Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Diets and Dieting!


The word diet is commonly used these days to describe an eating regime followed by someone in order for him or her to lose weight, even though in its correct usage the word simply describes what we eat each day. A diet designed for weight loss is better described as a slimming diet, and there are many of these to choose from. As the percentage over weight and obese children and adults in the western world steadily increases as a result of increased in activity and increased consumption of junk food – so new slimming diets, and books on slimming, become available in order to commercially exploit fatness. However, most of these diets are not effective because they fail to promote long term weight loss and in fact may well cause the slimmer to end up fatter and heavier than when they started the diet. Being overweight will of course affect an individual’s health and reducing body weight will help to reduce those health risks. But to be healthy, a diet designed to reduce body weight needs to be in tune with the body’s physiology.

 An effective diet should promote the loss of fatty or adipose tissue from the body so that its overall fat content is reduced. To do this successfully, the dieter should eat a well balanced high carbohydrate, high fiber low fat diet with energy content of between 1200 and 1500 calories per day, combining this with regular exercise. This should cause a weight loss of 0.45 to 0.95 KG per week, that weight loss being mainly in the form of fat. At the same time, exercise will build up muscle tissue which pound for pound consumes far more energy than fat does as well as increasing metabolic rate, the rate at which the body burns carbohydrates and fat to release energy. Once the desired weight has been reached – and the body fat content has been reduced to within safe limits- then the dieter can gradually increase his or her calorie consumption while maintain the same balance of foods in order to keep at the weight for life.

Other sliming diets put the body in a defensive stance. Because its calorie intake has been severely reduced the body reduces its metabolic rate to conserve its fat energy reserves and actually burns lean muscle tissues in order to provide energy. When the diet stops the body diverts as much spare food energy as possible to build up its fat reserves in case another calorie famine happens and in consequence the diet regains lost weight and ends with more fat than before