Here are some things you should know before you start a weight-loss plan

You may be motivated to lose weight for your own health reasons. You may also need to lose weight for your health. You can lower your risk of developing certain conditions like heart disease or type 2 diabetes. It can lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels. It can also help with symptoms and prevent injury from being overweight.

You can lose weight by changing several things. These factors include lifestyle changes, diet, and exercise. There are many tools and tips that can help you stay on track. You should also know what to avoid. Before you start a new plan, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you create a plan and monitor your progress. Small changes can make a huge difference in your overall health.

The path to better health

Before you begin, there are some things you need to do. You must commit to your weight loss plan. Tell people you care about. These people can keep you accountable and offer support. They can help you to be accountable.

Three important facts are known about weight loss. Your weight is the first. Your body mass index (BMI) is the second. BMI is calculated based on your height and weight. BMI is considered the best indicator of your health risk by doctors. BMI is the best way to determine your health risk. A BMI between 25-30 is considered obese. A BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. Your risk of developing a weight-related disease is greater if your BMI is higher than 30. This includes heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You can have your BMI measured by your doctor or use a BMI calculator. The BMI chart for adults is the same for both males and females. A separate chart is available for boys and girls under 20 years old. A separate BMI calculator is available for Asian patients.

Waist circumference is the third important factor in weight loss. Your stomach is where most body fat accumulates. This area is more dangerous than the fat in your buttocks or thighs. Your waist circumference can be a useful tool. Place one end of the tape measure on your hipbone. Make sure the tape measure is straightened by wrapping it around your stomach. You shouldn’t use too much tape or too little.

Doctors consider a waist circumference of 40 inches unhealthy for men and 35 inches unhealthy for women. Abdominal obesity is defined as a high waist circumference. This can indicate metabolic syndrome. This condition is a group that can increase your risk of developing a weight-related disease. This can cause type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you have any of the five conditions below, your doctor will diagnose the syndrome.

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Metabolic Syndrome conditionTreatmentRecommendations
Abdominal obesity is measured by the waist circumferenceMen: More than 40 in. Women: More than 35 in.Lose weightGet more physical activityTo lose 1/2 pound per week, cut 250 calories each day. Try to lose approximately 20 pounds per year.At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week
High blood pressure130/85 mm Hg and greaterLose weightReduce salt intakeConsume more fruits and vegetables and less fat dairy productsTry to lose approximately 20 pounds per year.Don’t leave the saltshaker on the table. Avoid high-sodium foods (salt). Pay attention to the sodium content of food and drinks.At least five servings of fruits or vegetables per day are recommended. Three glasses of low-fat yogurt or skim milk per day is recommended.
Low HDL (good cholesterol)Men: Less than 40 mg/dL
Women: Less than 50 mg/dL
Lose weightGet more physical activityReduce carbohydrate intake and eat more monounsaturated oilsStop smokingTry to lose approximately 20 pounds per year.At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a weekCookies, candy, and cakes can be replaced with unsalted nuts, walnuts and peanuts. Nuts should be eaten in moderation.Get support to quit smoking.
High levels of triglycerides150 mg/dL and higherLose weightReduce simple carbsLimit alcohol intakeTry to lose approximately 20 pounds per year.Eat fish twice a week to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acid. Drink water, seltzer or diet soda instead of soda.Men should limit their intake to 2 and 1 drinks per day, respectively.
High blood sugar after fasting110 mg/dL and higherLose weightGet more fiberTry to lose approximately 20 pounds per year.White bread can be replaced with brown bread, whole grains, or cereals.

After you have taken measurements set realistic and safe goals, you can also consult your doctor. Be specific about your goals. You should be prepared for setbacks but not give up. When you achieve a goal, reward yourself with something healthy. You could, for example, try a new sport, get a massage or purchase a new outfit. These are all great ways to keep moving forward.

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Weight loss

To lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than your body needs. Calories are determined by the food and beverages you consume. Certain foods contain more calories than others. Foods high in sugar and fat are also high in calories. Certain foods contain “empty calories,” which add calories to your diet but don’t provide nutritional value.

Your body stores excess calories as fat if you consume more calories than your body needs. A pound of fat equals approximately 3,500 calories. You need to consume 3,500 fewer calories per day to lose 1 pound of body fat in a week. This equates to 500 calories less per day. You can also eliminate regular soda from your daily diet. This alone can help you cut over 350 calories daily. A week can also see you burn 3,500 calories more. This can be achieved by being active or exercising. Many people combine both of these. This will allow you to lose 1 pound in 7 days.

Experts recommend that you don’t lose more than 2 lbs per week. This could mean you are losing water weight, lean muscle mass, and not stored fat. This can make you feel less energetic and could cause you to gain the weight back.

Take a survey about your food habits. This will help you to identify areas where you should make changes in your diet. It can also identify the nutrients that you are lacking. Tips for improving your diet include:

  • Eat only when you feel hungry. This could be three meals and one snack per day. It could also mean 5-6 small meals per day. Don’t eat if you don’t feel hungry.
  • Don’t skip meals. It is not a good idea to skip meals. You may feel hungry later. You might overeat or choose poor foods.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes before you get another helping. Your body may take up to 15 minutes to determine if you are still hungry.
  • Eat a variety of whole food. This includes whole grains, dairy, lean meats, and whole milk. Choose the rainbow when choosing fruits and veggies.
  • Avoid high-fat or high-sugar foods.
  • Get plenty of fluids. Drink water, unsweetened tea, or other low-calorie beverages.

