lose weight

Weight loss

Weight loss, in the context of medicine or health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body weight, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue.

Unintentional weight loss

Poor management of type 1 diabetes mellitus, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), leads to an excessive amount of glucose and an insufficient amount of insulin in the bloodstream. This triggers the release of triglycerides from adipose (fat) tissue and catabolism (breakdown) of amino acids in muscle tissue. This results in a loss of both fat and lean mass, leading to a significant reduction in total body weight. Note that untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus will usually not produce weight loss, as these patients get acutely ill before they would have had time to lose weight.

Myriad additional scientific considerations are applicable to weight loss, including but not limited to: physiological and exercise sciences, nutrition science, behavioral sciences, and other sciences.

One area involves the science of bioenergetics including biochemical and physiological energy production and utilization systems, that is frequently evidence of diabetes, and ketone bodies, acetone particles occurring in body fluids and tissues involved in acidosis, also known as ketosis, somewhat common in severe diabetes.

In addition to weight loss due to a reduction in fat and lean mass, illnesses such as diabetes, certain medications, lack of fluid intake and other factors can trigger fluid loss. And fluid loss in addition to a reduction in fat and lean mass exacerbates the risk for cachexia.

Infections such as HIV may alter metabolism, leading to weight loss.

Hormonal disruptions, such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), may also exhibit as weight loss.

Intentional weight loss

Weight loss refers to the loss of total body mass in an effort to improve fitness, health, and/or appearance.

Therapeutic weight loss, in individuals who are overweight or obese, can decrease the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer.

Weight loss occurs when an individual is in a state of negative energy balance. When the human body is spending more energy in work and heat than it is gaining from food or other nutritional supplements, it will use stored reserves of fat or muscle.

Although weight loss may involve loss of fat, muscle or fluid, weight loss for the purposes of maintaining health should aim to lose fat while conserving muscle and fluid.

It is not uncommon for people who are already at a medically healthy weight to intentionally lose weight. In some cases it is with the goal of improving athletic performance or to meet weight classifications in a sport. In other cases, the goal is to attain a more attractively shaped body. Being underweight is associated with health risks such as difficulty fighting off infection, osteoporosis, decreased muscle strength, trouble regulating body temperature and even increased risk of death.

Therapeutic weight loss techniques

The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended by physicians, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical exercise. Physicians will usually recommend that their overweight patients combine a reduction of the caloric content of the diet with an increase in physical activity.

Other methods of losing weight include use of drugs and supplements that decrease appetite, block fat absorption, or reduce stomach volume. Medicines with herbs such as Fucus vesiculosus are popular .Finally, surgery may be used in more severe cases. Bariatric surgery artificially reduces the size of the stomach, limiting the intake of food energy.

"Crash dieting"

A crash diet is where a person willfully restricts themselves of all nourishment (except water) for more than 12 hours. The desired result is to have the body burn fat for energy with the goal of losing a significant amount of weight in a short time. Crash dieting is not the same as flexible intermittent fasting, where dieters fast for 2 days each week and calories are cycled. Generally the weight lost in a crash diet returns when normal eating resumes.

Weight loss industry

There is a substantial market for products which promise to make weight loss easier, quicker, cheaper, more reliable, or less painful. These include books, CDs, cremes, lotions, pills, rings and earrings, body wraps, body belts and other materials, not to mention fitness centers, personal coaches, weight loss groups, and food products and supplements. US residents in 1992 spent an estimated $30 billion a year on all types of diet programs and products, including diet foods and drinks.

Between $33 billion and $55 billion is spent annually on weight loss products and services, including medical procedures and pharmaceuticals, with weight loss centers garnering between 6 percent and 12 percent of total annual expenditure. About 70 percent of Americans' dieting attempts are of a self-help nature. Although often short-lived, these diet fads are a positive trend for this sector as Americans ultimately turn to professionals to help them meet their weight loss goals .

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