Losing weight has become a favorite pastime in the West, and more and more of a preoccupation in the East also. The effects of the western diet and lifestyle have been devastating for the weight management and healthy living of almost all people touched by it. The ever increasing availability of instant, often over processed and nutrient deficient food, to the daily commutes we make from one location of idleness to another, all while sitting down in the comfort of a car have had huge impact on obesity and general lowered the amount of physical activity that a person is faced with.
Losing weight and being thin, in contrast to these norms, is still seen as the only way to be, and the pressure society places on this ideal is immense. Everywhere you look, in the media, and even in interpersonal expectation, thin is in. In a society that places heavy emphasis on weight control while at the same time places every obstacle possible in your way at the same time can be very frustrating, and is probably one of the main reasons diets fail.
There are many options out there for the person trying to lose weight. There are the usual options of a good diet and exercise, and then there are the extra provided options of binge diets, herbal supplements, drugs, and even surgery. The sad fact is that while many people opt for the instant options such as binging, drugs, or surgery, the duration of weight loss is usually short lived, though dramatic. The risks to health are much higher than if pursuing to lose weight with a healthy diet and exercise and the end effect is a diminished health, relapse into weight gain, loss of energy and resources put into the attempt, and a further shattered self esteem, making coming back from setback even harder than before on many different levels.
The best way to lose weight is to start a healthy and active lifestyle, not just go on a diet. If you make consistent, health improving changes to your life and stick with them, no matter how small, the accumulated effect will be healthy weight loss that sticks, instead of yo yo diet failure or added health risks with few positive results. Knowing what you put into your body is the first step to controlling your diet, and the first step in exercise is to find simple activities to replace inactivity, such as walking to the market instead of driving. Simple changes in lifestyle are more effective in weight loss than inconsistent workouts and dieting attempts of any level.