(NaturalNews) People think of dieting as a quick fix. Pictures of well-toned bodies are sold for the idea that one can have well-toned abs or a sexy body by simply buying this gadget or this supplement meant to speed up the metabolism.
In a nutshell, there are no specific foods or exercises that when used alone trim belly fat. Sustainable weight loss can only be achieved through a slow, gradual process of proper nutrition and regular exercise.
Sustainable weight loss is a change of lifestyle
An article published in the journal Diabetes specifically recommended that the primary approach for achieving weight loss is therapeutic lifestyle change which includes an increase in physical activity and a reduction in energy intake. According to the article, lifestyle change was twice as effective in preventing type-2 diabetes as metformin therapy, a drug of choice for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Thankfully, when you start exercising and observing proper diet, losing weight starts to happen.
But wait, here's more - according Dr. Michael Jensen, MD, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, "Ninety-nine percent of people who lose weight will lose it in the abdominal region before anywhere else and will lose proportionately more weight from the upper body." Moreover, Penny Kris-Etherton, a researcher at Penn State University, explains that "Visceral fat, the kind tucked deep inside your waistline, is more metabolically active and easier to lose than subcutaneous fat under the skin, especially if you have plenty of it."
This explains why many fad diets on the market will always achieve short term effects. And yes, testimonials of reduced waist lines are not impossible since the initial effect of weight loss can be seen in the waist. However, how to maintain this development in the long run is a critical question for many people. A recent study showed that successful, long-term weight loss happens when a reduced calorie diet is taken together with exercise and behavior therapy aimed at developing skills necessary to change wrong eating and activity patterns.
What advice should we give to people trying to lose weight?
In an article published in the Clinical Diabetes journal, author Marion J. Franz, a nutritional health consultant, offers a unique perspective to people with weight issues. According to Franz, aside from eating healthy and engaging in physical activity perhaps the best way to assist people with weight problems is to help these individuals to like themselves. She goes on to add that "They are important people, both for themselves and for those who they care about. Even if we can't help them maintain weight loss, we can help them make changes for a healthier lifestyle."
Studies have shown that diet and exercise is the way to achieving weight loss. What else could be missing if the manner of achieving the goal has been identified? Perhaps what is lacking is the motivation for such an endeavor. The need to lose weight due to health complications may provide the initial change, but what will drive the individual to stay healthy in the long run may be a strong sense of self image, something superficial diets can never give.