Verified by Marianne Poulsen

Certified Nutrition Advisor

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Weight loss – a growing challenge

Over the past few decades, the number of people who are overweight has increased exponentially. Being overweight is a condition that is defined by a person being at a weight that is high enough to present a health risk, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity is the term for when someone is excessively overweight. Although there are a great number of factors that contribute to weight gain, it is generally caused by a caloric intake that is too high for the energy a person burns. This means that they are eating too much for the amount of activity they do. To put it in a simple equation, calories in, equals calories out, so the number of calories you eat needs to be less than what you burn in order to lose weight.

Carrying extra body weight has many negative consequences. The excess kilos put a strain on the body and can contribute to sickness and disease over time, e.g. high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and type II diabetes, which are all serious conditions that are health effects of being overweight or obese. Many people might be concerned about how they look and search for the best way to lose belly fat to fit in to those favourite jeans, but there are more critical reasons that support healthy benefits of a weight loss. Even with a smaller weight loss, a person can be at a lesser risk for a number of health conditions. The quality of life can be much higher when you are at a healthy weight for your body.

The best way to lose weight

In a nutshell, to lose weight you need to burn more energy than you take in. Doctors generally recommend eating healthy meals for weight loss, including a balanced diet of a variety of whole foods, with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. They advise you to be mindful of calorie intake, listen to hunger and fullness cues, exercise regularly, drink enough water and get adequate, quality sleep.

However, some people still prefer to kickstart their weight loss and to go on a restricted diet plan for a period of time. They may consider a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) which consists of a maximum of 800 calories per day, in a nutritionally balanced way. How many calories to lose weight for your particular body type depends on how much you burn in a day. It depends on your height, age, condition and how much you exercise. If you have any questions or concerns about a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) consult your GP before starting this type of diet.

What should I eat to lose weight?

The most successful way to lose weight is to make lifestyle changes and have a clear idea of how much you need to drop and a realistic timeframe to achieve that goal. Official dietary guidelines recommend eating a balanced diet with moderate portions, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, 350 grams of fish per week, and whole grains. They also encourage staying hydrated and to be mindful of both salt and saturated fat intake. When trying to lose weight, it is also helpful to keep an eye on sugar intake, and to avoid using sweets and desserts as a reward.

Diet food in the form of meal replacements can be a great way to kick-start weight loss, or just as a convenient way to grab a quick meal that provides ample nutrition. Some complete diet replacements are designed to replace all your daily meals – whether it’s diet shakes, diet meals or diet soups. Alternatively, you can also use diet foods to replace a portion of what you eat in a day. Diet foods like these offer a simple and convenient way to manage your weight in a busy, everyday lifestyle while ensuring that you get all the necessary protein, fibres, vitamins and minerals.

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