According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.6 billion adults worldwide are either overweight or obese. They project that in just three years, this number will increase to approximately 2.3 billion adults.
The WHO further reports that, “44 percent of diabetes, 23 percent of ischemic heart disease and 7 to 41 percent of certain cancers are attributable to overweight and obesity.”
Fortunately, just a modest decrease in weight can help alleviate the increased health risks associated with being overweight or obese. Here are a few simple strategies to kick start your weight loss plan.
First, drink lots of water – aim for 7 to 8 glasses every day. In addition to staying hydrated, research shows that drinking two glasses (8 ounces) of water before every meal, in combination with a reduction in portion size, can help you lose weight and keep it off for up to one year.
Aim to sleep at least 7 hours every night. Research has demonstrated that the hormones leptin and ghrelin, both of which affect feelings of fullness and hunger, are affected by how much or little you sleep. Furthermore, good quality sleep allows your body to repair any cellular or systemic damage accrued throughout the day.
Exercise at least 30 minutes, most days. It goes without say that exercise helps stimulate your metabolism and helps create the caloric deficit necessary for weight loss. The more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be. To aid in the caloric deficit, decrease your portion sizes at every meal.
Finally, to give your metabolism a boost, try supplementing with Xanthigen and/or l-arginine. Xanthigen is a combination of brown seaweed and pomegranate seed oil extracts. Brown seaweed contains the compound fucoxanthin, which increases the rate at which the body metabolizes calories, and pomegranate seed oil contains punicic acids, which decreases the accumulation of liver fat. Research has indicated that these two compounds are more effective in reducing weight in combination, rather than alone.
L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid, meaning that the body can make it under some circumstances, but in other situations, you have to obtain it via your diet. L-arginine is converted to nitric oxide, which helps increase blood flow via vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels.
As always, be sure to check with your health care provider before beginning any exercise or supplementation regimen. Remember, just a 5 to 7 percent decrease in body weight can help prevent diabetes and possibly help alleviate other health issues associated with being overweight or obese.
Dr. David B. Samadi is the Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He is a board-certified urologist, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of urological disease, with a focus on robotic prostate cancer treatments. To learn more please visit his websites RoboticOncology.com and SMART-surgery.com. Find Dr. Samadi on Facebook.