It takes a lot of effort and dedication to lose weight. The weight comes off so slowly it is hardly noticeable. We don’t see the weight evaporating off our bodies and fat globules don’t float in the air. We don’t really know what happens to the fat when we lose weight.
Our understanding of weight loss is a bit woolly. Doctors are only just starting to understand how our body dispels fat. One major misconception we all have is that fat burns when we exercise. Studies are revealing surprising findings as to where fat goes when we lose weight.
Our Body Mass Index (BMI) determines if we are overweight. The BMI is calculated by comparing height and weight. A healthy BMI is 18.5 - 24.5 while 25 - 30 is overweight and obese. Being overweight affects your health and your self-esteem. You can use online BMI calculators such as the one on the NHS website to get an understanding of what your BMI is.
What Happens When You Gain Weight?
We are only just learning about how our body deals with weight. This is surprising considering the world is obsessed with celebrity weight gain and loss. Weight gain is much easier than weight loss. Some people eat heartily and remain slim while others look at food and it coats their hips. Everyone is different and some of us seem to gain weight easier than others.
Logic suggests that a healthy person puts on weight simply because they eat more calories than their body needs. Our bodies are not logical because our metabolism determines the rate at which we burn calories. We have different metabolic rates according to our age, gender and health. Weight gain is bad for our health because it puts extra strain on our heart. We exercise less because the extra weight makes feel self-conscious.
Our fat cells stretch increasing their capacity to expand. This makes it easy to gain weight after a successful diet. If gaining weight is as simple as eating too much we would all make sure we ate the right amount of food.
How Do You Lose Weight?
Doctors thought that fat burned away but were not sure where it went. Studies show that we actually breathe the fat out as carbon dioxide. So our excess body fat does end up floating around the ether after all.
We lose weight by reducing calories and increasing our activity. The types of food we eat also have an impact on weight loss. Some diets cut out entire food groups while others are very restricted. The best diet is one that is easy to follow and maintain after you lose weight.
Weight training increases the rate calories burn because muscles require more energy than fat. Protein-rich diets cause weight loss because protein requires more energy to digest them. Most people lose weight quickly when they first start dieting then reach a plateau where it is more difficult to shift the pounds.
Orlistat and Alli are weight loss treatments. They work by binding fat together and excreting it out of the body. You have to have a BMI over 30 to use them and eat a low-fat diet. Side effects are unpleasant if you eat too much fat. Weight loss increases and nudges you out of your impasse.
By Parv Sagoo (April 2018)