Weight Loss Glossary

Feeling healthy and feeling good about yourself is not a luxury – it’s an absolute necessity.

Weight Loss Glossary

This glossary will help you make sense of weight loss terms.


Fat is a nutrient found in food. For more information, see Saturated vs. unsaturated fats


Fiber is a food substance that cannot be digested. However, fiber helps digestion greatly. Fruit, vegetables, peas, nuts, seeds, greens, and cereals are reach in fiber. Fiber is known to reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Harvard School of Public Health recommends that adults eat 20-35 grams of dietary fiber a day.
Harvard School of Public Health. Fiber


The sum of all of the biochemical processes by which the body converts food into energy and burns the energy to sustain life. Disturbance of metabolism may lead to overweight. However, most people are overweight because they consume more calories than they burn, not because their metabolism is slower than average.
References: Obesity Sheds Its Mysteries
Clinical researchers explore the causes of excess weight and prove that only few overweight patients can blame excess weight on slower-than-average metabolism.


Minerals are micronutrients necessary for good health. As opposed to other nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fat), minerals cannot provide energy to the body.
In nutrition, minerals are divided into two groups: macrominerals (also referred to as "bulk minerals" or "minerals") and microminerals (trace minerals). Body’s requirement for macrominerals is at least 100 mg per day. Microminerals are required in smaller quantities, but this does not mean that they are less important.
Macrominerals include calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium (salt), potassium, sulfur and phosphorus. Micro minerals include zinc, iron, copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, fluorine and iodine.
Recommended reading:
Wikipedia: Dietary minerals


Nutrients are chemical substances contained in food and needed for the body to grow and function optimally.
Nutrients fall into two classes: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fat. The group of micronutrients comprises vitamins and minerals.
Eat a varied diet to get all the nutrients your body needs. For example, fish, meat and poultry contain much protein. Potatoes, rice and cereals are rich in carbohydrates. Fats are found in cheese, butter, meat products. Vitamins are abundant in vegetables and fruits. Dairy products are rich in minerals.


Excessively high amount of body fat.


Overweight refers to being too heavy for one’s height. The Federal Obesity Clinical Guidelines released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute define overweight as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 for men and women. BMI does not measure body fat and muscle mass. Excess weight may be due to an above-average amount of muscle, not fat.


Protein is a nutrient found in food. Proteins are required for growth, development and healing of the body. Proteins are composed of amino acids.
Our body can make some amino acids, while other amino acids can only be obtained from food. The amino acids our body can make are called "nonessential" because it is not so important to get these acids from food (they can be synthesized by the body). The amino acids that can only be obtained from food are called "essential". The body cannot make them, which is why it is important to eat a variety of protein foods.
Proteins may be found in meat, poultry, eggs, milk, beans and nuts. Foods like grains, fruits and vegetables contain very little amounts of proteins.
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia: Proteins


Satiety is a feeling of fullness and complete satisfaction after a meal.


Vitamins are micronutrients that the body needs for good health. There are two groups of vitamins: fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and water-soluble (C, B group). Your body can store fat-soluble vitamins in fat tissues and liver and use them when needed. Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored this way and need to be replaced often. Vitamins are indispensable for good health.

Waist-to-hip ratio

Waist-to-hip ratio is believed to be a better predictor of heart attack than Body Mass Index (BMI). To calculate your waist-to-hip ratio, divide your waist measurement in inches by hip measurement in inches. Waist-to-hip ratio below 0.8 in women or 0.9 in men is considered average. Higher waist-to-hip ratio predicts a risk for heart disease.

Weight control

Maintaining healthy body weight by means of physical activity and balanced nutrition.

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