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What Everyone Should Know about Weight Loss

Sandra Prior
Aug 28, 2008
Whether you've struggled with your weight all your life or have never given dieting a second thought, chances are there are a few weighty issues you should consider.

Does Fat Serve a Purpose?

In previous eras fat was linked to survival because it's able to store excess energy from food for use later when there may not be anything to eat. While energy storage is no longer relevant in that way, fat is important because it produces hormones that influence the function of other organs. Having too much fat can reduce the body's ability to metabolize sugar and can increase a person's chances of having reproductive problems. Too little fat can lead to loss of menstrual periods and problems with fertility.

In a rare condition called lipodystrophy, individuals appear quite thin with no fat under the skin but have fat hidden inside the belly. They have an increased risk for raised cholesterol, fatty liver disease and type-2 diabetes.

What are the Biggest Dieting Mistakes?

Eating too little is one of the most common mistakes people make. This causes the metabolism to stall, because the body goes into survival mode and starts slowing down. You need a certain amount of nutrients to sustain energy levels and metabolic processes, and even eating too little fat is a problem. Another common mistake is following a diet that isn't sustainable.

There is no such thing as a quick fix and proper diets should not shed instant centimeters but should rather give a long-term solution to your problem. Although eating too little will usually increase the speed of weight loss, it isn't sustainable and can cause nutrient deficiencies. Cutting out whole food groups such as carbohydrates completely is also very bad. A lack of carbs can result in deficiencies in fiber and B-complex vitamins, and can cause drops in your blood sugar level and glycogen, which are needed for exercise.

Is Abdominal Fat Really Dangerous?

Being overweight or obese - particularly centrally obese, where there is excess fat around the waist - is associated with many serious medical conditions such as insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, infertility and cardiovascular disease. It has also been linked to various cancers.

Does Eating Late at Night Really Hamper Weight Loss?

This is one of the biggest myths. Your body doesn't stop functioning at night and you actually burn quite a bit of energy while you're asleep since your body is in a fasting state for a longer period. Most people find it helpful not to snack after a certain time, because this is a 'dangerous' time for overeating. Eating late at night is not necessary bad - what matters is how much and what you're eating. Stocking your cupboards with low-GI snacks such as fruit and nuts is a great idea. It will keep your metabolism going and prevent you from overeating, especially unhealthy foods.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.
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