Weight Loss Articles

Is Liposuction A Logical Choice?

Weight loss is a hard mountain to climb. There are numerous methods and theories that can be tried. However, the main focus of any self-improvement has to be sustainability. As such, the various ‘quick fixes’ and weight loss ‘miracle plans’ may have a short term effect, but they do not generally have longevity. With all weight loss options, it is essential to be well informed not only about the benefits, but also the consequences. One alternative weight loss plan people might consider turning to is liposuction.

Liposuction? I know all about that

Maybe you do. The idea of liposuction has moved into everyday life, with celebrities seemingly transformed overnight by using it. However, the process is necessarily complex, and not a magical alternative to exercise and diet that can be performed in a lunch hour.

So, what are the basics? Liposuction is generally used on areas such as the abdomen, thighs and buttocks, or the neck, backs of the arms and similar areas. The process involves a procedure, not for the squeamish! In general, fat is removed via a hollow tube and a suction device. Liposuction techniques can be categorized by the amount of fluid injection and by the mechanism in which the hollow tube works. The levels of fat removal are a vital part of the process and must be agreed between the surgeon and patient beforehand. Additionally, the level of anaesthetic is informed by this decision.

Liposuction: Implications and Alternatives.

Like any surgical procedure, liposuction has its specific results and possible complications. Cosmetically, it is not the quick fix many believe it to be. As the balancing act of reducing fat is so fine if a patient is ‘over suctioned’ the procedure can result in bumps and dents in the skin. Liposuction can also give the impression of more weight loss than has actually been achieved. Even though there have been claims of 22.7kg loss as a result of the procedure, this is rare, and certainly not to be attempted unless the patient is in the fittest of health.

The result of liposuction in the short term are mostly what you would expect from an invasive surgery, bruising, swelling, pain, scarring, and lack of mobility, but you can also actually gain weight after receiving liposuction. More concerning is the possibility of puncturing internal organs during the surgery, and other risks, such as fluid imbalance, and allergies to the anaesthetics employed. It should never be forgotten that this is a cosmetic procedure that comes with the risks of surgery.

So what are the alternatives to liposuction? Well, you may not think it glamorous, but a common sense approach to a good diet, coupled with an appropriate diet plan is the surest (and cheapest) way to shed the pounds and keep them off. Diet plans, just like exercise ones can be tailored to you, and your lifestyle. The best part? No need to worry about unsightly bumps or surgery and no time off work, as it slots right into your life.

Is it for you?

It may well be that liposuction is just the thing to inspire you to succeed at your weight-loss goal. However, you must be confident in your surgeon and be in good enough health before the surgery. It also carries a large financial cost, and, after all, is rarely a one-off procedure. The surest and easiest to maintain methods are non-surgical procedures and planning.

Weight Loss Articles

Metabolic Rates: What your body does when no one is looking

You might think metabolic rates are simple. It is just an input to output ratio. It is actually far more than that, and is essential to every healthy human and animal. It governs how your body assimilates food intake and distributes the energy, and is a vital component in regulation of your essential organs and the well being of your body, ranging from psychological responses, to physical development, including weight loss and obesity.

What is a Metabolic Rate?

There are two types: Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). They both concern the body’s process of thermogenesis: the production of heat. Measuring this determines the level of energy expended. They energy the body generates is only sufficient to keep your essential organs operating whilst in a state of rest (hence why the restful state is the only reliable condition to measure the rate). The metabolic rate itself is regulated by the hypothalamus, which controls many autonomic functions that combine to be a survival system for every human. The metabolic rate is the yard stick against that which it is measured.

How can a metabolic rate be quantified?

There are two primary methods for determining your metabolic rates. The most accurate is a process that measures the production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste, along with the consumption of oxygen. The other, method used is an equation utilizing metrics such as age, weight, height and sex. This is, however, a rough guess, even though the equation has been refined over the years. The entire process requires the subject to be in a state of rest, that is, a ‘neutrally temperate environment’.

Metabolic Rates and Weight Loss

Weight loss and Metabolic rates, by nature, go hand in hand. The most important thing to remember is that metabolic regulation is the body’s defence mechanism. A sudden fast will only result in weight loss likely to be temporary, and the body will resolve to never be tricked so easily again, so will store energy for any other such emergencies. Obviously, the necessity for exercise and a valid program are endemic to any weight loss effort, but nutrition and good diet are invaluable.  Measurement of your metabolic weight before weight loss allows for an accurate assessment of the calories you need to stay healthy yet still see results. When you are ready to maintain your weight, a metabolic rate calculation makes it easier for you to keep to a diet that will allow you to keep your new figure. Otherwise, weight can creep back on, simply because you have overestimated your calorific needs.

Metabolic Changes

Despite being such a vital function of your body, the Metabolic Rate of you can be affected by many factors. Lack of sleep, diet, stress, and exercise are all powerful influences on it. Also, as you age, the BMR decreases, and that impacts on the ease of weight loss. Simple tactics such as a better sleeping pattern and less stress, combined with a realistic exercise regime and a good diet plan can increase your BMR, and your body will then process energy more quickly, leading to weight loss and a healthier you.


