26 August, 2008

Weight Loss (Sigh!)

So you have been dieting like crazy but the scales refuse to budge? Or you think you have exercised enough to afford a sinful chocolate pastry? Most of us substitute olive oil for butter, nut for candies and honey for sugar thinking that the healthy alteration will save us the extra calories. Though olive oil and nuts contain ‘good fats’ but there is one thing we fail to remember- these are still fats! Any kind of fat delivers the same amount of calories though there may be some that do not block arteries. Similarly, sweetening agents like honey and jaggery may be a preferred option over white processed sugar, the amount of calories remains the same. It is important to reduce the quantity of fats and sugars if desired weight loss effects are to be seen.

Apart from our diet, many other factors like our physical activity, sleep patterns, behaviors and biological characteristics go a long way in determining the efficacy of our weight loss and fitness programs. Vigorous physical work, depression, fatigue, stress and lack of consistency may cause us to eat more than our body’s requirement and more than makes up for all the “dieting”. Problems like thyroid misbalance, mood disorders, medications and insulin intake may also interfere with the body’s metabolic process and effect weight loss.

Therefore a balanced exercise program coupled with a careful and measured calorie intake is the mantra for effective weight loss.

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