Weight Loss"I hate to exercise!"
Trying to lose weight without exercising is like watching a bathtub full of water evaporate slowly (dieting alone) instead of pulling the plug (dieting and exercising) and draining the water more rapidly. You can lose weight by dieting alone, but it takes a lot longer. Remember calories are going in all the time and unless you spend them with exercise you get to keep them in the form of body mass. It takes about two weeks to get used to the culture of exercising and to feel the true effects. It is a battle to begin with but if you stick with it you will soon begin to turn the corner and it will become a valuable part of your life. Click here for exercise information. "How do I figure out how many calories I am supposed to eat each day?"
Start with calculating how many calories you need just to maintain your current weight with the following equations:
Option 1: Plan out a realistic menu for a whole week or look for a pre printed and pre calculated menu on the internet or in a book. - Plan serving sizes and do the math to add up your daily total daily calories.
- Find a way to subtract 200-300 calories from each daily total. Option 2: Plan out three plans for each meal of the day (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, etc. to give yourself a controlled variety and can mix and match these). - Plan serving sizes and do the math to add up your daily total calories.
- Find a way to cut 200-300 calories off of this total for the day. "How do I lose weight using these numbers?"
"Losing one pound a week requires you to create a deficit of 3,500 calories a week or 500 calories a day by exercising more or eating less" according to Suzanne Girard Eberle, MS, RD author of Endurance Sports Nutrition (Human Kinetics Press, 2000). This is why it is so important to know what is going into your body. Once you have a good idea of your total then you can plan how to subtract from there. "What is BMI?"
The Body Mass Index is a calculation based on your height and weight which tells you if you are obese, overweight or close to your optimal weight. "How do I calculate my BMI and what do the results mean?"
If that number is 25 to 29 you are overweight.
If that number is over thirty, you are considered obese. "Why should I drink lots of water?"
Water assists in the digestion of food, the lubrication of joints, facilitates the removal of waste and waste products from the body, acts as the vehicle to move nutrients through the body and regulates the temperature of the body. "I drink Gatorade and Diet soda, is that okay?"
Diet soda has empty calories and no electrolytes and no nutritional value, Gatorade is a fluid replacement drink designed for athletes losing lots of body water and electrolytes through sweat. It contains calories as well as electrolytes you probably do not need if you are not exercising. "I hate counting calories. I never understand those little labels on food."
Part of getting control of your intake is to get a general sense of what the 'cost' is to you. Calories going in to your body need to be less than what you need so you should have a basic idea. A donut 'costs' 200 calories, a burrito or a cheeseburger is 300 calories or more. If you only read the calorie count and the serving size and ignore the rest of the label, this will get you on your way. Remember, calories in will stay in unless you get rid of them. "My friend lost a lot of weight taking Dexatrim. What drugs are out there for weight loss?"
The following list consist of medications which are reviewed with the intention of using them for weight loss. Diethylpropion (Tenuate):
This drug has the effect of modest weight loss but there are at least two reports which site potential links to heart and lung problems as well as one report which shows a link to psychosis. Fluoxetine (Prozac):
Modest weight loss is found in one review of this antidepressant medication. There are potentially serious side effects to this medication and it is not used in weight loss protocols. Mazindol:
One review found that it can help with weight loss but there is one report which showed the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension a year after stopping the treatment. There is no compelling evidence to suggest that this is an effective long term strategy. Orlistat (Xenical):
This drug shows modest weight loss efficacy and one study shows that in combination with fluvastatin weight loss was increased. There are side effects from this medication including flatulence and oily or greasy stools. There are limited data to support long term safety. Phentermine (Adipex-P):
Again, modest weight loss can be achieved with this drug. A European study could not exclude the risk for heart and lung complications. Sibutramine (Meridia):
Weight loss can be achieved with this drug. One study showed greater effectiveness with this drug than orlistat or metformin. The following list includes medications which are deemed likely to be ineffective or harmful. Dexfenfluramine (Redux):
One review found that this medication is associated with valvular heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. Fenfluramine:
One review found that this medication is associated with valvular heart disease and pulmonary hyperetension. Phenylpropanolamine (Dexatrim):
One case control study found that this drug increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in the first three days of use. BMJ Clinical Evidence. Search September 2003. BMJ Publishing Group, BMA House, London, United Kingdom.
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