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The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight 

Feb 16, 2022 Weight Loss

Weight loss is complex and it certainly isn’t easy. 

Weight gain is usually caused by the simple activity of eating too much. You would think that weight loss would be just as straightforward. Unfortunately, it takes far less effort to pile on the pounds than it does to melt them away.

Being the correct weight is just as important for your health as it is for your appearance. But as soon as we decide we are going to go on a diet we feel deprived and have to fight cravings for food even if we don’t feel hungry. It takes a great deal of willpower and determination to achieve the weight loss we desire. 

Once we do reach our goal we have to try to maintain the weight and that can be even harder than the weight loss itself. 

You can increase your chances of losing weight (and maintaining it) by educating yourself about both weight loss and weight gain. This guide has been written to tell you everything you need to know to feel confident in your weight loss plans. 

 

Why Lose Weight?

Downsides of being overweight 

There are many series health implications caused by being overweight and these include:

  • Type 2 diabetes - which can actually be controlled and eradicated by a healthy diet. 

  • Coronary heart disease. 

  • Breast cancer and bowel cancer. 

  • Stroke. 

  • High blood pressure. 

  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones. 

  • Osteoarthritis. 

  • Gout. 

  • Sleep Apnea. 

  • Depression. 

  • Low self esteem. 

Eventually, these conditions can lead to death or disability.

Even just losing 5% of your body weight can start showing benefits to your health.

 

The Obesity Problem 

We are more body conscious than ever. Paradoxically, however, obesity is on the rise and we are suffering many ill effects from weight gain.  

Although the main cause of weight gain is eating too much, sedentary lifestyles, medication, health conditions and low self-esteem are contributory factors. 

24.8% of adults are medically obese and 61.7% are overweight or obese. The UK has the largest number of overweight citizens compared to the rest of Europe.

Obesity and being overweight is prevalent in children, who are becoming more unhealthy than their parents and grandparents.  This is a worrying concept as it will cause extra pressure on our already strained health service.  

 

Why It Is Easy To Put On Weight 

Our ancestors ate lard and high calorific food and without becoming obese or overweight.  They cycled or walked everywhere, washed clothes by hand, did lots more manual work and were much more active.  Portion sizes were much smaller and made up of natural ingredients. 

On the other hand, we eat large portions of processed food with a high fat and sugar content and lead sedentary lives.  Restaurants deliver takeaways to our door and we feel cheated if we don’t have a plateful of food to devour. Our perception of how much exercise burns calories is so wide off the mark that we eat more after a workout. Wine Fridays and nights out with the lads involve copious amounts of calorific alcohol and rich food. 

Humans have incredibly sweet teeth and an insatiable desire for fatty foods: this is normal.  Centuries ago our ancestors had to hunt for food and their bodies would store fat to cope with periods of famine.  

The problem is that now calorific foods are plentiful and our lifestyles require us to exert little energy, but our bodies still behave as if there are times of famine.

 

Why Losing Weight Is So Difficult 

Diets that restrict the intake of certain types of food leave us feeling hard done by with an overwhelming urge to eat the food we are denying ourselves. 

Summoning up enough enthusiasm to exercise is challenging and requires motivation. We hardly move these days and our sedentary lives are having a negative impact on our bodies. 

Weight loss plans that help you to maintain the weight loss afterwards prove to be the most successful.  Weight Watchers, Slimming World and the NHS have devised plans that incorporate positive lifestyle changes to help with lifelong weight loss.  Deciding to lose weight involves commitment and the desire to succeed. 

Going into a weight loss plan with the wrong expectations is a sure way to lose motivation. Weight loss takes months and years, not weeks.

Losing weight is a steady, slow process that requires permanent lifestyle changes. 

 

The Science of Gaining and Losing Weight 

Our modern understanding of weight loss is a bit woolly.  Doctors are only just starting to understand how our body dispels fat.  One major misconception we all have is that fat burns when we exercise.  Studies are revealing surprising findings as to where fat goes when we lose weight.

Here is what we do know:

Different People Gain & Lose Weight Differently 

We are only just learning about how our body deals with weight. Everyone is different and some of us seem to gain weight easier than others. Logic suggests that a healthy person puts on weight simply because they eat more calories than their body needs, but our bodies are not that logical. Our metabolism determines the rate at which we burn calories. 

We have different metabolic rates according to our:

  • age

  • gender

  • health

  • genetics

Where Lost Weight Goes 

Doctors thought that fat burned away but were not sure where it went.  Studies show that we actually breathe the fat out as carbon dioxide.  So in a way, our excess body fat ends up floating around the ether after all. Source - British Medical Journal

Benefits of Weight Loss 

With the knowledge of how debilitating and in some cases fatal obesity can be, weight loss can only reap positive benefits.

