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3 Factors in Losing Weight

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In modern times, many people find weight loss or its management a struggle. Even after experimenting with all the latest diet trends for weight loss and working out daily, some people may still fail to see noticeable trimming of their physique. That’s because weight loss is more than just working out and eating healthy. There are multiple factors to consider when thinking of weight loss or changing exercise and eating habits. It takes a certain mindset and prioritizing of things to reach weight loss goals and maintain a slim, toned body.

Many people desire to lose weight, more specifically their undesirable body fat. But, most of them are unaware of how to go about it. Everyone needs to remember that whatever works for one person may not for another. Every human being is unique; psychologically, physiologically, and biochemically. In reality, there is no single approach, when it comes to anyone’s weight loss, wellness, and fitness goals.

Coming up are the three key factors in losing weight that applies to everyone. This blog is a great help for all those dieters out there who have started off overweight, ended up losing weight only for some time, and have been out on weight/body weight gain. [1, 3]

1. Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss

When considering losing weight, the basic principle behind deciding which exercise and diet plan to follow is to burn more calories than consume.

A calorie is one unit of energy. A calorie deficit refers to having foods or drinks that have few calories, less than what is expended through daily living and exercise. In other terms, it can be understood as any shortage in the number of calories taken by the body through diet relative to the number of calories needed to maintain existing body weight.

So, by reducing the number of calories consumed (i.e. low input), an individual can create a deficit. For instance, if a glass of milkshake is having 250 calories, its consumption would mean obtaining 250 units of energy. However, if one is aiming to reduce body weight and doesn’t want to gain weight through a milkshake, it’s important to burn the same amount of calories a milkshake contains or more than that to create a calorie deficit.

Every person has a different calorie deficit, considering their varied genetic makeup and medical health history. The calories differ based on various reasons:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): This refers to the number of calories (energy) required to allow all basic body systems to correctly and properly function. It accounts for 50-80% of daily calorie expenditure. It is calculated by using the weight, height, age, and gender of an individual.
  • Muscle-to-fat ratio: It is determined through the BMI (Body Mass Index) of the person. Individuals having higher muscle mass will burn calories quickly.
  • Hormone function: Hormonal weight gain is possible if one suffers from endocrine issues like diabetes, menopause, and stress. Similarly, at the time of pregnancy or nursing the child, women may have to take extra calories to ensure the healthy growth and development of their babies.
  • Level of body activity: More intense the workout sessions, the more calories will get burned.
  • Overall medical health: Regardless of being on a weight loss program, if people suffer from certain illnesses where steroid intake is recommended, they can put on weight.

Remember that body does not treat all food calories the same way. The sources of calories can affect the metabolism. So, one can stay full longer while maintaining a calorie deficit by choosing natural foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and fish.

Keto Diet Explained

A medical diet or eating plan that is usually advertised as a weight-loss wonder is a keto diet. It is considered a calorie-controlled diet as it relies on ketone bodies for energy which the liver produces from the stored fat of the body rather than on glucose (sugars) that comes from carbohydrate-rich foods. The diet contains more fat and proteins and fewer carbohydrates.

So, as eating a calorie-deficit diet is important, the timing of intake of nutrients is also a key to regulating metabolism and body weight. Therefore, one must keep timing the intake of specific nutrients (such as carbohydrates and proteins) in specific amounts at specific times (such as before, during, or after a workout). It is recommended that post-workout meals must be rich in carbs while any-time meals must have limited carbs and focus more on healthy fats, high fiber, and lean proteins. [1, 2, 4, 5]

2. N.E.A.T. (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

Calories can even get expended through activities (other than eating, exercising, and sleeping) that one does and doesn’t even realize its calorie output effect. These include simple activities like climbing stairs, physical labor, and even fidgeting. N.E.A.T increases the metabolic rate and eventually results in a substantial energy cost. [2]

3. Exercise
For effective weight loss, a combination of a calorie-deficit diet and a proper exercise plan is required. Exercises (including cardio, weight lifting, and flexibility training) help with both weight loss and its maintenance. Simply dieting would only make an individual weak and become a smaller version of oneself. Whereas exercising would boost one’s metabolism. It would help one burn more calories and lose more body fat in the process and even build muscles. In the exercise program, one must apply the FITT and SOAP principles. The FITT principle includes:

  • Frequency- the number of training sessions in a period
  • Intensity- the level of exertion faced by the body during training
  • Time- the longevity of training sessions
  • Type- the mode of exercise performed (aerobic, strength, power, anaerobic, etc.)
  • While, the SOAP principle is about Specificity, Overload, Adaptation, and Progression. [2, 3]

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References:

  1. https://www.trainerize.me/articles/3-key-weight-loss-factors/
  2. https://www.clubactivekells.ie/news-blog-club-active-kells.php?title=the-3-most-important-factors-for-weight-fat-loss&post=u9A190
  3. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/free-in-depth-fat-loss-guide.htm
  4. https://www.orlandohealth.com/content-hub/calorie-deficit-key-to-weight-loss-heres-why#:~:text=To%20lose%20a%20pound%20of,of%201%2C000%20calories%20a%20day.
  5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet

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