Today, two out of three American adults are overweight or obese, and another 5.9% are now considered extremely obese (body mass index ≥ 40) (CDC). Excess weight increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, several cancers, gallbladder disease and more. To fight the extra weight, Americans spend billions of dollars a year on diets and products promising weight loss, only to fail along the way. Considering these facts, it’s not surprising that clients approach you with questions about how to shed pounds fast.
Visceral fat is considered the most dangerous type of fat, as it tends to surround vital organs. Individuals with higher amounts of visceral fat are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and heart disease. According to researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, regular exercise can keep visceral fat at bay. The 97 participants were randomly assigned to three groups: aerobic training, resistance training or no exercise. They were also placed on an 800-calorie-a-day diet and lost an average of 24 pounds.
As a registered dietitian who sees a wide range of clients—from Olympic-caliber athletes to gastric-bypass candidates—
I occasionally field questions about the
efficacy and safety of detoxification (detox) diets. Never having been a fan of any diet or pattern of eating that promises excessively accelerated weight loss, I usually answer these questions with great concern because of the potential dangers of extreme fasting.
Clients always want to know how many
calories they are burning while exercising. Now they can use their smart phone or PDA to count calories instantly while jogging along a path or changing ends between tennis games.
answer: Experienced athletes know how important it is to refuel and rehydrate after a training session. Following strenuous activity, food and fluids can replenish lost glycogen stores and help repair muscle tissue. After an intense workout, the best way to refuel would be to eat a mix of complex carbohydrates and lean protein, such as a whole-grain cereal topped with skim milk.
In his research paper, Hill notes that body weight and obesity are increasing in all segments of the population in most, if not all, countries around the world. Further, although most people are aware that
a sedentary existence, combined with overeating, has negative health consequences, many are not able to make and sustain the changes to combat this way of life. Moreover, most people who do achieve weight loss goals regain the weight over time. Is it inevitable that our society will eventually be obese?
Do you have a client who just can’t seem to maintain a healthy weight? Tell him to toss the tube. Researchers have found that people who lose weight and keep it off have fewer household televisions. A report published in the October issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine (published online October 22, 2009; doi.10.1007/s12160-009-9135-2) offered insights into the “habits” of successful “losers.” The researchers sifted through surveys of 167 people throughout the United States who had maintained at least a 10% body fat loss for 5 years.
Weight loss is not just for
the real world anymore. According to a recent study, individuals who create a
slim virtual version of
themselves—known as an avatar—in the virtual world Second Life (SL) may become more physically fit. Published in the August issue of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research (2009; 2 , 3–11), the study suggests that individuals with physically active avatars were more likely to participate in healthier behaviors than those whose avatars were not physically active.