Weight loss is actually… chemistry
Weight loss is not just a change in appearance. Losing weight is related to changes in a number of complex, vital biological processes that take part in the body.
Therefore, nutritionists constantly highlight that weight loss should be performed in a healthy way – otherwise we are at risk of serious harm to the body. With an inadequate weight loss we may not only get the so-called yo-yo effect – after reducing certain kilograms, we gain them back, but we even might become more fat than before.
If we do not follow the right weight loss systems, we can develop various diseases related to the hormonal and energetic levels in the body, diseases of various organs, disturbance in the function of whole systems in the body. For example, our metabolism may become slower, the smooth muscles of the vessels may be damaged, as well as the internal organs, the kidneys, we may get varicose veins, hair loss, and so on.
There is also a risk of losing muscle mass instead of completely burning fat. This leads to decreased endurance and less vitality, weakness and fatigue. Visible cosmetic problems may occur such as loose and sagged skin in certain areas.
Overcoming overweight is related to the metabolism, so this shows how important are the processes that are happening during weight loss. And the metaboilism and balancing of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins are crucial for the proper nourishment and development of the cells. This also applies to the tissues, the individual organs, and the effective functioning of the systems in the body.
However, it is good to be more familiar with what is happening in our body when performing a weight loss course. This will help us to understand some phenomena that my confuse us /Why, for example, weight loss“ goes well” in the beginning and then slows down?/; we can self-monitor ourselves and decide whether we are conducting the right diet, we can avoid the yo-yo effect and so on. Of course, knowledge will also increase our motivation in choosing healthy weight loss.
Weight loss and metabolism
Many people with overweight actually justify themselves that the problem is in their slow metabolism. It is true that metabolism actually affects our weight, but it would not in itself lead to excessive weight gain and obesity. The main factors here are the food and drinks we consume and our physical activity.
In addition, if a person has a slow metabolism, he can speed it up and thus help reduce weight by burning up the consumed energy faster. The metabolism is a strictly individual process, but there are some general things regarding its activation. One is to drink about two liters of water a day because dehydration slows down metabolism. The total amount of water should be distributed in equal parts throughout the day and drunk in small sips.
Eating should also be regular – morning breakfast, lunch and dinner with intermediate snacks /fruits are the best option/. When the intervals between meals are small, it reduces the likelihood the body to seek the accumulation of reserves caused by “fear” of hunger. Regular eating in small portions helps both to maintain blood sugar levels and to burn more calories during the day. Dried fruits, nuts and apples are recommended.
Protein consumption is important – protein is absorbed more slowly than the carbohydrates or fats and helps speed up metabolism. The energy consumed when burning protein is greater. Such diets preserve muscle mass, and muscles burn calories even when we are relaxed.
Kilogram of muscle daily burns nearly 13 calories per hour, while kilo fat burns only 5 calories. Foods that are rich in protein are turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, beans and nuts. It is recommended to include citrus fruits in the diet, as well as fruits that contain a lot of citric acid – it increases metabolism.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids also increase metabolism and fat burning – fish oil, trout, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, walnuts, linseed and others.
The connection between weight loss, metabolism, activities and sleep
Physical activity helps to activate the muscles: when you exercise, muscles begin to burn more calories and as a result the metabolism is increased. The combination of workout and longer hours of physical activity helps our body to use more oxygen, so the calories burn more efficiently. The higher the intensity, the more the metabolism speeds up.
Of course, apart from gym activities, you can also practice swimming, cycling, dancing, aerobics and many more. Aerobic exercises, for example, maintain increased metabolism a few hours after the end of the workout. But even if you only walk is beneficial – walking the dog, climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator, going to more distant bus stop when you go to work, walks in the park, etc.
Sufficient sleep is also important – if you do not get enough sleep, the body produces less hormone of satiety /leptin/ and more hormone of hunger /ghrelin/. So the longer you sleep at night, the more active will be the metabolism during the day.
Weight loss and hormonal balance
When we lose weight, it is important not to disturb the hormonal levels in the organism. Hormones are related to a number of processes in the body and hormonal imbalance leads to serious health problems.
At the same time, the production of hormones in the body is affected by food and physical activities. This should be taken into account when creating the complex of diet and physical activities.
An unbalanced diet, for example, can affect the insulin levels – a hormone produced by the pancreas. Most often people develop insulin resistance – the normal reaction of the cells to the hormone is disturbed, then glucose in blood increases, which results in diabetes.
Unbalanced carbohydrates in food can disturb the function of female hormones – progesterone and estrogen. This causes menstrual disturbances, it can even stop.
A problem may also occur with the cortisol levels – the so-called hormone of stress. Its functions are related to the regulation of blood circulation and the activity of the cardiovascular system; the absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, glucose; activation of the immunity in case of inflammations, reduction of pain sensitivity, etc.
In fact, the body reacts by increasing the cortisol in stressful situations to protect itself, and weight loss is stress for the body. However, if the levels of this hormone becomes high, this helps to build up fat.
Weight loss and immunity
Weight loss, especially if done incorrectly, hides a risk of decreasing the immunity. Weight loss includes a number of biochemical reactions and processes in the organism, which often cause colds, headache, chronic fatigue, and so on.
This generally lowers the defenses of the organism – studies show that people that have followed weight loss diets at least five times in their lives, have two times weaker immunity compared to those who manage their weight under constant control. Immunity may decrease during weight loss for various reasons. First of all, in unbalanced diets – there is a deficiency of substances that are important for the synthesis of immune cells.
All nutrients necessary for the immune system come from food – proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water. The deficiency of even one of these components leads to disturbance of immunity.
Vitamins and trace elements, for example, are directly related to the formation of antibodies and immunoglobulins. Vitamin A prevents infections; vitamins C and E have an antioxidant effect and neutralize the harmful effect of free radicals on immune cells. The copper trace element is involved in processes necessary for the division of immune cells. Selenium is related to the synthesis of proteins required for its action, and so on.
Decreased immunity during weight loss can also occur due to disturbed intestinal microflora, which actually can be one of the causes of weight gain.