Obesity is a complex problem and there can be no shortcut to weight loss !
You do not gain weight overnight and it is unlikely that you will lose it in one go.
You gain weight when the amount of energy you consume in terms of food is much more than the amount you spend in activity.
Before Talking About Weight Loss, Let's Get The Basics Right!
We keep hearing words like obesity, metabolism, BMI and calories. Let's see what they mean and how they relate to weight loss.
What is obesity?
A person is called overweight or obese when his weight is too much for his age or height.
As per WHO, overweight and obesity can be caused by a number of factors including:
- Increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients
- Decreased physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
For healthy weight loss therefore, you need to cut down about 500 calories from what you eat and burn about 500 calories in exercise. This will lead to an average weight loss of about half a kilo each week.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy, or, burns calories. It includes is the body's process of breaking down nutrients and converting them to energy.
While everyone's metabolism works the same way, the rate at which it metabolizes nutrients is different.
Someone with a high metabolic rate is able to burn calories more efficiently than someone with a slower metabolic rate.
Assuming these two people eat roughly the same amount of calories, the individual with a faster metabolic rate "burns up" more of the calories the individual eats; the person who has the slower metabolism doesn't burn all the calories taken in, so the extra calories are "saved" and then converted to fat.
Can I improve my metabolism?
Some people are lucky to be born with a good metabolism. The rest of us need to work on ours. The best way to increase your metabolic rate is to exercise, especially doing a mix of cardio and weight training to build muscle.
Eating small frequent meals can also help.