The age old battle to stay in shape

Many of us have given dieting a try in our lives in the hope that somehow our weight will come down to manageable levels. There are certainly no accurate figures however,estimates put the number of Americans actively seeking solutions to their weight loss problems at close to 200 million yet even when they are successful at finding some sort of solution,almost eighty percent will return to the state they were in before they enrolled for a particular program.

As of today no magic bullet has yet been discovered for managing weight,it is a problem that puts an enormous strain on the health care system. It is worth noting that many of the major health complications have obesity as a precursor,sadly a majority of weight management methods are fads and a combination of various ideas that are still being experimented and cannot be taken as proven solutions.

The weight loss industry commands attention online and the number of products and services that are on offer for this niche are simply staggering.Whereas some do work, many others are downright weird. This is a niche with desperate buyers those whose dreams can be shattered or built depending on the choices taken.

Human concerns about the weight loss problem are majorly driven by the fear of health problems associated with being overweight and the stigma it causes, also a lot of the confusion in this industry is driven by the never ending fashion trends and a culture of fitting in the society that our people are being constantly bombarded by the unforgiving profit driven media. Fashion Trends certainly do dictate what perception society will have about weight loss issues, there have been times when product releases by fashion houses have portrayed thin frame bodies as being in vogue, there’s also been a tendency to associate a slim body with the rich and affluent.The idea being that it is the rich that know what foods to eat, can afford to pay full time nutritionists, personal trainers chefs etc working for them.On the other hand those who are overweight are linked to junk foods and lives in front of television screens.

The battle for superiority between fat and thin has lasted for ages in fact we could say History has been merciful to overweight people in 17th century Europe one of the most famous artists the Belgian adopted Paul Peter Rubens earned a great following painting pictures of fat people, another trend was with the heavy Japanese Sumo wrestlers who were and still are seen as cool in many parts of the world. When thin models started hitting the screen with celebrity endorsements left and right all of a sudden people started to take up dieting as a means to lose weight. No one was quite sure what that meant most thought dieting meant skipping food and so fasting rather than be used for religious purposes was now being used as a means to cut weight. Dieters early on thought fasting would result in weight loss,some actually carried it to extremes and did die for at such levels of food denial the calories needed for the body to maintain life were lost.

It was during this period that the word calorie became the buzz word but like all new things no one clearly understood what it meant and how much of calories one needed to maintain the ideal weight. In an urgent effort to avoid more dieting fatalities science went to work to determine the kind of diet that would be sufficient to keep the body alive and provide just the right level of calories. Initially protein was the only major source promoted as ideal,there was a sudden craze for all protein diets other foods were ignored as not relevant. All kinds of starch foods were condemned, vegetables, fruits etc that are crucial sources for important food values were restricted. One major flaw with these kind of diets is that they ignore the fact that ultimately the body needs to obtain calories and essential minerals from different sources and therefore restricting this source to only protein diet proved to be counterproductive.

One may be forgiven for thinking that all these weight loss methods are the creation of our recent past it is worth noting that even in the late 1800’s weight loss pills were already being developed with the idea being to lessen or discourage the uptake of foods that tended to cause obesity chemicals such as benzocaine which has an effect on sensitivity of taste buds results in food being less tasty in the end not much food ends up in the stomach. Variations of this method still exist today in natural extracts such as Garcinia Cambogia which is a tropical species of the Garcinia which is grows in Indonesia. There are various financial interests in the weight loss world; there is big money to be made so much so that every company out there wants us to believe they have the best products or services for weight loss management. Those who manufacture supplements will do their best to give you information that makes you more likely to go with supplements which means more sales for these companies. Those that advocate for exercises as a means to weight loss also have products in the market.

Health | Fitness

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