While this is an exaggeration, it is true that many people—both and women—struggle to shed unwanted pounds, not just for vanity’s sake but for health reasons as well.
Because of this, many people turn to fad diets in the hope of shedding weight fast. While these diets work, they often disappoint those that try them because they tend to gain back the weight lost once they return to their normal eating habits. The trick, many experts say, is not a temporary change in diet, but a change in lifestyle.
“Weight loss is an art,” said Dr. James Chung, a Singapore-based consultant on health and nutrition, at a symposium on the new science of weight control held in Manila last Nov. 13.
Obesity has become a global epidemic due to a change in lifestyle. Many people make poor food choices, or have no access to proper nutrition. Many jobs make it hard for people to move around, and the stress they bring makes it easy to overeat. Others, meanwhile, have preexisting conditions such as diabetes or insulin resistance that make them susceptible to obesity.
In the Philippines, many people who don’t engage in manual labor try to keep their weight down by limiting the amount of carbohydrates they consume. Carbohydrates breaks down into many things including glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. Insulin removes the excess glucose in the blood, placing it in muscles and liver, or storing it as fat.
“Exercise and diet alone is not enough because our overweight issue is also a social issue. It depends on who you eat with,” Dr. Chung said.
“It is also a psychological issue because some people are afraid of hunger. Or it could also be a hormone issue, in the sense that they don’t know why but they always feel hungry all the time. It could be behavioral, in the sense that when you sit down, you get food straight away and you will eat, even though you are not hungry. These are the most common factors that cause a person to be overweight, but of course the main reason is food choices. What they eat and how much they eat,” he added.
Dr. Chung said that the real science behind weight loss is making it possible for people to positively experience it. “It is an art.”
Weight loss tips
When asked for tips on how to lose weight, Dr. Chung recommended a full detox, followed by a lifestyle change that involves ingesting less carbohydrates.
“Healthy people (non diabetics and those with no preexisting conditions) can just go on fruit and vegetable juices. Throw all your fruits, throw all your vegetables together into a smoothie or juice your vegetables and drink only vegetable juice for five to seven days. Drink until you are full. After that, you can go on a low carbohydrate diet, (such as the) Ornish diet, which is a fruit and vegetable-based diet,” he told the audience at the symposium sponsored by the makers of Carbtrim, an iced tea product said to block up to 66 percent of ingested carbohydrates.
There is no magic route to weight loss, no overarching crash diet. Losing weight takes dedication and hard work. It is an art, one that you must feel your way though, even as you enjoy the latest scientific findings in this area.
As Dr. Chung said, “The formula is very straightforward. If you must eat, you must think about the calories going into your body. If it doesn’t come out because you are inactive, then you will put on weight.”
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