Losing weight: important things to know


By Gregory Whyte

Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center

According to the CDC, the prevalence of obesity between 2015 and 2016 was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million U.S. adults. Obesity-related conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer were leading causes of preventable, premature deaths. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008. Most experts believe that the overweight/obesity problem will progressively worsen.

Although some people are able to lose weight without any significant understanding of weight control concepts and principles, experience has shown that an understanding of such concepts and principles is helpful. It simplifies the job of losing weight and facilitates results that are favorable and lasting. The following points are important and should be used as guides to assist you as you work toward reducing your body weight.

The most effective weight reduction programs possess the following characteristics:

• They have diet and exercise as their most basic components.

• Behavior modification and social support may form additional components.

• They advocate a reduction in calories of about 500 to 1,000 less than what is required each day.

• They recommend a weight loss rate of not more than one to two pounds per week.

• They consider foods that are readily available.

• They advocate eating and exercise habits that are manageable enough to be maintained for life.

• They emphasize a balanced diet that is high in complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, cereals, etc.), low in fats and sugars and which advocates whole grains, low fat dairy products and meats as primary sources of protein.

• They include endurance activities as a regular part of the exercise component of their program.

• They advocate muscle building as an effective strategy for increased calorie burning.

Weight (fat) is lost from the body by increasing physical activity and/or by decreasing food intake. The aim is to offset the energy equation so that more energy is released from the body than is taken into it.

A pound of fat is lost from the body for every 3,500 calories that are used. In other words, if you wanted to lose six pounds, you would have to expend 21,000 calories (3,500 x 6). Since you are advised to lose no more than one to two pounds of fat weekly, it would take you approximately three weeks to get rid of your unwanted fat. Keep in mind that numerous factors exist that are capable of preventing such a rapid and uniform rate of fat loss.

For additional weight reduction information and services, visit the Cultural Center’s Fitness Center at 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, or call 941-625-4175, ext. 263.


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