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Healthy Way to Loose Weight: Diet Control

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The body component of a typical normal adult individual weighing 70 kg is composed of approximately, water 42 kg, protein 12 kg, fat 12 kg and glycogen 0.5 kg (depending of how long it is since his last meal and the nature of that meal), and the remaining 3.4 kg is mostly bone mineral. If this individual gains weight and becomes obese, there will not be just an increase of all the components of the body proportion, but there will also be an increase in fatness. Changes in the composition of body, which leads to obesity involve storage of excess material, which is about 75% fat and 25% non-fat tissues.1 Therefore, the correct treatment of obesity involves the loss of weight, which is of similar magnitude and composition to that excess.

Obesity is a disorder of energy balance. If a normal person derives the same energy from food and drinks as he or she expends, then there are no chance of gaining or losing weight as his or her energy stores remain constant. On the other hand, in children and pregnant women, a positive energy balance is maintained and a slightly negative energy balance is maintained and in elderly people. Studies have demonstrated that in normal people, energy output fluctuates from day-to-day by about 15% and energy intake shows even larger fluctuations. So, at a given point, the energy balance is continually fluctuating above and below a balance point. Hence, a balance between input and output for over weeks or over months rather than over minutes and hours is logically considered ideal.
Loosing weight can be realized in a number of ways such as increase physical activity, treating underlying disease condition, adapting healthy eating habits, abstaining from smoking and drinking and not but the least with an appropriate diet. An ideal diet provides not only the energy but also all the nutrients that are required to maintain the integrity of the body. If the diet provides enough energy for sustaining routine needs then there is no reason for using the energy stores in the body (i.e., the fat). Hence, a perfect dietary approach to obesity is often prolonged and at the same time, it is mandatory to prevent any dietary deficiency of protein, vitamins or minerals. Dietary fibers should be consumed in adequate quantities.

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Calorie-Counted Diet

Energy balance is a vital component for maintaining the body weight.2,3 Therefore, calorie-counted diets are designed to lower the energy supplement to the body. Diets used in hospitals are constructed based on the calorie. Although practically it is difficult to calculate the calorie of food by a layman, an experienced dietician can help in calculating the energy in a diet. Calorie-counted diet is the mother of all effective weight reducing diets.

Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet

Bread, cereals and sugars conserves and affords over one-third of the energy in an average diet. Carbohydrate-restricted diet will reduce the energy stores in the body,4 since it is very unlikely that the energy deprived from the lack of carbohydrate will be compensated by increased consumption of meat, fish, egg, dairy products, fats or vegetables. High-protein foods like meat and fish are relatively expensive.


Fat-Restricted Diet

Fat-reduction is a logical step towards energy reduction. Weight-for-weight of fat is more than twice as much as energy that is derived from protein or carbohydrate. Fat is derived largely from meat and dairy products, so a total ban on fat would also result in inadequate supplementation of other minerals and nutrients like protein and calcium. So as an alternative, it is better to consume large quantities of high-fiber foods.

High-Protein Diet

If both carbohydrate and fat are restricted, then the only source of energy is protein.5 A high-protein diet is far better than a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet. But one should remember that consumption of more protein diet will not necessarily facilitate weight loss. Diets high in protein and/or low in carbohydrate produced an approximately equal to 2.5-kg greater weight loss after 12 week of treatment.3


Apart from the type of food intake, the timing of meals also plays an important role. It is widely accepted that if a diet is taken as a single meal (gorging), more weight is gained or less weight is lost, than if the same diet is taken as many small meals. This intermittent meal consumption is thought to better conserve the lean tissue than the gorging regimen.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 24, 2012

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