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About Nutrition
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Cheat Your Way Thin Anything Goes Diet Stay Forever Thin Weight Loss Motivation Bible

Facts About Weight Control

Our body has complex systems to regulate food intake according to the need. If we are active and burn much energy, our appetite increases and we eat more food to replace the calories burned. Conversely, if we are passive and burn less energy, our appetite decreases and we eat less food.

The regulation of appetite is very complex and involves many systems in the body including the nervous and hormonal systems.

Hunger signals  

When the body needs food certain hunger signaling peptides like neuropeptide Y (NPY), orexin and ghrelin increase and this activates the mind and body to seek and collect food and start eating.

Satiety signals

About thirty minutes after the start of eating, satiety signaling peptides (including leptin, cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and insulin) are liberated from the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver and adipose tissue. The satiety signals reach the nervous system, which then gets the body to relax and stop eating.

Weight Control Problems

The Western populations have experienced increasing problems relating to weight control.

In some people the intake of food is much larger than the body’s needs, and this leads to weight gain, overweight and even obesity.

In other people the food intake is less than needed, and this leads to weight loss, underweight and in some to the serious condition of anorexia nervosa.

How to assess your weight status and caloric needs

Body Mass Index (BMI)

You can obtain a measure of your weight status by calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI), which relates the body weight to the height using this formula:

BMI = weight in kg / (height in meter x height in meter).

Here is a link to a site, where you can calculate BMI easily using English or metric measures.  

Optimally your BMI should be between 18.5 and 25. A BMI below 18.5 indicates underweight. BMI in the interval 25–29.9 indicates overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher indicates obesity.

Caloric needs

Your caloric needs depend on your age, your body dimensions and your activity level. Younger people need more calories than older people. If you are physically active, you need more calories than if you are resting. Here is a link to a site, where you can calculate your caloric needs.

If you need to lose weight, your should eat less than your caloric needs. If you need to gain weight, you should eat more than your caloric needs.

How to lose weight

In the modern world many find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. An important factor is the abundance and easy availability of food. For this reason we eat too often and too much.

Numerous diets have been devised, some of which may have a slight, temporary effect.

An important point is to limit the intake of carbohydrate, which is not an essential nutrient. Excess carbohydrate will be transformed to fat and stored as such in the body.

Sufficient protein is important. The Ducan diet is based on a high protein content in the food.

However, the most effective way of loosing weight is to reduce the amount of calories eaten by including a form of fasting on certain days. Popular examples are the Every-Other-Day Diet, the 5:2 diet and the FastDiet.

You may accelerate the weight loss by exercising and thereby burn more calories:  

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