Let’s all be honest we’ve put on a few holiday pounds. Now that 2023 had started, the goal is to trim that holiday weight. In fact, “holiday weight gain” is only a myth. A study of 195 adults revealed that the majority gained approximately 1.06 pounds between late September and early March in a period of six months. A year after the start of the study, 165 participants were reweighed and it was found that on average, they had gained about 1.36 pounds from their initial weights. The truth of the matter is that roughly two out of three adults in the US are either overweight or obese, which is a stark reminder that health is detrimental to our well-being.
With that in mind, there is a science to weight loss.
Achieving optimal weight has benefits for your health. Weight loss science involves understanding how the body processes energy (calories) and how to create a calorie deficit through diet and exercise to lose weight. It also involves understanding factors that influence body weight such as genetics, metabolism, hormones, and behavior. The science also encompasses the importance of proper nutrition, hydration, and the role of physical activity in maintaining a healthy weight.
Now that the holiday season is over, weight loss is a common goal for many individuals, but it can be a complex and confusing process. In order to lose weight effectively, it’s important to understand the science behind it. Here are some tips to help you achieve a healthy body weight and discuss the good and bad ways to lose weight.
The Bad Way To Lose Weight
These methods are bad because they can have negative effects on physical and mental health.
- Crash dieting can cause nutrient deficiencies, slow metabolism, and lead to rebound weight gain when normal eating is resumed.
- Skipping meals can cause low energy levels, and irritability, and can slow down metabolism.
- Fad diets often promote restrictive or extreme eating patterns that are not sustainable and can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
- Weight loss supplements can be dangerous, as they may contain unproven or even harmful ingredients. Some can also interact with prescription medications.
- Extreme exercise can lead to injury, exhaustion, and an unhealthy relationship with physical activity.
- Purging behaviors such as vomiting or laxative abuse can lead to electrolyte imbalances, digestive problems, and even heart problems.
Those methods enumerated above may lead to temporary weight loss, but they are not sustainable and can harm your health.
The Healthy Way To Lose Weight
To lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit by either eating fewer calories, burning more calories through exercise, or a combination of both. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a calorie deficit, as it depends on a number of factors including your current weight, height, age, and activity level.
A general rule of thumb is to aim for a deficit of 500-1000 calories per day to lose 1-2 pounds per week. However, it’s important to never go below 1200 calories per day for women or 1500 calories per day for men, as this can lead to nutrient deficiencies and slow down your metabolism. In addition to creating a calorie deficit, it’s also important to focus on eating a balanced diet that provides all of the essential nutrients your body needs to function properly.
A diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains is best for weight loss. It’s also important to limit your intake of added sugars, saturated and trans fats, and processed foods.
Physical activity is another important factor in weight loss. Exercise helps to burn additional calories, build muscle, and increase metabolism, all of which contribute to weight loss. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days per week.
The Bottom Line Or Should I Say The Waistline
Ultimately, weight loss is a complex process that involves understanding how calories work in the body and how to create a calorie deficit through diet and exercise. Proper nutrition and physical activity are also important components of a successful weight loss plan. By incorporating these principles into your daily routine, you can achieve a healthy body weight and maintain it for the long term.