How does weight loss work?

Today, almost everybody is in a race to get fit and lose weight. Whatever your reason may be for wanting to lose weight, you’re never going to make too much progress unless and until you go in fully prepared. By this we mean that you must learn all about the concept of losing weight. For starters, we think it’s pretty important to understand how weight loss actually works.

Yes, it seems like a fairly basic premise. But it’s always good to delve deeper and learn more about this process that may not be so very basic! So, are you ready to educate yourself on how weight loss truly works?

Understanding Metabolism

You’ve definitely heard this word tossed around in casual conversation. But what does it mean? Essentially, metabolism is the process that your body goes through when it converts whatever you have eaten and drunk, into energy. The calories that were present in what you consumed, are put together with oxygen and this releases energy, which is required by your body in order to function.

In fact, your body is burning calories even while at rest. For instance, your body requires energy in order to carry out activities such as breathing, blood circulation and even generating and repairing cells. The amount of calories used by your body to take on all of these activities is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR). However, metabolism is not always related to weight loss and weight gain. You may be gaining/losing weight as a result of your genes, your hormones or even your lifestyle, including physical activity, sleep patterns and stress.

It’s especially important to keep away from crash-diets that promise quick results, because it’s highly likely that such diets involve the cutting down of calories to such an extent that you swing into starvation mode. This takes a toll on your lean muscles and fat and can even slow down your metabolism. Your diet should be balanced and nutritious and must keep you feeling full, with reduced cravings.

Energy Deficit

Weight loss also differs from person to person. For instance, someone who is larger in size and has better body composition and more muscle, will burn more calories even at rest, than someone who is not. Age also plays a role here, in that the older you get, the lower your muscle mass gets, increasing fat buildup, which tends to slow down the burning of calories. Moreover, someone who exercises regularly (at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day), will burn more calories than someone who does not exercise.

It’s also important to understand the energy equation. In order to lose weight, there needs to be the creation of what is called an ‘energy deficit’. This happens when you reduce the amount of calories you consume in a day. You tend to lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume. Alternately, you can increase the amount of calories that you burn in a day, by indulging in physical activity. The best option would be to do both – consume fewer calories and exercise on a daily basis, thereby burning more than you consume.

What can you do to facilitate this?

After reading all of this, if you aim to eat fewer calories, here are a few things that you can do:-

  • Instead of a breakfast of grains, switch to a whole egg breakfast. Studies suggest that eating eggs for breakfast can help you eat fewer calories for as many as 36 hours. Don’t eat eggs? Don’t worry! Look for a good protein source and eat that for breakfast instead.

  • Drink lots of water! Research proves that drinking enough water can actually boost your metabolism rate by as much as 30%, over less than 2 hours. So, you can burn more calories.

  • Like coffee? Don’t shy away from drinking it (as long as you aren’t adding in tons of sugar).
    Good quality coffee has plenty of antioxidants, which you must know by now, is good for you. Better still, studies say that caffeine can also boost metabolism up to 11%, while helping in the fat-burning process.

  • Cut down on refined carbs. They’re devoid of their good, nutritious fiber content and aren’t good for you. In fact, consuming refined carbs can lead to an increased rate of hunger and you will find yourself craving lots of things that aren’t good for you. And this of course, leads to an added intake of calories!

  • Do something as simple as eating your meals on a smaller plate. Many people find this to be an excellent way to control their calorie intake.

  • You may have had your parents or grandparents admonish you for eating too fast. They had reason to. According to research, when you chew more slowly and thoroughly, you end up eating fewer calories. Doing this also gives your brain the time it needs to grasp the fact that you’re full.

Remember – don’t stress about the rate at which you’re losing weight. People tend to despair if they lose weight slowly. In fact, science suggests that slow rates of weight loss can equal a higher rate of metabolism! So, it’s important to be patient, to understand your body, and to keep at it, taking each day as it comes.

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