Obesity is a major health problem and many people struggle either to lose weight, or to keep the weight off once it has been shed. The weight-loss industry is rather intimidating, and some overweight people may feel pressured into committing to a weight-loss regime that they don’t really want.
The statistics on those who attempt to lose weight reveal that almost everyone gives up the attempt, and may even become fatter after trying to lose weight. This has left people debating the methods used to shed pounds, and ask whether diet or exercise for weight loss, or a combination of the two, is the way to good results.
Studies which seemed to show that diet is the main cause of obesity lead to people wondering whether they should just try to eat less than usual, or exercise for weight loss as well. It is perhaps true to say that people who become fat don’t do less – they live their lives the same as thinner people – but do eat more calories. Therefore a change of diet seems to be the best way of relieving people of excess weight.
Doctors and medical professionals will often recommend a change of diet to people with weight problems, and it is possible to lose fat just by watching food intake: calorie counting and the like; however, people who diet may find that they often just regain all of the weight lost, or even gain more, leading to a frustrating cycle of weight-loss and excess eating. Exercising alone may also cause problems; it is tiring and unrewarding to do exercises when overweight.
This is one reason why fitness experts no longer recommend a regime of just diet or exercise for weight loss, but suggest a program of both; a form of weight loss called “High calorie expenditure” suggests that a low or moderate intensity activity is better than merely dieting; the program recommends about 45 minutes of walking at least five times a week – at a moderate rate, this walking should burn around one pound per week, which is the recommended rate of fat-loss for a healthy program.
There are a number of reasons why doctors and other staff are now including more than just one method of diet or exercise for weight loss, and this is the understanding that exercise can do more than just burn calories; exercise actually changes the metabolism in the body, causing it to burn more fuel, even when the person is sitting down. Exercise also builds muscles, which require much more fuel to run than fat cells – muscles burn more calories even during stationary periods, helping to maintain weight loss even after the end of the diet.
For anyone struggling to lose weight, the key is not to rely upon either diet or exercise for effective weight-loss; in the long term, both of these elements are necessary in order to prevent the weight from being gained back as soon as the fitness program ends. Keeping an eye on food intake, and starting a daily activity, is the best way to ensure permanent weight loss.