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The Concept of Dieting
by Anthony Millar of dotfitness.co.uk

It would be fair to say that people who live in western societies are becoming increasingly aware of their body image. The media constantly bombards us with images of tall, thin, 'beautiful' models which can in its self convince us that we need to go on a diet. Indeed, the idea of having a slim body can often seem to be the solution to all lives problems. If we look good then surely we feel good. This obsession with our appearance has lead to a huge growth in a number of industries. Fashion designers for example now employ more models for us to aspire to be like then ever before. More and more health food shops are emerging stocking an increasing range of produce by a growing number of rapidly developing supplement companies. The fitness industry has never been so affluent, with gyms and fitness centres springing up all around us, employing hundreds of instructors all willing to cast their opinion on how best to lose weight. This is big business not to mention the millions of pounds we spend on lipsticks, anti-ageing creams, eye-liners etc. Just what lengths are we prepared to go to look 'better' than ever? Cosmetic surgery has become immensely popular especially in the US, where a range of services are now offered at relatively affordable prices.

However, the concept of dieting still remains the most popular way for people to shed those pounds of unwanted fat. Nowadays magazines offer a wide range of diets and promise guaranteed success. These short-term 'crash' diets are usually quite extreme by nature, so much so that they can even involve the person consuming one food only, usually a particular vegetable such as cabbage (in the form of soup's etc.). It doesn't take a dietician to conclude that such diets are very unhealthy, as they put many bodily systems under immense strain. Although they will undoubtedly result in a dramatic loss of weight, albeit mainly water and muscle. Such extreme dieting inevatably leads to failure, which often leaves feelings of anger and frustration.

Nevertheless if such measures are not employed how are we supposed to get into shape for our holidays, weddings and other social ocassions? Does this sound familiar? It's hardly suprising considering the world in which we live in. We are far more affluent then ever before, being able to enjoy much more fine food and drink than our bodies were origionally designed to utilise. The end result should come as no suprise, the excess food and drink that we consume is stored as energy in the form of fat. Our pace of life is much faster too, which has lead to the emergence of thousands of immensly popular 'fast food' restaurents which sell largely processed foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The fact is that there seems to be a distinct lack of knowledge on how to lose weight correctly through effective dieting. Heart disease is a growing problem which represents one of the biggest threats to human life in western societies. Not to mention a vast range of growing diseases that are arguably a result of sub-optimum nutrition such as obesity and anorexia nervosa for example. It is fundamental to understand that a holistic approach to fat loss is central to achieving your potential for your new, slimmer, healthier body. This means that more aspects than just dieting alone require consideration. It could be argued that exercise represents a key factor in achieving desirable goals. However, exercise can also been seen as an area of ambiguity, which attracts considerable debate. Exercise, like dieting is very subjective inasmuch as what works for one person may not prove to be entirely successful for another. This uncertainty gives rise to huge grey areas such as how often should you workout? How long should each workout last?

As previously mentioned the more ways in which you can attack fat stores, build muscle, achieve better health or a combination of the three the better chance you stand of achieving your goals. Therfore one could advance the idea that the advantages of food supplements needs to be acknowledged. It would be fair to say that there has been a recent explosion in the supplement trade. There now seems to be hundreds of companies all claiming that their produce is the best and whats more they have study after study proving their lavish claims. More and more people are turning to supplements to meet the requirements of a healthy diet.

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