Weight Loss is the process by which an individual attempts to decrease their body fat, via exercise, dietary changes, supplement or drug use, and behavior modification, for the purposes of improved self-esteem, better health, decreased risk of disease and improved appearance.
In the modern era, mankind has posed himself several unique challenges pertaining to food, its production, its consumption and the type of environment he lives in. Whereas our bodies evolved slowly and tediously over many thousands of years, during which times ancient cultures had significantly less manufactured food available at any given time, we became genetically sensitive to dietary aspects such as sugar, fat, and cholesterol. The average human not only ate less due to less readily available food stores than we have now, but in addition they exercised more because our modern conveniences of transportation and automatization had not yet removed the necessity of hard physical labor each day.
Conversely, today most developed countries are places in which more food is produced than is actually required to meet each person's minimum dietary requirements for survival. In fact, we have advanced this model of over-abundance and under-exercise to such a degree that, in most developed countries, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, a grim signal that our overeating and underactivity are literally killing us. Though it took us several millenia to evolve the type of bodies we have now, it took only a few hundred years for us to move from food shortages to overabundances of fatty, sugary foods with low nutritive values. Essentially, our bodies have not had any time to re-adapt to our new and complex relationships with processed foods. Further heightening our difficulties is a culture that views dining as a leisure activity. Restaurants, private purveyors and street vendors are not required to have nutritional information either prepared or available. The average mid-level restaurant chain may offer a single serving of dessert that contains more fat than one person should have in over two days.
As obesity-related disorders continue to claim more and more lives, the need to understand proper, safe and sustainable weight loss procedures, theories and nutritional models has become increasingly important in our age. A solid foundation of good health not only makes for a happier and more productive life, but also allows us to teach our future generations how to best take care of and honor their bodies. Obesity levels in children also continue to rise at an alarming rate. Poor nutritional options at home, school and within the urban environment, coupled with the intensive advertising campaigns which junk food manufacturers launch to directly target children, make for extremely challenging and rampantly unhealthy circumstances.