If a person is less than 10 pounds over the ideal weight, then simply cutting back on portions may be the answer to reduce body fat. If a person is more than 10 pounds, then a combination of healthy portions of food and exercise is needed. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for everyone since body fat is stored energy. Experts state that women should have approximately 20 percent body fat, whereas men should have only 15 percent.
Certain Foods Help Weight Loss
Some foods actually help process calories more effectively than others. Some carbohydrates break down slower, do not cause a spike in blood sugars, and are not stored as fat. Some examples are:
- raisin bran
- rye bread
These foods are satisfying and do not produce the urge to snack between meals.
Some herbs help weight loss. The flavonoids in the green tea extract enhance digestion, according to researchers, while the antioxidants defend the genetic features of the cells. Green tea also acts as an appetite suppressant.
Online Weight Loss Help
Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are programs that combine healthy food choices and exercise. These weight control programs include a well balanced diet incorporated with a change in lifestyle, based upon the theory that it is the wrong choices in foods and activities that produce weight gain.
Weight Control Supplements
Some weight control supplements suppress hunger, some act as a diuretic (water-loss), and some change metabolism in order to burn fat. Depending upon an individual’s needs and drive to lose weight, any one of these will work, however, some of these supplements can cause complications, health risks, or interfere with medications.
Weight Control through Exercise
Very often people turn exclusively to dieting in order to lose weight instead of combining the diet with exercise. Maintaining a proper diet from the major food groups, eating no more than 1200 calories per day, and performing a style of aerobic exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 continuous minutes will help shed unwanted pounds. This will ensure a gradual, yet healthy, weight loss of no more than two pounds per week, as recommended by experts.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is extremely important in not only maintaining proper body weight, but to keep muscles strong and lean. Extra weight in the form of fat increases stress on the heart and circulatory system. This can lead to a heart attack or other heart abnormalities. Exercise will also rid the body of plaque or fat cells in the blood stream, thus reducing the risk of stroke.
Exercise burns fat while building muscles. Therefore, there may not be a noticeable difference in body weight since the muscle being built is heavier than fat it is replacing. A drop in clothes size and a decrease in measurable girth would signify the weight being lost. Using devices, such as calipers, will determine the body fat percentage.
Fat accumulates around the stomach area first, and for some people it can be the last place it leaves. Stomach exercises such as sit-ups flex the muscles in this area, causing them to become leaner and helps lose belly fat (when supplemented with cardio). Calisthenics or stretching exercises can also make the muscles stronger and leaner. Breathing exercises are also important to facilitate oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in the blood. Lactic acid builds up during exercise and must be eliminated to prevent cramping. Inhaling during the flexing motion and exhaling during the relaxation motion will not only insure this exchange, but will help keep the rhythm of the exercise to smooth fluid motions so no injuries occur.