In ancient times obese people were respected and their obesity was a sign of a high social status. Today, such a deviation from standards is rather considered to be a negligence as to health and appearance. It does not have to be explained that overweight people often have problems with blood circulation and many other diseases.
Many peoples die because of the diseases connected to excess weight, e.g. atherosclerosis. Why is that so? It may result from, for example, the lack of time. The habits of an average man leads to such a state of affairs. We eat in rush and usually what we eat are fast-foods. Another important factor that causes serious problems is lack of exercise. This is a huge mistake, as physical exercise may give us more valuable relaxation than typical activities which we do during our free time, such as watching TV or seating in front of the computer’s screen. And in such an easy way we lead our organism to excess weight or, in rarer cases, to obesity, which is a serious disease. Such a situation is usually ignored by people and only when some upsetting event related to our emotional sphere or health happens, we realize that we want to change. This is why some people prefer to take a shortcut, spending lots of money on slimming supplements or miraculous equipment, which “make us thinner only thanks to watching”.
Unfortunately, this is a bad and simply ineffective way. Certainly, there are certain pharmaceuticals, which are very effective in body fat reduction, such as DNP, which is a pesticide’s derivative, or less effective, thyroid hormones T3, T4 or medicines such as Salbutamol, which is a bronchi medication, but works for beta-3 receptors, which help in reducing “tough fat”, which is hard to reduce with natural methods. These are the places around male nipples, also called lipomastia or in case of women, thighs or buttocks. People also often use the means treated as supplements taken during body fat reduction, such as green tea extract or fat burners, whose composition usually differ, but most often they contain choline, inositol, CLA or carnitine. There are a lot of such pharmaceutics and the ones most effective, i.e. DNP, T3 and T4 hormones are very dangerous and we may easily harm ourselves for a lifetime. Therefore, it is the most important for people who want to lose weight to first get to know the basic rules of training and nutrition.
Starting the process of fighting with excess weight in a natural way we do not need appointments with specialists (unless we suffer thyroid failure or hormone diseases, which are the causes of being overweight). It should be borne in mind that this is excess weight that we are talking about here and not obesity that is a serious health risk. As mentioned above, the best way to lose weight is the combination of physical exercise and healthy diet. All of this gives us best results, which are usually even better than when relying on strongest pharmaceutics. How to compose your own diet? There are a couple of ways. We can go to a professional dietician or do some reading ourselves. The second method is much more time-consuming, but brings a lot of benefits to ourselves. Certainly, we are not able to get to know everything, but some basics are sufficient to start healthy eating. What then should we eat? What should be our indicator in the choice of products? First of all, we should eat what we like to eat. Most of people cannot imagine their lives without bread or rolls, i.e. carbohydrates which, as widely known, are the main source of energy. The core of such a diet is simply restricting calories. However, we need to remember that the main source for us should be complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates provide energy very quickly and are burnt very fast, but when our organism does not need all the energy, they are stored in the form of fat. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand release energy gradually, so they work analogically to simple carbohydrates. The source of complex carbohydrates is for example whole wheat bread, rolled oats, pasta, rice etc. Simple carbohydrates on the other hand are found in processed fruit, juices, sweet beverages etc. Each diet should also contain fat. Most people make a huge mistake by eliminating it altogether from a diet, thinking that fat causes the increase of fatty tissue. Fats however have a broad scope of application. Obviously we are talking here about healthy fats, i.e. EFAs (essential fatty acids) without which our organism could not function properly. Such fats can be found in olive oil, oily fish, such as mackerel, eel, herring etc. Also very important are PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), which cover Omega-3 and Omega-6 that can be found in linseed oil or linseed. O-3 contain very important acids EPA and DHA, which are essential to organism normal functioning. For example, cerebral cortex is made of DHA in almost 60%. What should be avoided in all diets are saturated or polysaturated acids. They are harmful and cause problems with blood circulation and other diseases. As mentioned above, we mostly put on weight because of exceeding our caloric needs. It can be simply calculated by multiplying our weight by 24 hours. The score that we get is our BMR (basic metabolic rate). We then multiply our BMR by the activity coefficient, e.g. for a person practicing sports for recreational purposes it is 1.2-1.3 while for a person leading a sedentary lifestyle it is 1. For women, the score we get should be first multiplied by 0.9 and then by the activity coefficient. We receive our daily caloric needs. If our goal is to lose weight, we cut from our BMR around 300-400 kcal and for around two weeks we observe how our organism reacts. If the weight does not decrease, we may cut additional 100 or 200 kcal or we may add more aerobic exercises. The amount of calories that we are left with should be distributed as follows: 1,2-1,5g of proteins per body mass kilogram, 1g of fat per kg and the rest of the caloric needs should constitute carbohydrates with average or low glycemic index (i.e. complex carbohydrates). Certainly, if a person can live without carbohydrates, there are certain diets when the main source of energy is fat. These are the so-called low-carb diets, where the carbohydrates intake does not exceed 100 g while the fat intake, as the name suggests reaches around 2-2,2 g/kg. Again, only healthy fats are taken into consideration, i.e. EFAs and PUFAs. What makes us lose weight in spite of the fact that we eat a lot of high-energy fat? To answer this, we need to have a bit more technical knowledge. Our organism, after using up the stocks of glycogen, which is stored in muscles or liver, reaches for the stocks of fat, which every human have enough. The organism switches then from carbohydrate metabolism to lipid metabolism. Such a transition lasts usually around 7 days. Our organisms enters into ketosis (it can be easily recognized by a different urine color or specific smell of breath) and draws the energy from burning fat and ketone bodies. In order to burn fat, we also need sugar, so as the third source of energy, our organism takes protein – it is the so-called muscle catabolism. It takes place when our organism does not have any more glycogen.
