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Diets, Surgery, Pills and Supplements, Exercise, Which?

Updated on September 16, 2012

Diets, surgery, pills and food supplements or exercise. Which is the best? Do any of them work?

1) Diets

Do Diets Work?

The short answer is, yes. A proper nutritionally balanced diet where the food is processed as little as possible works very well indeed. There is one problem with losing weight that dieting does nothing to address however, whenever there is weight loss some of the weight is due to fat loss, but some is due to water loss, loss of bone density (osteoporosis) and loss of muscle mass.

There is also a vast amount of other diets such as low fat, low carbohydrate, low protein and hundreds of other gimmicky and fad diets that clearly don't work. Yes, there can be an initial weight loss but it cannot be sustained, if they worked, the incidence of obesity would be declining, which is obviously not the case.

Mankind has survived for hundreds of thousands of years partly due to the bodies response to weight loss, our bodies respond as if we have hit famine times. When we lose body weight, there is a decrease in production of a hormone secreted by fat cells called leptin, studies have shown that lower levels of leptin affect the blood flow in specific areas of our brain making us desire food more and also gives us less control over how much we eat, and makes our bodies store a higher percentage of our food intake as fat. In other words, it has nothing to do with will power, we have no control over the hormonal response to weight loss.

To make matters worse, the weight loss we experience is due to a loss of fat, water, muscle mass and bone density, however, the hormonal response is to build the weight back up - by storing more of our food intake as fat. The net effect is that we have replaced the lost muscle mass and bone density with fat ( the loss of weight by water is quickly regained with water), now our bodies are back to their original weight, but a larger percentage is fat, and as muscle and bone weigh more than fat, we have put on more bulk as well.

Here is a leptin study - Rosenbaum et al. Leptin reverses weight loss–induced changes in regional neural activity responses to visual food stimuli. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2008 DOI: 10.1172/JCI35055.

2) Surgery

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery, the most commonly performed weight-loss surgery in the U.S., with nearly 140,000 procedures done each year, is not suitable for everyone, with mixed results of success, here is an article from Science Daily that explains it better than I could. It is based on a study by Guilherme M. Campos, M.D., and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco.

3) Pills, Food Supplements

This section comprises thousands of different drugs, natural remedies and food supplements that promise a lot but fail to deliver. Supplements are taken for everything from increasing energy to baldness and hair loss problems. If any of these actually worked, there would be no problem with fat loss - ever. It would be so easy that the only people with a weight problem would be those with either genetic or some other medical problem that made weight loss impossible. They simply don't work.

4) Exercise

If your intake of energy is less than you are using then your body has to get that extra energy from somewhere, that is where our fat deposits come into play, our bodies can use this fat as energy when our intake is not enough, so in this scenario, we will lose weight (fat,water,muscle mass and bone density). The loss of muscle mass and bone density can be fixed by using correct types of exercise.

We also need fat, along with protein and carbohydrate, for cell building, if these products are good quality, we will get good quality cells as a result. We need new cells to repair the wear and tear on our bodies and to build muscle and strengthen bones and joints, the point is that using up fat deposits is not enough for us to lose weight and remain healthy.

5) Exercise coupled with Nutrition

The correct form of exercise will strengthen bones and joints, build muscle and lose fat if combined with the proper nutrition.

It should be obvious that exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet is the only sustainable, healthy and workable method to lose fat successfully.

One of the biggest causes of obesity (and general bad health) is processed food, junk food does not contain the nutrition our bodies need and what nutrition is there, is of poor quality. This makes our bodies encourage us to eat more. The nutrition isn't there, but the calories are, which ends up as fat deposits. These fat deposits are of poor quality which our bodies resist using to make cells, therefore the end result is fat that is difficult to shed.

You need an exercise and nutrition plan that suits you, everyone wants to strengthen and build muscles to different degrees, have different amounts of fat to lose and different fitness levels that they want to achieve. Men and women usually want different results, especially in the muscle department, if you are serious about losing weight then  you'll find it's essential to get someone to work with you and give you the correct advice to get your ideal outcome, the body shape you desire.


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