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Diet and weight loss tips and articles seem to be everywhere and on everyone’s minds in today’s busy world. Although, by exact definition, diet refers to nutrition needed to support life, most people think of “weight loss” when they hear the word “diet.” Human nutrition is complex, and therefore a healthy diet varies widely and is subject to an individual’s genetic makeup, how much exercise they get on a daily basis and their overall health. An eating disorder is a mental disorder that interferes with normal food consumption and can negatively affect affect a person’s body image. Many people in developed countries are concerned about obesity, while third world countries have the opposite problem, with many suffering from malnutrition. Dieticians and nutritionists agree that a healthy, well-balanced diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and small amounts of healthy fats.

Weight loss is both simple, yet complex. Everyone knows that in order to lose weight, one must burn more energy (calories) than they consume. Yet so many people struggle with weight problems and obesity. Diet plans are abundant and vary and consist of counting calories, eating low fat or low carbohydrate foods, eliminating certain foods completely, or adding other foods. Health care professionals generally agree that the best diet plan for everyone is eating a variety of healthy foods, such as is described by the Food Pyramid developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many other pyramids exist, also, including the Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean and Vegetarian diet pyramids. The pyramid diet shows that base of the pyramid is made up of foods that should be the foundation, or bulk, of your healthy diet. In contrast, foods you should eat in smaller amounts or less frequently are shown in the smaller sections of the pyramid. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pyramid has fruits and vegetables at the base, followed by complex carbohydrates, protein and dairy, healthy fats, and sugar at the top (smallest) part of the pyramid. Although variations of the food pyramid exist, most emphasize the following advice:

Consulting a dietician is often a good idea for anyone serious about weight loss. Diet pills are also an option, but it is advised to seek advice from your family physician before taking any type of diet pills, as some have serious side effects. Weight loss surgery is a procedure usually reserved for the very obese patient for the purpose of losing weight. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and where other health threatening factor are involved, such as diabetes. The two main types of weight loss surgery are lap band surgery and gastric bypass surgery.


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