Safe weight loss can only truly be achieved by a careful diet and exercise. For years there have been hundreds of gimmicks ranging from pills, soaps, drinks, and unconventional diet plans. Desperate to lose weight, people invest hundreds of dollars each year to gimmicks and diet plans that do not work. Although some of these products do produce temporary results, they are not always safe and the lost weight normally comes back. It is proven that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is by a healthy diet and exercise. One out of every three Americans is overweight.

The most common reason for being overweight is a sedentary lifestyle, a life style of little activity, and overeating. In order to control weight, caloric intake should be monitored. In order to lose weight people must take in fewer calories then what is burned. Therefore, if more calories are taken into the body then those that are burned, the person will gain weight.

The intake of fatty foods should also be monitored due to the fact that one pound of fat is equal to about 3, 500 calories. Losing weight is a long and sometimes even difficult process. However, it does have benefits. Losing weight will raise self esteem and generally makes the person happier.

Fitness helps people deal with strong emotions and stress. As a result, people who exercise have better mental health compared to those who do not exercise. Being in a better physical condition has a large impact on mental health and can help a person deal with everyday situations and problems. A healthy diet is a necessity in order to lose weight and keep it off. A diet should be maintained and part of everyday life. After a person loses their desirable amount of weight if they go back to their old eating habits the weight will come back.

This i called weight cycling, and this can go on for years. Weight cycling is not healthy and can be discouraging. It is important that a well-rounded diet is maintained throughout the persons life. A healthy diet should consist of adequate amounts from the five basic food groups. Six to eleven servings of breads and grains should be consumed a day.

Three to five servings from the vegetable group. Two to four servings from the fruit group. And two to three servings from the dairy and meat groups. The fats, oils, and sweets group should not be consumed often. These are empty calorie foods and consist of mainly sugar and very little nutrients.

The other necessity in losing weight is exercise. There are two basic types of exercise, anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic consists of intense physical activity in which the body's supply of oxygen to make energy does not meet the demand. Aerobic exercise uses a constant supply of oxygen. With aerobic exercises heart rate increases and more oxygen is transported to muscles. If a person is looking to lose weight an aerobic exercise would be a better choice then an anaerobic exercise.

An aerobic exercise should be done for twenty to thirty minutes without stopping. They should be done regularly, at least three to four times a week. This will help maintain body composition and total fitness. When picking exercises, they should be appropriate for the location that the person lives in and facilities and weather should be carefully considered. The person should make sure that the exercises they choose are enjoyable and effective. Aerobic exercises consist of a warm-up, the work out, and a cool down.

Warm-ups consists of stretching or jogging, anything that raises the heart rate. The workout is an aerobic exercise which can be any activity that can be done briskly for twenty to thirty minutes, such as, running, swimming, jogging, or dancing. The cool down consists of lowering the heart rate. Following a brisk work out a person should do an activity less rigorous then the work out its self for approximately five minutes, and after that the person should stretch for another five minutes. When people start their exercise program, they may become discouraged because of what their scale says. Exercising builds muscle, and because muscle weighs more than fat your body weight may not go down.

However, your body fat ratio is lower. In order to lose weight muscles must be built up because that is where calories are burned. Therefore, when people start exercise programs they need to realize that what the scale says is not important, it's the percent body fat. Through a careful diet and exercise program weight loss goals can be achieved.

The person choosing to lose the weight must be aware of the situation and realize that their new way of life must be constant or they will begin a period of weight cycling. The person should keep track of their weight loss in a journal and make sure they are losing weight at a healthy rate. If any questions or problems arise the person should confront their doctor with anything out of the ordinary. Weight loss can raise self esteem and give people the confidence they need to live their everyday life. It can also help them deal with stress and problems throughout their life.