Gaining pounds - losing years?

Perhaps it is the typical American's favorite pastime. Weight loss seems to dominate the commercials on TV and there are thousands of books on the subject currently in print. The terms "obese" or "fat" even sound ugly. Medically speaking, obesity is one of the major life shortening medical conditions occurring world wide today. Being extremely over weigh equals smoking when it comes to shaving years from the typical person's lifetime.

Obese people are far more likely to have difficulty breathing, sleeping, and getting sufficient exercise. Additionally, the likelihood of diabetes mellitus type 2, heart disease, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and even osteoarthritis are substantially increased with severe over weight issues.

The most commonly prescribed treatments for obesity include physical exercise and dieting. Simply burn more calories than your body takes in and weight loss will inevitably occur.

Some valuable remedies for those over normal body weight include:

  • Bariatric surgery involves reducing the volume of the stomach through banding or stapling off a portion of it. Patients eat only small portions and feel full, resulting in rapid weight loss. However, any type of surgery has risks and some patients gain weight back.
  • Medications such as Xenical and Meridia (the only two medications currently approved by the FDA). Other weight loss medications have a poor track record and some have even proven dangerous.
  • Dieting has many different sub categories including low fat, low cholesterol, sugar free, and low calorie. Each diet method attacks the overweight issue from a different angle but all are intended to bring about weight loss due to ingesting less food, thus fewer calories.
  • Exercise programs promote weight loss through expending more calories than one takes in. The body has a natural tendency to store fat for times of need. Regular vigorous exercise can cut the amount of fat stored, lowering the BMI or body mass index significantly.


The safest and most reliable way to lose weight is take in (eat) less calories than your body uses daily. This method sounds too easy and uncomplicated but it works. Exercises do not need to be extreme or complex but they do need to be consistent. Look at programs that you can feel comfortable with and they will be much easier to stick with. And you may well need to "stick with it" for a lifetime if you tend to gain weight easily.

The most effective exercises are those you are comfortable with and enjoy doing on a daily basis. They need not be overly strenuous but should cause your heart rate to rise and you to sweat a bit. Begin with flexibility exercises such as stretching to warm up your muscles, and follow up with aerobic exercises which are very effective. They include swimming, walking, running, hiking, and cycling, most of which can be done indoors so are not dependent on the weather.

Anaerobic exercises are enjoyed by many who want to improve the appearance of their body and they include weight training and use of treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and stationary bikes to work off calories. This may be accomplished while remaining indoors to keep warm during the winter as well as cool in summer months.

If you liked this article, you may probably find others useful too. Read another article which outline the cold, hard facts about serious weight loss.