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The Proper Purposes of Weight Loss

Why question anyone’s “reason” or “purpose” for losing weight?

Well, I am not trying to “question” anyone’s goals and dreams. However, I have had opportunities to observe the setting of these goals and the motivations behind them in many people, including myself, over the last half century, and I do have a few thoughts on the subject of the proper purposes, or reasons, for weight loss. Partly, these conclusions are based on the many failures and few successes I have seen.

While I am happy to learn of anyone who is concerned about their health and happiness and is willing to do something about it, I am concerned that many people fail to achieve their health, fitness, or weight loss goals because of a lack of knowledge or because of an undefined sense of purpose.

Obviously, the numbers (statistics) bear out the definite relation of weight loss to health in a general way. However, what exactly does losing weight do for an individual? What CAN happen to people with a body mass index of 25 or above, those categorized as overweight and obese, when they DO lose weight?

It has been shown statistically that those in the categories of “overweight” or “obese” are facing increased risks of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance syndrome, diabetes, stroke, high Sonus Complete blood pressure, liver disease, gallstones, and sleep apnea. All of these conditions, many of which are fatal in a worst-case scenario, also have their own complications. It is also not uncommon to find combinations of these conditions in overweight and obese individuals, thus increasing the overall dangers to health and happiness exponentially.

Looking at these simple facts, it is easy, and very natural, to come to the conclusion that, in the obese and overweight, weight loss at any price is worth the potential gains in health, quality of life, and longevity. Faced with this general sense of information, many people will assume that any weight loss program that “works” will deliver these gains and improvements.

However, I see two questions.

Are some weight loss programs, systems, or methods more likely to deliver all three?

Is it possible that some methods of losing weight may create new problems of their own?

The answer to both questions is, “Yes.”

Due to a lack of knowledge of the problem or the solution, many people, quite naturally, focus on their immediate perceived problem (I can’t get into my old clothes. It’s getting harder to do things. I need to lose weight for my health – whatever that is.) rather than viewing weight loss as a long-term, life-altering solution to an entire panoply of current and potential ills as outlined above. Often, this single focused goal is not strong enough to help maintain motivation.

However, understanding ALL the many benefits of a healthy weight loss program, including delay of death and easing of the negative aspects of aging, could conceivably provide a stronger degree of motivation than simply depriving oneself of favorite foods over a long term in order to drop a dress size.

In hopes of “losing a few pounds” or a lot of pounds, many people resort to the use of all kinds of fad diets, diet pills, weight loss supplements, and chase the elusive promises of every new idea that pops up on TV or in the supermarket tabloids. However, most of these have more basis in economic health of the company selling them than the physical health of the user. The claims seem good, and sadly the claims, though based in fact, are inflated to make an item or method that COULD help someone who is in a healthy weight loss program seem as if it SHOULD BE the weight loss program.

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