Weight Loss Articles

Rubber Gastric Band or an Iron Will?

When losing weight seems difficult it can be tempting to look into surgical options like the gastric band. However, this weight loss surgery is not a miracle cure or an easy way to lose weight, and you should make sure you educate yourself about the procedure, its risks and less invasive alternatives.

The first step to achieving weight loss will always be making the decision to take control of your health, but the various methods to achieve this have a marked difference in longevity and effectiveness. The basic factors, including a sensible diet and continued exercise, are fairly well known, but because of the stresses and strains of everyday life, these ‘easy’ ways to lose weight are not always easy to stick to. People often choose what are seen as more convenient methods, such as surgical procedures like gastric bands. It can be seductive to have a quick fix solution, so it is important to be aware of the nature of the surgery, its effects and possible consequences.

What is a Gastric Band?

Essentially, a gastric band is an inflatable band placed around the upper stomach, in effect creating a smaller stomach. This limits food intake and makes you feel fuller, quicker. Generally, they are fitted via key-hole surgery.

One of the most important things to bear in mind with gastric bands is that they are not a first case solution. They are generally only employed when other methods, such as exercise and diet, have failed to produce a result. They are usually only advised for patients with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 35 to 40 with the lower limit only being permissible in cases where the patient suffers from an illness like diabetes, as the American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery reported in 2007.

What About Gastric Band Problems?

In the short term, the band will decrease your intake of food. It is removable, and the scar is not as prominent as other surgeries, although it is still noticeable. Also, there are a number of complications that can arise. Whilst these are mostly related to the band itself, the risks of internal bleeding, infection and other gastric band problems are real.

Gastric band surgery is also not a certain solution to weight problems. An Australian study of 80 patients, 12 years after their adjustable gastric band surgery, found that almost 1 in 2 required further operations to have their bands removed. A study in Switzerland found that as time went on, successful weight loss decreased, with 40% of patients who had no s evere complications maintaining a weight loss of less than 25% of their excess weight.

There is no way to maintain a weight loss program without eating a sensible diet, in sensible quantities, and with regular exercise. Supplementing such actions with an effective treatment program goes a long way to maintain your will power and push you to a continued success. A gastric band on its own will not be able to do that.

Is A Gastric Band the Right Choice?

There is no doubt that in some cases a gastric band can be a way to lose weight fast for specific people. But it is important to bear in mind that, as with many things, no single action can be a miracle cure.  A well planned and thought out treatment schedule will last for longer, and provide more support than an operation that will not provide the personal attention, advice and supervision that can help you to reach your goal. You are able to do it, but like with so much in life, there are no shortcuts.

Weight Loss Articles

How to Stop Overeating Once and For All…

You had one too many drinks last Saturday evening because it’s the weekend anyway! At dinner last night, your dessert craving for chocolate cake turned out to be a binge – one tempting slice after another.

And today,  you stuffed yourself with five buttery rolls at the office potluck. You originally intended to have only two of the tasty rolls, but they were just too yummy to ignore.

We’ve all been there, and we all know how those post-binge episodes go — from guilt to frustration to promising yourself that it’s going to be the last! (Not to mention the dreaded food coma…)

You thought you’ve overcome overeating for good, yet it turns out that you’re back to square one when it comes to getting your cravings under control.

Why is it so hard to break out of this cycle?

Is there a way to kick this ceaseless habit for good?

Does it have to do with sself-controland having an endless supply of willpower?

Or is there some otherworldly, mystical force that you need to tap on in order to break free from binge-eating episodes?

I’ll explain why it’s so tempting to finish a large box of pizza all by yourself and I’ll help you understand how to put an end to overeating.  With obesity affecting more than one-third of the UK adult population, getting out of the binge-diet cycle remains a puzzle to many.

To have a greater understanding as to how overeating happens, it makes sense to initially get a grasp of how our appetite, or the desire to eat, work.

Understanding Overeating – How Appetite Works

It’s worth noting that appetite is a tad different from hunger. Think of hunger as a need to eat breakfast while appetite is more like a desire to eat that sliver of cake after lunch.

At a fundamental level, hunger and appetite are influenced by a network of pathways involving the neuroendocrine system. Appetite regulation, satiety, and energy balance involves your gut (it’s the largest endocrine organ in the body!) and a cocktail of hormones your brain

In essence, energy-dense foods rich in fat and sugar were extremely desirable to our hunter-gatherer ancestors for survival because they were scarce. However, this instinct for fatty and sugary meals remains even though these types of food are now available 24/7.  Eventually, the continual intake of fat and sugar overrides the human body’s natural hunger regulation system, leading to habitual overeating.

In a nutshell, the more you gorge on food laced with too much fat and sugar, the more likely that you’re going to get addicted to it.

Homeostatic And Hedonic Hunger

Another way of understanding appetite is to look at it from the perspective of eating for two main reasons— as a response to hunger (homeostatic) and for pleasure (hedonic).

