Sep 29, 2007

Weight Control Is The Way To Health

By Raymond Geok Seng Lee

Excessive body weight compounds many health problems. It stresses the heart, the muscles, and the bones. It increases the likelihood of hernias, hemorrhoids, gallbladder disease, and many other conditions. Excess weight makes breathing more difficult, slows you down, makes you less effective in personal encounters, and lowers your self-image. Fat people are hospitalized more frequently than people with normal weight. They have more surgical complications, more cases of breast cancer, more high blood pressure, more heart attacks, and more strokes.

Weight control is a difficult task. Fortunately, it becomes a little easier for seniors than for others. Maximum body weights are generally obtained between 45 and 64 years of age; after this most individuals do lose some weight. Excess weight is very seldom due to thyroid disease or other specific illness. For most of us the problem and the solution are personal, not medical. As with the other habits that change health, management of this problem begins with its recognition as a problem. Weight control requires continued attention. For those of us with a potential problem, the vigilance must be lifelong.

Increasingly, exercise is being seen as an important key to weight control. Part of every weight control program should be an exercise program. Obesity is not just the result of overeating. Obese people, when studied carefully, are found to move around less than other people and, therefore, to burn too few calories. Thirty-five hundred calories equals about a pound of body weight. If you take in 3,500 calories less than you burn, you lose a pound. If you take in 3,500 calories more than you burn, you gain a pound. If you want your horse to lose weight, you just give him less hay or exercise him more.

These are two important phases to weight control: the weight reduction phase and the weight maintenance phase. The weight reduction phase is the easier. Here the method you use to lose weight doesn’t matter very much, although you should check with your doctor if you plan to lose a large amount of weight quickly to make sure the diet you intend to use is a sound one. During the weight loss stage, many of your calories are provided by your own body fat and protein as they are being broken down, so you need little or no fat and much less protein in your diet during this period. Complex carbohydrates are important to most sound diets. Diets usually have a gimmick of some kind that encourages you and helps you to remember the diet.

Most people have some success in losing weight. If you set a target, tell people what you are trying to do, and stick with it for a while, you can probably lose weight. Remember that it has to go slowly, however, since even a total fast will cause true weight loss of less than a pound a day. Rapid changes in weight are generally due to loss of fluid. Because low-calorie diets tend to be lower in salt, the first few days of a diet give you a false sense of accomplishment as you lose some of the fluid that the salt was retaining in your body. Then, when the rate of weight loss slows down, you may think that the diet has failed. You have to be patient with the weight loss phase. A pound a week is a reasonable goal. This requires elimination of the equivalent of one day’s food each week.

The second phase is maintenance, maintaining the desired weight you have achieved. This is more difficult, and it requires constant attention. Weight yourself regularly and record the weight on a chart. Draw a red line at three pounds over your desired weight and keep your weight below the line, using whatever method works best for you. It is easier and healthier to make frequent small adjustments in what you eat than to try to counteract binges of overeating with dieting. Keep yourself off the dietary roller coaster.

Many people just can’t keep weight off no matter how hard they try. For some people, overweight is determined by their genes. If this is you, don’t feel guilty about your failure to lose weight. But you must work twice as hard to reduce all of your other health risks. You must find a way to exercise, eat less fat, and if you smoke, quit.

Raymond Lee Geok Seng is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is a writer specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He has spent countless of time and efforts conducting research and share his insightful and powerful secrets to benefit men and women all over the world. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit for more information.

No comments: