Obesity is a sickness that can strike any one at any age. At present, an estimated 150 million Americans – both children and adults – are overweight. Because of this, several weight loss methods and products are being sold in the market, in an attempt to curb these statistics. But are they really effective? Read on to find out.Obesity 101Obesity occurs when one accumulates too much body fat. It is measured through one’s body mass index (BMI), or the proportion of one’s height to his weight. A BMI of over 25 means that you are overweight; over 30 means you are obese.More alarming is the fact that millions of Americans are suffering from morbid obesity, an extreme form of the condition. Morbid obesity occurs if you are 100 lbs. overweight or have a BMI of over 40. If left untreated, obesity can lead to serious complications like difficulty in motor movements, heart complications, high blood pressure, and even diabetes.Finding the cureSeveral weight loss products and programs have become available, most of them claiming to provide the fastest and easiest means of losing weight. However, most of these programs are either fraudulent or ineffective, and many only offer temporary results. Over-the-counter weight loss pills are not strictly regulated, so many fraudulent products make it to the shelves. Some weight loss centers, although effective, tend to be overpriced and turn away potential clients.Losing weight the healthy wayA healthy weight loss diet is the perfect solution to your health problem. You need not enroll in an expensive diet program or take any weight loss pills. A health weight loss diet involves proper nutrition, regular exercise, and consultation with your doctor. It is simple, easy, and cost-free!First stepsThe first step to a healthy weight loss diet is understanding your body. Before deciding on a weight loss method, it’s important to know the following:o How much and what kinds of food you eato How much physical activity you usually geto Your eating habits and patternso Your physiologic and genetic make-upo Your age and health status.Approach weight loss realisticallyAny weight loss product that claims it can provide quick results is most probably fraudulent. If not, the results may be only temporary. And after a while, you regain your weight, or even double it!According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy weight loss diet involves reducing fat and sugars and increasing intake of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Guidelines also recommend engaging in physical activities to achieve long-term weight loss. Fad diets that ignore the Guidelines offer only temporary effects and can adversely affect your health. Remember, there are no short cuts to weight loss.Some tipsIf you are thinking of entering a healthy weight loss diet, here are a few useful tips:o Consult your doctor. Only a doctor can help you understand your body condition and know which methods will work for you.o Follow a balanced diet. A healthy weight loss diet can help you lose one or two pounds each week – not much, but who says weight loss was that easy?o Include five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Lean meat and low-fat dairy products are also a plus.o Engage in some form of physical activity – you need not go to the gym or take up difficult sports. A brisk 30-minute walk everyday can do wonders for your body and your health. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. These little things can add up and help you lose weight.o Know the benefits of moderate weight loss. A healthy rate is around 5 to 10% of your total weight.A final noteA healthy weight loss diet is the best way to go if you want to lose weight. If you are advised to take weight loss medications or weight loss programs, that doesn’t mean it should replace healthy meals and exercise. Losing weight need not be stressful once you put your heart into it. Set goals for yourself and use a weight loss chart to help you monitor your weight. Once you have achieved your ideal weight, you can enjoy a world of benefits such as better breathing, better movement, and a generally better feeling about yourself.