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Glossary of Weight Loss Terms


Abdominals: the collective name for the muscles on the front of the torso, below the chest. Same as Abs.

Abs: the collective name for the muscles on the front of the torso, below the chest. They are part of your "core" and when weak contribute to back pain.

Abductors: muscles of the inner thigh that pulls the legs together. They attach the pelvis and the femur (or thigh bone). These muscles are used in inline skating, skiing or swimming the breaststroke (frog kick).

Acetone: a chemical (see ketone bodies) formed when the body breaks down fat instead of glucose for energy. Levels rise and acetone "spills" into the urine and is exhaled in the breath producing a "fruity" smell.

Adequate Intake: intake level that sustains a defined nutritional status, such as growth rate, normal circulating nutrient values, or other functional indicators of health.

Adipex: a brand name for Phentermine, an appetite suppressant used to reduce calorie intake.

Adipocytes: Fat Cells. A fancy term used by scientists rather than using plain english. Has twice as many syllables as fat cells.

Adipose: The fat found in Adipose tissue.

Adipose tissue: A specialized type of tissue for storing cellular fat.

ADP(Adenosine Diphosphate): a high energy phosphate molecule involved in the production and storage of energy. The end product of the mono-phosphate reduction of ATP.

Adrenal: a gland of the endocrine system that produces essential hormones including adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol .

Adult-Onset Diabetes: another term sometimes used for type 2 diabetes

Aerobic: containing oxygen or requiring oxygen.

Aerobic Exercise: any continuous activity of large muscle groups that forces your heart and lungs to work harder for an extended period of time. Aerobic means "requiring oxygen". Examples include walking, swimming, stair climbing, and bike riding.

Albuminuria: occurs when a protein called albumin is found in the urine above a specified level - indicates potential kidney damage.

Allergy: exaggerated response by the immune system in susceptible individuals. Signs of allergic reactions include sneezing, coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes.

Alpha Cells: cells in the pancreas (the area called the islets of the Langherans), that produce the hormone glucagon which in turn raises blood glucose(sugar)levels.

Alveoli: Air sacs in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.


Amino Acid Score: A measure of the actual amounts of individual amino acids in a food, or in the diet relative to the need for the amino acid. Does not evaluate whether the protein is digestible

Amino Acids: The essential building blocks of Proteins, nine of which cannot be manufactured by the body and therefore have to be obtained through food intake.

Anaerobic: not containing oxygen or not requiring oxygen.

Anaerobic Exercise: continiuous activity that requires your body to perform at explosive bursts for a relatively short duration. In this type of exercise, your body relies heavily on stored energy that does not need oxygen to be released. Examples include weightlifting and sprinting.

Anaerobic Threshold: The level of effort where lactic acid levels begin to rise. It is the point at which you begin working your muscles without oxygen

Angiopathy: a disease of the blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries) that occurs as a long-term complication of diabetes. Two types macroangiopathy and microangiopathy.

Anorectic Drugs: class of pharmaceuticals whose main purpose is to suppress the appetite and are therefore used and prescribed to patients who need to lose weight

Anorexia Nervosa: A psychophysiological disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese and therefor a distorted self-image. This results in an unwillingness to eat leading to severe weight loss. It can also be accompanied by vomiting, excessive exercise and other physiological changes.

Antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamins C and E, protects the cells in your body from an unstable form of oxygen called a free radical. The antioxidant combines with the free radical to prevent it from attaching to and damaging the cells in your body.

Antibodies: substances occurring naturally in the body that help fight infection.

Arteriosclerosis: thickening, hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

Artheriosclerosis: see Arteriosclerosis
Artery a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart.

Aspartame: a low calorie synthetic sweetener
Asymptomatic no symptoms or sign of disease present.

Artificial Sweetners: substances that impart sweetness to foods but supply little or no energy to the body. They include acesulfame, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.

Asana: The term for any of the many poses done in yoga.

Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C

ATP(Adenosine Triphosphate): a compound that is the main fuel cells use to synthesize molecules, contract muscles, and various other tasks.

 Review the terms aphabetically:  A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

Your invaluable suggestions are highly appreciated regarding any new weight loss term or any other correction you may suggest in the existing Glossary terms.

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