In a review of studies differentiating the two, the researchers described that homeostatic hunger is the result of the prolonged absence of energy intake or food itself, while hedonic hunger is strongly influenced by the availability and palatability of food in your environment.

Why You Really Overeat And Binge

At first thought, it seems like putting an end to overeating is simply a matter of telling your brain to stop consuming food. Yet we all know that it’s not that easy, right?

Your brain may be the main driving force behind your appetite, but it’s not acting alone.

The frequency and the amount of food you eat is also influenced by a complex interaction of the following factors:

  1. Genetic Influences

Your gut, hormones, and brain may be working together to control appetite, but your genetic makeup also has a say as if you’re the type to overindulge.

  1. Environmental Influences

Environmental factors also contribute to the rise of appetite. These factors include the atmosphere of the room and the presence/absence of distractions during meals

Child feeding practices by parents during the first years of childhood tend to impact one’s eating behaviour later in life. A review of studies on the parental influence on eating behaviour revealed the following interesting findings:

  • Restrictive feeding practices by caregivers is associated with overeating and poorer self-regulation of food intake among preschool-aged children.
  • Restricting access to palatable foods like cookies in children may be counterproductive because it will eventually promote their intake.
  • Higher levels of parental control and pressure to eat were associated with lower fruit and vegetable intakes and higher intake of dietary fat among young girls.
  1. Psychological Influences
  • Did you know that not sleeping enough or getting stressed over finals week could lead to you reaching out for the cookie jar 5x a day when we’re not actually hungry?
  • It turns out that your appetite and hunger regulation is also influenced by these behavioural factors.
  • In fact, evidence from longitudinal studies suggests that chronic life stress may be linked to weight gain, with a greater effect seen in men.

Whether it’s stress or social pressure that’s driving you to overeat, we all know how frustrating it is to realize that you gave in to your cravings (again!). The good news is you can do something the next time you’re about to open your third bag of crisps.

What Should I do?

For a start, consider the following easy yet sustainable solutions to put an end to overeating, minus the horrible feeling of self-deprivation.  Learn to recognize the difference between homeostatic and hedonistic hunger.

As mentioned earlier, you can eat because you’re hungry but you can also eat for pleasure.

It can be a struggle to figure out the difference between the two because it requires you to be more mindful of your body. As a result, misinterpreting hunger and satiety signals can lead to overeating.

It can be challenging to recognize the true signs of hunger and satiety. While these cues will differ from one person to another (as well as depend on the time of day), you can learn to recognize your motivation for eating and adjust your eating habits by asking the following question:

Am I eating as a response to a physical cue (e.g. growling stomach, headache) or am I eating because I am feeling stressed, anxious, or overjoyed?

Whether you’re stressed about deadlines or fed up about your annual employee performance review, talking to a friend or journaling may be more helpful than eating your emotions away.

Be mindful of your “food environment”.   Your “food environment” may be divided into two parts:

  • Your social interaction and the overall atmosphere of your environment.
  • How your food is served.

To help promote a positive food environment, consider the following best practices:

  • Keep an eye on your portions.
  • Before eating two chocolate bars in one sitting, savour one instead. Furthermore, you might also want to use smaller plates and bowls to avoid taking in too much when you’re in a buffet. Press pause (whether on your TV or phone) until you’re done with lunch or dinner. When you’re distracted, you tend to eat mindlessly. As a result, you’ll be less sensitive to satiety cues because your brain is paying more attention to other things.
  • Eat slowly. A Greek study found that eating at a slower pace tended to increased fullness and reduce hunger ratings in overweight and obese participants.
  • Surround yourself with people who are taking steps to eat more mindfully. Whether it’s your co-worker who’s into calorie counting or your brother who’s a geek when it comes to meal planning, being around others who eat mindfully will help reinforce your own good habits and perhaps teach you some new tips and tricks as well.
  • Make tiny adjustments to your daily habits that may impact your eating behaviour. Curbing overeating is not about making massive changes in your life but rather making tiny adjustments to your daily habits.

These are three examples of tiny adjustments you can make to your daily habits.

  • Stop skimping on sleep, pronto. As mentioned earlier, lack of sleep can lead to eating more. Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Establishing a consistent bedtime routine may be a good start. An irregular bedtime schedule is linked to poor sleep quality.
  • Eat breakfast when you can. There may be some exceptions (like when you’re doing intermittent fasting), but skipping your morning meal usually leads to overeating because you end up feeling famished throughout the day. On the other hand, protein-rich breakfasts are associated with increased satiety and reduced hunger cues.
  • Do whole food swaps instead of cutting out certain foods entirely.
  • You don’t have to toss all the junk food residing in your fridge right away. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 80 percent of your daily meals from whole food sources and devote the rest to the not-so-healthy food items. By doing so, you won’t feel deprived, which in turn can lead to another binging episode.

Food Addiction

A lot of people can relate to overeating (because it happens to the best of us too!) but food addiction is a different story. If you feel that your binging episodes have turned into more than just a bad habit that you can change, seek professional help.