Weight loss, from the perspective of modern medicine, health, or just physical fitness, is a reduction of the overall body mass, through a reduced intake of calories, fluid, and/or solid mass (skin, bone, and other connective tissues). Some people believe that weight loss is a matter of willpower, and will power. Others view weight loss as a part of a healthy lifestyle. However, regardless of how it’s achieved, weight loss for many people is about making some difficult lifestyle changes. It can be about making healthier food choices, or about setting and reaching goals for exercise routines, time restrictions, and financial accountability.
There are several causes of unexplained weight loss. These causes include physiological processes, cultural norms, life-style modifications, medication, and mental challenges. For example, some researchers believe that the widespread psychological belief that overeating is normal and desirable is one of the causes of weight loss. Our culture, including our media, reinforce the idea that it’s perfectly acceptable to “lose” weight in order to look better, be thinner, and become more appealing. Our country’s confusing definition of obesity and what it means to society contribute to the phenomenon of unintentional weight loss. Individuals who feel that they need to control their body weight often choose unhealthy methods, such as laxatives, dietary supplements, diuretics, or extreme workouts, which can cause long-term health complications.
On the flip side, there are many documented examples of individuals who have intentionally lost large amounts of weight. One of these examples is the story of Olympic speed skater Evan Lysacek, who credits intentional weight loss as one of the factors that helped him win the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics. Another example is professional wrestler Liana Kerzner, who has been referred to as America’s number one female athlete because of her winning rate in both the men’s and women’s divisions at the recent Olympics. Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong has also been named multiple times by The Associated Press and other media sources for his commitment to healthy weight loss and proper exercise. All of these individuals have demonstrated a commitment to healthy weight loss and appropriate exercise.
In addition to all of these examples, there are many researchers who believe that there is an increased risk of serious health complications after individuals experience an unintentional weight loss. Because of this concern, intentional weight loss may be one of the contributing factors to many diseases and health issues, including diabetes and coronary disease. For this reason, those who experience extreme weight loss should be assessed for possible nutritional deficiencies and should work closely with a nutritionist to ensure that they receive the proper nutrients to support good overall health. In the case of individuals who have experienced an unintentional weight loss due to medical conditions such as heart disease or kidney disease, there are steps that they can take to prevent further weight loss and to reverse the effects of such loss.
Severe weight loss may be caused by many different circumstances and it is impossible to determine the cause of each individual loss. However, it is important to note that individuals who experience an unusual amount of weight loss without explanation should contact their doctor. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes can be indicative of an underlying medical problem and may require immediate medical attention. In addition, it is important to consider that weight loss may not be related to any one activity or trait. For instance, those who experience extremely low levels of activity may also experience extreme weight loss, despite being moderately active. This suggests that individuals may be struggling with hunger, but have not taken any measures to burn off the extra calories.
While you are on a diet, your dietitian will give you advice about eating to help keep your body healthy. Your physician may suggest low-fat or low-calorie foods to help you feel full. He or she will also talk to you about portion control and other aspects of your diet. Your physician may advise you to avoid eating before you plan to eat, especially if you are likely to be hungry. This is because eating right before you plan to eat can disrupt your digestion. Your physician may recommend some tests to measure your thyroid function, to monitor your body’s chemical composition, to see if you are physically active, to determine how well you are using your calories, and to evaluate your sleep habits.
While diet may play a part in your weight loss, exercise may play a major role in your weight loss. Exercise has become the fat-burning cornerstone of modern nutrition. Studies have shown that even those who were once obese can lose weight and keep it off if they do some form of regular exercise. If you choose to continue with a sedentary lifestyle, you may still be carrying excess weight.
As you work with your dietitian to design a healthy diet and exercise plan, keep in mind that your body needs food to survive. If you start loading up on chocolate, fried foods, ice cream, soda, and more, you may find that you are becoming overindulgent. These kinds of foods make you crave sweet and delicious things that are not good for you. They also interfere with the nutrient-dense components of a good diet. When you eat a well-balanced diet, your body burns fat much faster, which helps you reach your weight loss goals more quickly. Keep this in mind when you create your diet plan.