements can have unpleasant side effects, especially in people who are allergic to some of their ingredients.Weight Isn’t EverythingThese questions about health and effectiveness are often met with the assertion that fatness is fundamentally unhealthy, so everyone should try to lose weight. In fact, while there are several diseases and conditions associated with higher weight, they aren’t necessarily a direct result of it. While fat people are much more likely to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and other metabolic problems, the correlation reduces significantly if those fat people are active and eat a good diet. Thin, sedentary people are actually at greater risk than people who are fat but otherwise in good physical condition. You may be fat and unhealthy, but your weight isn’t the biggest factor. However, that doesn’t mean that weight loss isn’t effective.Who Should Reduce?Studies show that if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, your condition will probably improve if you lose about 10 percent of your body weight. Losing more weight than this doesn’t seem to provide additional benefit, though it could help you wear smaller clothes. If you have any of these conditions, it’s important to be careful how you lose the weight and to do it only in conjunction with good diet and regular exercise. These seem to be the most important parts of staying healthy, no matter how much weight you carry.The Healthiest OptionWhat the diet industry doesn’t want you to know is that most diet pills, weight loss supplements, and diet programs don’t work very well and can even hurt your health more than being fat. If you’re interested in being truly healthy, your best option for weight loss is to look at your activity level and the nutritional content of your diet. Work on making fresh vegetables at least half of your diet and take up moderate exercise at about a half hour per day. That’s what the U.S. government recommends for optimum health.If you do decide to reduce your caloric intake, use a balanced diet that doesn’t cut out any important food groups, and look for weight loss of no more than one to two pounds per week. This rate is more likely to produce permanent loss without serious health side effects because it’s so slow that your body has the ability to adjust more effectively. You may not be able to drop a dress size in a month, but you’ll feel better and stay a whole lot healthier in the long run.