Health conditions will improve: As soon as you stop dropping those pounds you will start to see a reduction in associated conditions.  It is completely possible to eliminate Type Two Diabetes through diet alone.  You will become agiler and will be able to exercise more.

Look Good, Feel Good: When we put on weight we can get into a vicious cycle of feeling depressed and eating to make ourselves feel better.  When you return to a weight you are more comfortable with, you will feel better about the way you look and will get whipped up into a positive spiral.

Sleep Well: Sleeping can get interrupted when you have excess weight because the fat presses onto your airways making it difficult to breathe when you are lying down.  This causes you to snore and literally wake yourself up so that you can reposition yourself to make your airways clear.  Weight loss eliminates this problem and you can reap the benefits of a good night's sleep.

Increased Sex Drive: This is particularly true in men where the male hormone gets topped up while you are sleeping.  Not only do you not feel so tired anymore you improve your performance in the bedroom. 

Save Money: Those accustomed to regular takeaways and booze find that they are losing pounds (£) and gaining pounds (Lb) at the same time. Reducing calorie intake will also reduce your shopping bill. 

We lose weight by reducing calories and increasing our activity.  The types of food we eat also have an impact on weight loss.  Some diets cut out entire food groups while others are very restricted.  The best diet is one that is easy to follow and maintain after you lose weight.   Weight training increases the rate calories burn because muscles require more energy than fat.  Protein-rich diets cause weight loss because protein requires more energy to digest them.  Most people lose weight quickly when they first start dieting then reach a plateau where it is more difficult to shift the pounds. 

What is a healthy weight? 

Apart from how we look, whether we are overweight or not is determined by our BMI measurement. BMI or Body Mass Index is measured by using information about height and weight, if your BMI is between 18.5- 24.5 then you are a healthy weight any measurement above that then you are overweight. You are considered obese if your BMI is 30 and above. 

Proven Weight Loss Methods 

This is the tricky bit because it requires dedication, willpower and lifestyle changes.  Here are a few ways that you can shed those pounds and look at a better you in the mirror.

Count the calories: This can be achieved by joining a slimming group or calculating calories yourself.  The NHS Choices website provides good advice on how to measure your BMI and start reducing calories.  If you do have health issues you must consult your doctor before you start reducing your weight.

Exercise More: Building muscle burns off more calories than cardiovascular exercise alone.  Combine the two and you will see an improvement in your overall health and you will lose weight quicker.  It is advised that you exercise for 30 minutes five times a week.

Using Weight Loss Treatments: If you have a BMI over 30 another option is weight-loss capsules.  They work by binding the fat together and eliminating it the usual way.  You are advised to eat a low-fat diet otherwise the results can be rather messy and stinky.  

Also read on our blog: Are Weight Loss Programs Effective?

Using Weight Loss Tablets 

Many women (and men) often struggle to lose weight and are constantly looking for the next breakthrough that can help them lose weight faster, or more successfully. 

However, it is important to understand that weight loss can be a long and challenging journey and that it should be taken with the right mentality because an individual who is eager to lose weight will approach the journey with knowledge and an open mind.

Weight loss tablets should not be considered a miracle weight loss pill, but rather one tool that can help you achieve your goal.

What does the research say? 

Research has shown that individuals who use weight-loss tablets lose more and faster weight than those who simply follow a diet. 

Further studies have also shown that people taking weight-loss tablets significantly reduce their visceral fat. The benefit of this is that it reduces the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, especially among people who are morbidly overweight.

How do weight loss tablets work? 

Some weight loss tablets are appetite suppressants, but some of them work very differently. 

For example, Orlistat is a gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor, and it works by lessening the amount of fat our bodies absorb from the food we digest. Once it binds to the gastric enzyme lipase, it starts to break down some of the fat molecules and prevent it from being digested. The amount of fats that are blocked is between 25% and 30%, which means the undigested fat passes through the system and is naturally removed as waste (when you go to the toilet).

Will I lose weight if I take weight loss tablets? 

The answer is yes, provided you take the medication correctly, still eat healthily and exercise regularly, weight-loss tablets can be safe and effective.

When you are taking weight-loss tablets, it does not mean that you can indulge in fatty or high-fat foods. 

To enjoy the full benefits of Orlistat, you still need to eat healthily - this includes lean meats and low-fat dairy products. So, always read the labels on food products and make sure you take daily vitamin supplements as well.

Where can I buy weight loss tablets? 

There are different types of weight-loss tablets available at leading pharmacies in the UK.

Xenical and Generic Orlistat are available in prescribed doses only.  Orlos and Alli on the other hand are smaller doses but also very effective in weight loss, and can be purchased over the counter, or from any online pharmacy. Orlistat will normally only be prescribed to people with a BMI count of around 28 or higher, or those with a risk of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Make sure to seek professional advice and guidance from your pharmacist or doctor when you undertake your weight loss journey. View our weight loss page to learn more about the weight loss products available. 

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