Obesity is the single most important challenge for public health in the 21st century. According to National Health Statistics 60% of the population is overweight and 20% of our children and adolescents are overweight with numbers increasing.. The World Health Organisation has declared obesity a "global epidemic" (Australia's Health 2004).
Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater. Obesity is classified as a BMI of 30 or greater. To determine your BMI visit http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/BMI.html . Excess weight is very unhealthy. Even being slightly overweight can carry moderate health risks. The top three killers are heart disease, cancer and diabetes which are all related to obesity and poor nutrition.
There are certain factors today which are contributing to the increasing obesity. Today's modern diet is full of junk food, processed foods and high levels of preservatives and additives. In addition we are consuming food in excess amounts, we are becoming lazier and more and more people are not partaking in forms of daily physical activity. It is an interesting fact that the reason we are consuming highly processed food in excess may be related to the Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in our foods. MSG actually increases our appetite and wants us to have more. The phrase "Betche ya can't eat just one! " has true meaning! In addition, excessive levels of trans fatty acids in our foods are increasing the risk of heart disease by as much as 25 per cent. (Sommerfeid, J, 2006 Ban these foods, The Courier Mail, 9th September).
We are spending over 30 billion dollars in weight loss programs and products each year. The question is what is the best way to go about losing weight and what is the safest diet which will allow you to keep the weight off? The truth of the matter is that many diets are not safe to be on for long periods of time. Also you need to be aware of the dangers of weight loss drugs. Diet drugs are not natural and can be toxic to the body, and come with side effects. Here are some of the head lines on weight loss drugs.
Woman learns weight-loss drugs have damaged her heart. (The Seattle Times, June 2005)
Prescription Diet Merdia Linked to Heart Complications And Deaths (www.ashcraftandgerel.com, 2006)
Historically, weight-loss drugs have been subjected to very little testing. Research indicates that risks of drugs increase dramatically the longer the drugs are used. In addition, the drugs produce minimal weight loss, and upon discontinuing the use of any of the drugs, the weight is virtually always regained
If you're serious about improving your health and decreasing your body fat once and for all, take the time to examine these key points.
KEY ONE. LOOK FOR A WELL RESEARCHED SAFE WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
For the overweight or obese person to lose fat and keep it off for life a safe and effective fat loss system which actually triggers your body into releasing stored fat and using it for energy is required. A fat loss program is different from a weight loss program. The system is designed to work with your body and not against it to help you optimize your body's ability to lose fat. You want to lose fat around the waist line, hips, thighs and upper arms. You don't want to lose muscle, water or bone density.
Popular diets for weight loss are a path which is laden with dangers. For example, some of the popular diets encourage high quantities of protein foods, however protein in excess causes stress on kidneys, and stones occur because you can't digest the protein properly. It is also important to note that low calorie diets do not improve diabetes or heart disease, as the fat loss is inefficient. In fact when caloric intake drops, the body draws from protein, and is not selective on where it draws from, which includes the heart and the kidneys.
KEY TWO. LOW GLYCEMIC DIET
Glycemic dieting is the key to a healthy slim body. You can control the things you put into your body and from a chemical perspective, regulating blood sugar levels is the most effective way to release your fat burning capacity. By following a low Glycemic diet, you can control the dramatic rises in blood sugars that pose serious threats to your health.
Glycemic Index (GI) represents the new standard for healthy eating. In fact, it was recently published in a new food pyramid by Harvard University Medical School. GI is the measure of how much a particular food raises your blood sugar and insulin response. The GI represents the rate at which your blood sugar rises after eating. A high glycemic load will rapidly raise your blood sugar above normal - which causes an insulin surge and that locks up your fat. Even non-fat foods will readily turn into fat if they trigger the insulin response. We want to trigger the fat to be burned for energy. Low glycemic eating works with your body to prevent the insulin surge and allows stored fat to be released and used for energy.
It is simple to switch to a low GI diet as there are no difficult calculations to make or paying constant attention to low fat or counting calories. You simply need to substitute your high GI food with low GI foods. If as a nation, we pay closer attention to our diet and choose our foods based on low glycemic eating we would see a sharp decline in the incidence of diabetes and obestity.
KEY THREE. EXERCISE
Physical activity is a requirement of any plan to achieve and maintain good health. Activity lights the furnace to burn fat. You should start any exercise or activity program with light to moderate effort and increase your level of activities gradually over time. Take the stairs or park further away - this all increases y our physical activity. Start slowly, but start something. Know the limits you can push and don't push beyond.
KEY FOUR. SUPPLEMENT WITH MULTIVITAMINS AND MINERALS
Most people look at diet pills which work in a way that actually depletes the body of nutritients which may have an effect on the normal functioning of metabolism. So for normal functioning of metabolism we require nutrients in the form of supplements. The usage of supplements is to balance the required nutrients in the body.
You need mulivitamins and minerals supplied in a food matrix, which is specifically designed to support your body's ability to utilize fat. A supplement that provides important antioxidant and stress nutrients. There are over 400 toxins in our bodies not present 40 years ago , most of them are stored in fat. When you begin to break down that fat , these toxins are released. If you not have adequate antioxidant support your body will compensate by slowing down metabolism. This is a common reason for the plateau that occurs with most weight programs. A vitamin rich antioxidant also supports blood sugar levels , bone health, the liver and the nervous system.
KEY FIVE. BOOST YOUR METABOLIC RATE
For most effective fat loss programs you may require a boost in your metabolic rate, which helps maximize your body's ability to burn fat. . Again a natural safe product that will provide energy and boost your metabolic rate and control blood sugar , along with reducing appetite is required. The product should provide a feeling of energy and vitality with the problems triggered by many appetite control products. For example, it should not cause the jitters.
KEY SIX. FILL UP ON FIBER
A high fiber diet is desirable for health and fat loss. A fiber product is often required to provide a feeling of fullness and for digestive and colon health benefits. The fiber complex should gently expand in your stomach to provide a feeling of fullness. Fiber also helps reduce food cravings.
KEY SEVEN. MEAL REPLACEMENT DRINKS THAT ARE LOW GI
Many weight loss programs include a Meal replacement drink. Ensure the meal replacement drink is low glycemic and contains the nutrients your body needs to feel full and satisfied, along with being delicious and satisfying. The aim is to provide nutrition for today's busy lifestyles.
KEY EIGHT. DRINK WATER TO KEEP YOUR ORGANS WELL HYDRATED.
Water is one of the most important nutrients in our diet. The majority of adults require eight to ten glasses of water a day. You can't remove toxins without sufficient water. Drink a glass of water half an hour before meals to prevent overeating and to hydrate yourself. And ensure you drink enough water before, during and after exercise. Drinking the right amounts of water will provide you with major benefits and accelerate fat loss.
People who follow these key steps will lower their body fat, build lean tissue and experience a better quality of life.