Sometimes, your doctor might refer you to a nutritionist. They can assist you in grocery shopping and help you find the right recipes.

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Regular physical activity is important for both children and adults. This is essential for maintaining good health and losing weight. Here are some ways you can increase your activity level and burn calories.

  • Your current exercise program can be extended by adding 10 minutes per day.
  • Challenge yourself. You can move from moderate to intensive activities. (See the chart below.
  • Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
  • Instead of driving, park further away and walk to your destination.
  • More household chores like vacuuming, dusting, and weeding can be done.
  • Take your dog or children for a run, walk, or bike ride.
  • You can exercise at home while you watch TV.
  • Get active during your vacations. Go on a hike or bike ride.
  • Purchase a pedometer/activity tracker. This will track how many steps you take each morning. You can increase your daily steps by increasing them over time. You can purchase pedometers from sporting goods shops. Experts recommend that you walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
  • Limit the time you spend online, watching TV, and playing video games. It should not exceed 2 hours per day.
Moderate ActivityApproximate calories per 30 minutes*
Lifting light weight110
Walking (3.5 mi/h, or mph).140
Bicycling (less that 10 mph)145
Gardening or light yard work165
Intense activityApproximate calories per 30 minutes*
Lifting heavy weights220
Yard work that is heavy220
Walking (4.5 mph).230
Swimming (freestyle laps)255
Jogging or running (5 mph or 12 minutes/mile).295
Bicycling (more that 10 mph)295

Adapted from Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.

*Percentage of calories burned by a person weighing 154 pounds. You will burn more calories if you are heavier than you are. You will burn fewer calories if you are lighter.

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It may be necessary to change your routine to make lifestyle changes such as changing your exercise and diet. You might have to get up earlier in the morning or pack your lunch so that you don’t order fast food. You should also make lifestyle changes. You can lose weight by getting enough sleep. Your body’s hormones are affected by sleep. These hormones tell your body when it is full or hungry. Reducing stress levels are also important. Many people associate stress with weight gain.

Things to Consider

There are some things you should keep in mind when starting a weight loss program. It is possible that you have an obstacle making it difficult to lose weight. It could also have contributed to weight gain. It is important to be cautious about where you seek advice. You should make sure your weight loss journey is safe and successful.

Obesity can be caused by medical conditions.

Some people may gain weight due to their genes. Some people may be unable to lose weight due to a medical condition. This could be an example of:

  • Hormonal disorders
    • Cushing’s disease
    • Diabetes
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
  • Sleep disorders
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Upper airway respiratory syndrome
  • Eating disorders
    • Bulimia
    • Carbohydrate craving syndrome.

Some medicines can also interfere with your efforts to lose weight. This includes:

  • Antihistamines for allergies.
  • High blood pressure medications such as beta or alpha-blockers
  • Diabetes treatment with insulin or sulfonylureas
  • Birth control pills using progestins
  • Depression treatment with tricyclic antidepressants
  • For manic depression, lithium
  • Valproate is an epilepsy treatment.
  • Neuroleptics for schizophrenia.

Talk to your doctor to find out how you can manage your weight despite all these challenges. You can make lifestyle changes, get treatment or have surgery. A support group or counseling may be of benefit to you.

Supplements, diet pills, and fad dieting

Many people and companies claim that diet pills can help you lose weight. Although this may seem true initially, pills won’t help you lose weight. They won’t show you how to change your lifestyle. Most diet pills are not tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some of these pills can cause side effects. If you feel you may need a supplement, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may recommend a supplement that won’t interfere with your medications or other conditions.

Fad diets are also not safe and won’t help you lose weight. Fad diets can offer temporary changes but not long-term weight loss. Fad dieters are often well-known or paid to make claims. However, this does not mean they are trustworthy or correct.

There is no single diet that will work for everyone. You cannot “go on a diet” and expect to “get off it” eventually. You don’t have to rely on any fad diet for success. Instead, create a healthy and balanced eating plan that you can make a part of your daily life.

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Management of weight loss

You have many tools that you can use in your weight loss journey. These tools can help you track your progress and help you reach your goals. These include:

  • To count your steps, use a pedometer
  • A food journal or diary.
  • Apps for smartphones that track exercise and diet.
  • A measuring tape or scale.
  • A BMI calculator.

Talk to your doctor as you work on your weight loss program. The big picture is important. While setbacks will be inevitable, you need to focus on the small steps and improvements. These are the things that will help you get to the finish line.

Ask your doctor questions.

  • Is there any risk in a weight-loss plan?
  • What are my weight loss goals?
  • What BMI should you aim for?
  • What happens if I lose more weight than the recommended 2 lbs. per week?
  • What can I do if I feel a craving for food?
  • Do I need to take supplements as part of my weight loss program?
  • Do you have any recommendations for a dietician
  • Do you have any suggestions for a support group that would be helpful to people who are trying to lose weight?
  • How do I keep my weight down after I have achieved my weight loss goals?



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