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How to Lose Weight Successfully

Successful Ways to Lose Weight and Burn Fat

There are many "successful" ways to lose weight... But that would also depend on how you define "success". If losing a few quick pounds for a special event, and then putting all that lost weight back on after the event is all that matters to you, then I suppose you can call that success. After all, you did succeed in achieving your target weight loss. On the other hand, if your goal was long term weight loss without regaining it all back, then you need to evaluate your short and long term goals - what is your ultimate target weight; what is your weekly target; what level of physical activity will you engage in? These are all things you need to consider.

Being over weight, or worse, being obese, has a host of physical and psychological implications. When you're over-weight, you do not feel positive about your appearance. Obesity has been often cited in studies as one of the key factors leading to low self-esteem. [1] More importantly, being obese poses many health risks such as increased blood pressure, heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even increased mortality rates.

Studies have found a direct link between body mass index and blood pressure. One study involving 35,061 patients found that normal weight subjects had consistently lower blood pressure compared to obese subjects, and that normal weight subjects with good cardiorespiratory fitness level had the lowest systolic blood pressure. The study indicated that body mass index was the most important predictor of systolic blood pressure in the participants. [2]

Losing Weight Successfully

So what can you do to lose weight successfully? All that you really need is some small changes for a healthier lifestyle - by adding regular exercises, and improving your diet and nutrition. Losing weight will not only make you feel better about yourself, it will also improve your health and fitness - reducing your risks for the various health problems associated with obesity.

With age, the level of physical activity and aerobic capacity decline, and the prevalence of obesity also tends to increase. Studies have found that the level of fitness is a significant predictor of mortality in older adults.  2603 adults aged 60 years or older took part in a study to determine the association between fitness, adiposity, and mortality. Fitness levels were assessed by a maximal exercise test, adiposity was assessed using body mass index, waist circumference, and body fat percentage. In the 12 years of follow-up of this study, there were 450 deaths. The death rate per 1000 person-years for the lowest BMI group was 13.9 compared to 31.8 for the highest BMI group. As well, the death rate was 13.3 for normal waist circumference compared to 18.2 for high waist circumference; 13.7 for normal body fat percentage and 14.6 for high body fat; 8.1 for the most fit compared to 32.6 for the least fit. [3]

From this study, it is clear that physical fitness is a significant predictor for mortality in older adults where the most fit has significantly lower death rates compared to the least fit. With so much on the table, how can you not afford to change your lifestyle for the better, and work to improve your health and fitness, and lower your body fat.

Successful Ways to Lose Weight

With that said, what can you do that would ensure success in your weight loss efforts? I'm sure you've seen many individuals who've tried to lose weight unsuccessfully. Surely, you do not want to fall in to the same trap of yo-yo diets and weight loss and gains! I will tell you now that the weight loss gimmicks you see on infomercials are NOT successful ways to lose weight, far from it.

To loose weight successfully, you need to become more active. One of the best ways to lose weight is to weight train. Building lean mass is absolutely one of the best ways to lose weight successfully - I should re-phrase that to say "best ways to burn fat". While it may seem counter-intuitive to gain lean muscle weight while your trying to "lose some weight", it is important to define "weight loss" and "fat loss".

Weight loss can be a loss of any type of weight - be it water weight, muscle mass, or even the loss of a limb or two. Conversely, fat loss is specific, and refers to only one thing, losing body fat and nothing else. So, while with weight training, you will build some lean muscle mass, the extra lean muscle mass you gain will in turn help boost your metabolism, and make it easier for you to burn off fat.

This concept of building muscle to burn fat applies to both men and women. For women, you may be thinking: "But I don't want big muscles. I just want to get rid of some body fat and lose my tummy fat." While lifting weights, and strength training will help build muscles, for women, it's unlikely that you will build over sized muscles with weight lifting. By strength training, you will simply build some lean muscle mass, and that in turn increases your natural metabolism and burn more fat.

Aside from the fat burning potential, there are numerous health benefits of weight lifting including:

  • develop core strength
  • increase metabolic rate
  • improve muscle function and strength and also improve endurance
  • having stronger muscles help prevent injuries
  • improves your balance, muscle stability, and mobility
  • helps increase your bone density
  • weight lifting slows down the effects of aging, and also reduces the amount of muscle loss with age
  • improves overall health and fitness

Studies have consistently shown that exercise combined with a energy restricted diets leads to successful weight loss, and studies have indicated that exercises is effective at preserving lean body mass during a weight loss period, and that it is especially important for combating sarcopenic obesity (increase in fat mass combined with decrease in lean mass). [4]

If you're hesitant about exercising, what are you waiting for? You have all the benefits to gain and nothing to lose by simply doing some weight training exercises several times each week. If you combine this with a balanced, energy restricted diet, you will lose weight successfully.

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1. Acad Pediatr. 2010 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print]
Characteristics Associated With Low Self-esteem Among US Adolescents.
McClure AC, Tanski SE, Kingsbury J, Gerrard M, Sargent JD.

2. Am Heart J. 2010 Jul;160(1):166-70.
Fitness, fatness, and systolic blood pressure: data from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study.
Chen J, Das S, Barlow CE, Grundy S, Lakoski SG.

3. JAMA. 2007 Dec 5;298(21):2507-16.
Cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity as mortality predictors in older adults.
Sui X, LaMonte MJ, Laditka JN, Hardin JW, Chase N, Hooker SP, Blair SN.

4. Nutr Rev. 2010 Jul;68(7):375-88.
A systematic review of the separate and combined effects of energy restriction and exercise on fat-free mass in middle-aged and older adults: implications for sarcopenic obesity.
Weinheimer EM, Sands LP, Campbell WW.