Get ready for your journey to a healthier weight.
The maintenance of a healthy weight is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Even while many people can effectively maintain healthy weights by striking a balance between their nutrition and their exercise levels, 73.6% of adults in the United States who are overweight or who live with obesity may find that losing weight is essential to their health. However, losing weight – especially losing a significant amount of weight – is more involved than just ingesting fewer calories than you expend. People who have successfully lost a significant amount of weight are likely to put it all back on at some point in the future.
It is possible to maintain a healthy weight, and having an awareness of how your body reacts to various approaches to weight reduction will assist you in establishing more reasonable goals for your journey.
Here are eight things about your body and losing weight that you might not know before.
1. Your Metabolism Will Decrease, Causing You to Store More Fat
It's called metabolic compensation, and it happens when you try to lose weight by doing things like going to the gym or watching how many calories you eat. Your metabolism will try to counteract these efforts by slowing down to keep you at the same weight. It kicks in to protect and store fat for potential use as energy in the future. According to research, this is because the human body has evolved to place a high value on storing fat and energy and to recognize when it is lacking calories as an indication that it is in danger.
2. Your hormones will cause you to have a greater desire to eat.
The only manner in which your body may prevent you from losing weight or urge you to gain weight is through a process known as metabolic compensation. Leptin is a hormone that is produced by fat cells and sends a signal to the brain when it is time to stop eating. When you lose weight, your fat cells become smaller and produce less leptin. This results in a diminished sensation of fullness.
Ghrelin is produced in your stomach, and its job is to signal to your brain that it is time to replenish. Your levels of the hormone ghrelin will increase as you lose weight, which will make you feel hungry more frequently.
3. The Effects of Weight Loss on Your Brain
When you lose weight, the region of your brain that controls food constraints becomes less active. This means that even if you have to eat more to feel full (thanks to leptin), you are also less conscious of how much food you are consuming.
4. The Contribution of Your Genes
There are about 400 genes that have been identified as being associated with obesity and weight gain. These genes can influence appetite, metabolism, cravings, and the distribution of fat throughout the body. It is not known to what extent a person might be genetically predisposed to weight gain or obesity; nevertheless, certain genes have been related to a decreased ability to lose weight, even when the person engages in more physical activity or consumes a diet with fewer calories.
If your family has a history of obesity, it will be much simpler for you to maintain a healthy weight if you take an active role in the process. A method that focuses on prevention rather than treatment is superior since it eliminates the possibility of obesity ever developing in the first place.
5. Your Physical System Is Even More Ready for the Second Time Around
If you have successfully lost weight in the past by exercising or changing your diet and you try to lose weight again by using those strategies, your body, specifically your hormones, and metabolism, will adjust to prevent similar damage and you will see fewer weight loss results. This is because your body is protecting itself from the previous damage.
6. The number of your choice may be associated with your weight.
Some researchers in the field of science believe that your body has a predetermined ideal weight and that your metabolism, hormones, and brain will automatically adjust to keep you at that weight. People's set points can be affected by factors like heredity, age, history of weight loss, and hormonal alterations. Some people may have naturally greater or lower set weights than others. According to this hypothesis, your weight can become higher than your set point, but it almost never gets lower. Because your body prefers to stay at or around its set point weight rather than undergo weight loss, it is much simpler to keep your weight at that level.
7. It's possible that your weight loss won't look like you imagined it will.
It's possible that after a successful weight loss, your body will take on a different appearance than you had envisioned. Stretch marks and sagging skin are very prevalent, and a lot of individuals struggle with the psychological fallout of having a body that doesn't match the ideal that they had in their heads.
8. Your Physical Appetite Has No Bearing on Your Emotional Well-Being
People frequently make the connection between shedding pounds and improved mental health. It is possible for someone to get into a cycle of discontent when they have successfully reduced weight but are still unhappy with other aspects of their life. It is possible that the sense of guilt that comes from not being pleased after losing weight is a component, as is the impulse to eat in order to numb these emotions. After a large amount of weight loss, some people may find themselves unsure of what the next step in their journey should be.
What Might Be of Use?
You may assist support your weight reduction objectives by implementing some straightforward tactics, such as making protein a staple of meals and snacks or beginning a weight loss program with aerobic exercise before transitioning to weight training and resistance later on in the routine.
On your road to a healthier weight, it might be good to concentrate on setting a few manageable lifestyle objectives that are related to your emotional well-being. For instance, rather than focusing on getting your weight down to a certain number on the scale, you may make it your goal to reach a position where you are at ease participating in sports or going to group exercise classes.
If you want to avoid the dangers of quick, short-term fixes, it might be helpful to aim for moderate goals that can build up to larger changes.
According to Matthew R. Pittman, MD, head of Bariatric Surgery at Northwestern Medicine Regional Medicinal Group, "Both medical and surgically assisted weight loss regimens have shown to be quite successful, but the crucial factor is you."It is necessary for long-term success to make a full commitment to the behavioral and lifestyle adjustments that are required in order to lose weight. "
Working with an expert in lifestyle medicine may also help you control your expectations, create sensible objectives, and respond appropriately to the changes that your body goes through if one of your goals is to lose weight. You should also think about whether or not you might benefit from working with a nutritionist.
At the Northwestern Medicine Center for Lifestyle Medicine, the staff is trained to help patients establish realistic and attainable goals. These goals can range from risk factor reduction and tools to improve physical activity and encourage healthy eating to comprehensive weight-loss treatment and management for adults.