The two diets mentioned above are the two extremes, but both are effective. There are of course other effective diets, but their choice depends on predispositions and wishes of an interested person. In order to efficiently fight excess weight, apart from proper nutrition, physical exercises have to be implemented, which as widely known is extremely beneficial both physically and mentally. Sport, apart from condition advantages, plays a crucial role in the efforts to lose weight. There are many ways to fight redundant kilograms, but we need to remember that without a strong motivation we will not be successful, as the whole period of losing weight is tough and requires a lot of self-sacrifices as far typical food temptations are concerned or trainings that we do not always feel like doing. How should we choose an appropriate training? First of all, we should take into consideration our sport preferences and predispositions. It may be swimming, cycling, running or the gym. It would be best to join a couple of disciplines, for example the gym and bicycle. It all depends on one’s preferences. It should be borne in mind that endurance workouts, such as cycling, running or skipping rope shape our muscles to a substantial extent, regular exercise makes our body slimmer, firmer and more resilient. Endurance sports enlarge slightly our muscles, shape them and tighten, what makes us move with more grace and aesthetics. Stimulating muscle fibers to activity forces them to the extension of their cell structures, internal machinery, which will be able to keep up with the increased metabolism during workout. It leads then to the increased number and sizes of mitochondria – the cells’ “furnaces”, in which most energy components are burnt, especially fats. This process plays a crucial role in losing weight, burning in mitochondria is the only way to get rid of fat. The more mitochondria our muscle cells have, the faster we will lead to the redundant fatty tissue reduction. The main shortcoming of low-energy diets that are not supported by physical exercise is increased lowering of muscle tissue and therefore the number and sizes of mitochondria, which unfortunately inhibits the slimming process. Intensified calories burning during physical exercises is a result of the increased body temperature and metabolism. The exercise does not only decide about the energy consumption during workout, but also influences the increase of metabolism during the whole day. And in such a way there develops another extremely important mechanism in the process of losing weight: physical exercises increase calories consumption not only when we do them, but also up to a dozen hours later, so even during sleeping. The causes of this process have not been yet fully explained, but it definitely is strictly related to organism regeneration after workout. During endurance exercises in our body cells various substances are used up. As a consequence of such a burden numerous cell structures are destroyed and during this process certain redundant metabolic products appear. Then, the used up stores have to be refilled, leftovers transported and destroyed elements of cells repaired and rebuilt. All of these processes require some energy load, which is obtained in mitochondria, mainly from free fatty acids decomposition. Heat is then emitted and body temperature remains increased for a long time after the training. Properly chosen forms of physical endurance efforts cause the heart to become bigger, stronger and more efficient and to pump much more blood per beat. Heart muscle works then much more economically. Blood becomes thinner, but contains more red cells, which in turn causes better and more effective oxygen transport. Exercise significantly influences the normalization of slightly increased or too low blood pressure, fat content in blood is lowered, “good” cholesterol is increased while “bad” cholesterol is decreased. Breathing processes become better, breathing muscles are strengthened, thanks to which our breath is deeper and our organism aspirates more oxygen. The whole array of these processes has a great influence on losing weight. Appropriate oxygen conditions are essential to the proper fatty tissue utilization, as lipids are burnt in mitochondria only in the presence of the oxygen. Regular exercises also lead to the increase of the number and sizes of capillaries. The network of routs transporting the oxygen to cells is thus increased and additionally the access and utilization of the oxygen is also extended, which boosts even mote the effectiveness of the whole process of losing weight.
The above mentioned aspects prove that combining a diet with a training causes weight loss. Certainly, we may add certain supplements that will help in fat reduction and these can be, as mentioned at the beginning, fat burners that in reasonable doses do not have any side-effects and work quite well in fighting with excess weight. We should not forget that these are only supplements to a diet and training and they cannot constitute a starting point of losing body fat. We should also remember about vitamins and minerals, which especially during losing weight our organism needs. Therefore, it would be a good idea to buy such vitamins in a pharmacy or special stores. What should be wished in addition to such a body-fat-loss plan? Probably motivation, as it is extremely vital and thanks to it we may achieve a lot. We should be prepared that the effects will not come immediately. With time, when we increase our metabolism with frequent meals every 2 hours, the effects will come, as fast metabolism is the best fat reducer. The effects will come, but certain rules have to be followed. Around 30 minutes before the physical exercise, such as cycling, it is good to drink coffee. Coffee contains on average 80mg of caffeine which causes slight increase of our body thermogenesis, thanks to which our fat is burnt easier. However, we should not exaggerate with coffee. Another effective natural substance is green tea, which also helps in fat loss and additionally contains antioxidants, which destroy free radicals (they are responsible for an array of negative influences on our organism, i.e. destroy body proteins.
After such diligently planned reduction, there comes a time when our goal has been reached and we do not know what to do next. The most reasonable solution is regularly increasing the number of calories to the state, when we reach our total caloric needs. This regularity means around 200 calories per week. As for the trainings, we may limit them, but definitely not cease. When we abandon such a lifestyle we will quickly get back to the previous state. We should also decrease our metabolism by eating every 3 hours average-size meals. It is not said that we have to strictly stick to the diet. Sometimes some deviations are recommended, not for physical reasons, but mental ones. Sometimes, we would like to eat pizza or other unhealthy products and once in a while in can be done to give some rest to our head. Such a mental regeneration is also extremely important when fighting with excess weight. We should not panic too much when we suddenly exceed our caloric needs even by 1000 kcal.
I hope that I have presented quite clearly how to deal with excess weight. We could discuss a broader scope of the whole process, but it is a deep topic that requires physiological and dietary knowledge base. Not everybody is interested in such fields, so I tried to make it as easy as possible without unnecessary details and abstract concepts.