Obesity is one of the most serious health risks possible. When we gain excessive weight, we overwhelm our body and make it difficult for it to function effectively.
When we are obese, our heart has a harder time pumping blood to it and away from it. Over time, this can lead to various complications like heart disease or stroke.
What’s also difficult about gaining weight is how a vicious cycle develops. Gaining weight makes it easier to gain more weight, and so on. Yet, the opposite is also true, namely that losing weight makes it easier to lose even more weight, as the results act as a kind of motivation.
In this article, we discuss some techniques that people use to lose weight. First, we give a brief overview of weight loss and analyze why people even want to lose weight in the first place.
What Does Cutting Weight Mean?
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Traditionally, “cutting weight” is a term used to refer to weight loss within sports, most especially during wrestling when athletes must weigh a certain amount in order to compete in the division they signed up for.
Many athletes cut weight in unhealthy ways by over exercising, fasting, or under nourishing themselves. These methods are effective on a short-term basis but lead to weight fluctuations later when their lifestyle return to normal.
In this article, we use the term “cutting weight” more generally to refer to anyone trying to lose weight.
The process for weight gain is actually quite simple. Essentially, whenever we eat food, we consume calories which provide energy for our cells. Usually, we take in more calories than we actually need because some of the calories will be burned during activities throughout the day.
Whenever we do any kind of physical activity, calories are utilized and burned. Furthermore, even when we are not doing an overtly physical activity, calories are still burned, as the body is still maintaining itself.
At the end of the day, our weight is a representation of the ratio between our calories consumed and calories burned. Yet, just because we consume more calories in a day than usual does not mean we will necessarily gain weight.
Ultimately, our bodies are able to compensate during the process of excretion, though this is true only up to a point. Eventually, if we consume too many calories, our systems will have to deposit the extra calories around the body in the form of fat. This is what causes weight gain. Over long periods of time, obesity can result, making a cutting diet all the more critical.
Why Should You Cut Weight?
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There are many reasons why people should try to cut weight, and we will discuss some of these reasons in this section.
Cutting Diets Makes Us Healthier and Happier
Many people are so concerned with abstractions when it comes to weight loss that they forget that health is also intertwined with our daily emotions and feelings. Yet, our daily emotions and feelings are interconnected with our dietary health, most specifically the health of our gut.
Our gut is important when it comes to regulating our serotonin levels, which influences our states of mind. When we change our diets to maximize weight loss, this often entails changing what bacteria populate our gut. While cutting diets don’t necessarily increase the amount of healthy bacteria in our gut, they often remove food items that were populating our gut with unhealthy bacteria.
Consequently, cutting diets can help heal our gut, transform our neurology, and allow the best parts of our personality to shine through. When we are happier in each moment, we are also healthier, and our bodies are more efficient. This allows us to better digest the food we eat.
On a deeper level, any kind of approach to weight loss that emphasizes diet is going to make the dieter aware of all the foods he puts in his body. All diets achieve this self-awareness, but cutting diets achieve it most powerfully since they are often more extreme and are focused on short-term results.
Many people new to cutting diets have never monitored the foods they put in their body. In this sense, cutting diets can help people create a new relationship to their food, which can have a number of other health benefits.
Losing Weight Makes You More Creative
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The logic here is simple. Our creativity is a function of how much energy is available for our brain to harness.
When there is more energy available to use, the brain can draw upon more information and can engage in deeper levels of thinking and problem-solving. When there is less energy available to use, the brain is not as effective at carrying out its mental processes and must rely on older, less effective forms of energy.
Alternatively, some bodies that do not have the energy necessary to complete a task will just ignore that task. In this sense, there could be many unconscious problems that are you struggling with yet ignoring due to insufficient energy.
Yet, the body harnesses the energy offered to it by food, but only after the food has been properly broken down, assimilated, and excreted. This process of assimilation takes energy itself, which is why we often feel tired after we eat a heavy meal or eat late at night.
This means that creativity is enhanced when we are not eating, as less digestion frees up more energy for creative problem-solving. Yet, this also means that creativity is negatively influenced when we are eating or have just eaten, as less energy is available to be artistic and intelligent.
When we lose weight and engage in a cutting diet, we not only eat a more digestible diet, but we often eat less times throughout the day. This lessens the load on our digestive system and frees up more energy for creativity. Additionally, a cutting diet can lead to loss of fat, which can make you lighter and more of a beacon for creative energy.
How you Should Lose Weight
There are two main approaches to losing weight, and we will discuss both of them here.
The Benefits of a Calorie Restriction Diet
One approach to losing weight is to restrict calories. This approach focuses almost purely on dietary changes. The person losing weight does not usually change their exercise routine but instead loses weight by limiting what foods they eat.
In this sense, weight is eventually lost because the person consumes less calories than they usually do while also keeping their level of calorie burning constant. Over time, this forces the body to draw upon stores of fat as a source of energy, leading to weight loss.
Many people choose to engage in a cutting diet that focuses on calories because it’s such an easy approach. Many people live busy lives with kids and jobs, which makes it difficult for them to make major lifestyle changes. Yet, reducing your daily calorie intake by 200 calories isn’t that significant of a sacrifice. Instead, all it entails is having several less cookies at night or cutting out the sugar in the morning coffee.
Many people that want to start losing weight are extremely sensitive to any kind of change. Thus, engaging in a cutting diet that focuses on calorie restriction can be a gentle way to ease these people into the weight loss process without overwhelming them or stressing them out. This is critical since stress is also a known risk factor for excessive weight gain.
What’s also beneficial about cutting diets that focus on calorie restriction is that they force the person to start counting their calories and make note of every food that they eat. While restricting calories may not be the best approach for some people, it’s still a good start for people who have never put a spotlight on their diet.
