Officially, being 'overweight' means weighing more than 10 per cent over the 'norm' for your height, while 'obesity' refers to being more than 20 per cent over 'normal', as well as having a body-fat percentage greater than 30 per cent for women and 25 per cent for men. So, body weight alone isn't an index of obesity.
Happily, rather than going on a crash diet, there are a number of safe and effective ways to lose weight, including maintaining a positive mental attitude.
There is evidence from a controlled study that a high-fibre weight-reduction plan can significantly increase bone loss, especially in the lumbar (lower-back) spine in post-menopausal women. And the bone loss appears to be irreversible, even if the weight is regained. So, it may be best to avoid repeated cycles of high-fibre weight loss and gain as it may well increase the risk of spinal osteopor-osis (Eur J Clin Nutr, 1994; 48: 561-6).
Try taking chromium, a mineral known to modulate sugar metabolism and to reduce sugar cravings. Double-blind trials have found that chromium supplementation promoted loss of body fat in obese people while preserv-ing lean muscle. After overweight patients were randomly given either chromium or a placebo for 90 days, those taking the chromium lost significantly more weight (7.79 vs 1.81 kg, respectively) and fat (7.71 vs 1.53 kg, respect-ively), with a greater reduction in body fat, too (6.3 vs 1.2 per cent, respectively) (Curr Ther Res, 1998; 59: 379-88).
In other double-blind trials, supplementing with 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HT) achieved significant weight loss within six weeks in obese women-with no changes indiet: those taking 5-HT reduced their carbohydrate consumption and felt satisfied sooner than usual (Neural Transm, 1989; 76: 109-17; Am J Clin Nutr, 1992; 56: 863-7).
You're a click away from some of the best health information on the web!
If you're already a member please log in
We ask everyone to join the WDDTY site first. It's free to see the News and Community items, but Features and premium content are only available to Digital or Print & Digital Bundle Subscribers. Click here for more information.