The Drawbacks of a Calorie Restriction Diet
The main problem with following a cutting diet focused on calorie restriction is that it’s not as easy to follow as many adherents make it out to seem.
Many people can become accustomed to eating the same foods each day. Any alteration to this pattern of existence can be painful and overwhelming. This can lead to stress, which can only lead to further weight gain.
Thus, people who have never made any dietary adjustments should choose a calorie restriction cutting diet only after much consideration. While restricting calories is a step in the right direction, it can also be a bit too drastic for some people.
Furthermore, some people find this approach too effective in that they lose a lot of weight because it’s so easy to not eat at first. Eventually, this can lead to binge eating episodes later on in which people actually gain back a ton of weight. Additionally, binge eating can also lead to other health complications down the road.
The Benefits of an Active Approach to Weight Loss
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The other approach to losing weight involves shifting our caloric balance not through diet but through an active lifestyle. In this sense, when we are more active each day, we burn more calories, which leads to weight loss as long as our diets remain stable.
Many people love this approach to weight loss because they do not have to change their diet at all. They can still continue to enjoy the same dinners and deserts as usual. Yet, the key is to exercise more in order to burn more calories.
What’s also great about this approach to weight loss is that it emphasizes an active lifestyle, which can be healthy in ways other than promoting weight loss. For example, an active lifestyle is also great for cognitive performance, sleep, and gut health.
Yet, when you examine health, you realize that all elements of our health are interrelated. In this sense, better sleep can lead to more weight loss, since our digestive system is able to cleanse and repair itself during deep sleep. Thus, being active is both directly and indirectly beneficial when it comes to weight loss, which makes it all the more attractive.
Furthermore, many people report feeling a kind of natural high when they workout. This is like an inherent reward to exercising and can keep some people using the same routine for many years. This high can be positive in other areas of our life, like reducing stress and worry.
The Drawbacks of an Active Approach to Weight Loss
The main drawback to this approach to weight loss is that it can ignore the importance of food for our health.
Many people with eating disorders instantly embrace the active approach to weight loss, hoping to continue their unhealthy patterns of eating while losing weight through exercise. In this sense, an active lifestyle can be an excuse to be unhealthy in other areas of our life.
In reality, a healthy workout routine cannot be distinguished from a healthy diet, as both need each other to function.
When we workout, our cells need to be refueled, and this requires proper eating and nutrition. When we focus on burning calories through exercise but forget to support our recovery through healthy eating, our body is less able to make its weight changes permanent.
On the other hand, when we eat, our cells crave exercise and activity in order to utilize the fuel extracted from the food.
Many people that focus too much on an active lifestyle end up starving themselves. Many of these people feed themselves just enough in order to exercise, and then misinterpret bodily signals for hunger. In reality, many of these people who exercise yet eat very little are undernourished and improperly taking care of their body.
A healthy active lifestyle will naturally lead to a balanced diet and vice versa, which over time generates the ideal weight. All that you must do is listen to your body and intuitively decide when its right to eat and exercise. The danger with adopting the active approach to weight loss is that it might focus your attention only on exercise and activity, which could cause you to ignore your dietary intuition.
Other Approaches to Weight Loss
Another approach to weight loss is called Other Approaches to Weight Loss. It does not entail restricting calories or burning calories through exercise. Instead, it focuses on getting people to eat all their food over a small window of time in order to maximize the body’s ability to heal and recover.
Perhaps the most popular way to intermittently fast is to eat all your day’s food between the hours of 10am and 6pm, and then to fast from 6pm to 10am. This gives the person’s body 16 hours to recover each day, which entails processing food and breaking down unwanted cellular structures.
Many people are unable to burn fat because they are constantly taxing their digestive system by eating so frequently. For many people, total calories are not the problem, per se, but rather the times when these calories are eaten.
Intermittent fasting typically emphasizes that we should eat all of our calories during the day, when our energy is highest, and that we should fast at night, when our energy is most needed for body recovery.
The one drawback to this approach is that many people use it in combination with cutting diets and exercise. This can be fine if the person is experienced, but newcomers should be wary of this combination. Intermittent fasting is a very powerful process. Simultaneously changing your diet and adding a more intense workout routine might be too overwhelming for your body and could even result in excessive weight loss.
We recommend that individuals looking to lose weight do so gently by picking one of the methods highlighted above and slowly experimenting with their approach.
Our Final Thoughts on Cutting Weight
We think cutting weight is an important part of a healthy lifestyle that everyone should engage in.
We think cutting diets are perhaps the most effective way of achieving this, as we think any imbalance in the body is related to food intake. Yet, we acknowledge that dietary changes are difficult for most people who have emotional connections to their food.
We think tackling weight loss through an active lifestyle is another effective approach, but only if a diet is simultaneously emphasized.
Ultimately, any approach to weight loss that tries to ignore dietary adjustments will be ineffective. While some approaches, like intermittent fasting, emphasize eating at specific times, this approach is still connected to diet and emphasizes how our body image is interconnected with what we put in our body, and more importantly, when we do so.
The Future of Weight Loss
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We think weight loss in the future will be easier to achieve than ever before. This is because our portable electronics will be able to access bodily information about the ideal way for us to shed weight.
For some people, this might entail cutting out a single food, whereas other people might benefit from a lifestyle based around exercise. Regardless, our devices will be able to guide us towards which method of losing weight is most ideal.
Furthermore, we think portable devices will be able to communicate information related to our weight to doctors for instant analysis. Thus, someone who is overweight can experiment with a new cutting diet and then transfer the results to his doctor. This can make each medical appointment more seamless as well as each doctor’s recommendations more accurate.