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More than two-thirds of the American population is struggling with obesity. They try to implement all kinds of strategies that will help them lose weight. However, very few people realize how big of an impact weight loss can have.
With every weight loss journey, the body goes through a series of changes. That includes hormone fluctuations, muscle tissue, fat tissue, bone mass, and more. If you want to get the results you are hoping for, don’t just cut back on the calories.
Instead, implement both moderate exercise and highly nutritious diets. With enough vitamins, minerals, proteins, and nutrients, you can go a long way. Take a look at what happens to the body after and when you lose weight.
Here we will talk about:
So, let’s get right to it.
The more weight you lose, the more fat tissue reduces. Eventually, the dangerous belly fat changes for the better and allows the organs to function normally.
According to research, the amount of fat mass you lose depends on the type of diet you follow. Some diets have a higher percent fat mass than others. In other words, you should find your ideal program that will best suit your needs (1).
If your metabolism is slower than most, opt for foods that benefit the digestive system, like brown rice, chili peppers, chickpeas, and more.
Hormone changes can cause all sorts of problems. Such as:
To maintain a healthy figure, it is important to understand the impact these hormone changes can have.
With each pound lost, the amount of leptin (fat-related hormone) decreases. This hormonal change makes it incredibly difficult to maintain the weight you’ve lost. In fact, it will be the hardest part of your weight loss journey.
Over 80% of people who’ve lost a huge amount of fat have ended up regaining the weight back after 5 years (2). The reason for that is relatively simple. The hormone fluctuations interfere with the brain receptors that are responsible for controlling the energy.
As a result, the body will try to increase the leptin levels on its own by decreasing the energy expenditure and increasing your need to eat more. According to experts, leptin therapy can maintain your weight loss results by overriding the need for the body to conserve that energy (3). It can curb the cravings, help you feel fuller, and reduce your need to overeat.
Did you know: our interest in foods is actually hormonal? That’s right, it is often the hormones that are making us feel constantly hungry. Whenever we look at a well-made dish, we can’t help but think about how we are going to eat it.
But, there is more to these hormonal changes than people realize. Reports show that individuals who’ve used bariatric surgery to lose weight also experienced a drastic change in their taste buds.
About 87% of those who tried the surgery have reported experiencing these changes, while 50% of patients claimed the food didn’t taste that well. Therefore, many of them felt discouraged to overeat, which helped them shrink the unnecessary excess weight (4).
Because of the strict dietary changes, it is normal to lose the motivation to stick to your routine. These psychological changes are often the result of a hormonal imbalance. To beat that laziness, try to get creative with each meal you make.
For example, decorate the plate, cook a colorful meal, and use flavorful ingredients. This will help you overcome that drowsiness and maintain your weight loss goals.
Psychological distress is another common issue. Because your diet will be forcing you to stay away from your favorite foods, you will feel cranky from time to time. The hormones are the ones that are causing this kind of trouble in paradise.
If you don’t think you can handle the pressure by yourself, try asking for support from your partner, friend, or family member. Ask them to adapt to your new dietary change and help you stay on track. Although it will be difficult at first, you can explain to them how important it is for you to fix your emotional struggles.
The endocrine system will experience a sudden change after losing a lot of weight. The constant fluctuations of the testosterone and estrogen levels could make your menstrual cycles irregular. You may experience a lighter or heavier flow, which is a typical outcome for this kind of journey.
In obese individuals, their BMI tends to be higher than 35. If you were overweight, you probably already experienced irregular periods. The adipose tissue creates extra estrogen, which causes problems for the menstrual cycle and ovulation period.
With time, the body can adapt to the new weight and with healthy eating, it can return to normal. Consult with a gynecologist if you experience any drastic changes in your menstrual period. They will help you control each stage of the cycle after losing weight.
Stretch marks and loose skin are a typical outcome after a long and rigorous weight loss routine. Since our skin can’t shrink as fast as our body, it ends up sagging. The more excess skin there is, the bigger the discomfort. It can add pressure to the abdomen, breasts, arms, legs, and more (5).
If you want to avoid such a drastic body change, it is better to take your weight loss slowly. Focus on steady goals by losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. This will give your skin enough time to shrink and contour the body.
Also, opt for resistance exercises to avoid too much lean muscle mass loss. It can help the body build muscle and avoid loose skin.
Most importantly, however, is to focus on eating healthy foods. Particularly fruits and veggies. These will supply the system with all the nutrients it needs and help keep the digestive system on track. This is the only way to reduce the risk of visible scars in the long-run (6).
Tip: Use retinoids, collagen-based serums, or sunscreen. They can help boost collagen production and aid the skin with weight loss recovery.
People who lose weight typically feel colder. This is a normal physiological response.
Based on studies, the body experiences a drastic shift in metabolic rate right after losing weight. When our system functions normally, it can process the food quicker and use all the nutrients it can offer.
But, after weight loss, it will try to conserve its own energy, which makes it difficult to keep the body warm. Plus, you won’t have as much fat as you did before, so you can’t use the fat as an insulator. Thus, you will become more sensitive to cold (7).
With weight loss, you are not just reducing the fat, you are also implementing new muscle and bone changes. It’s normal to lose some muscle mass and strength.
Scientists evaluated 24 obese men during a 12-week weight loss program. They focused on implementing food restrictions to analyze the impact on their body composition. Especially the lower and upper extremity muscle strength.
Results showed a drastic weight loss of 10.5% and a 6.1% reduced muscle mass in the extremities. The volunteer’s strength also decreased. To avoid such an outcome, experts suggest doing exercises even though you’ve lost weight. This can help improve body strength and maintain a healthy muscle mass (8).
The body is not the only part that benefits from healthy weight. The brain does as well. According to clinical reports, getting rid of the extra pounds can boost cognition, focus, planning, and organization. These are all practical options for improving the central nervous system.
The key lies in the brain’s memory-storing capabilities. When the system works properly, it will need fewer resources to collect all the needed information. Scientists studied 20 postmenopausal women who were overweight.
They divided the volunteers into two groups, with a standard or Paleolithic diet. The experts relied on magnetic resonance imaging to inspect the brain function every time the volunteers had a memory task. Based on the results, those tested experienced a significant boost in memory performance after implementing these dietary changes. There was a steady boost in brain activity for both diets (9).
Even though the excess weight can’t directly trigger headaches, it increases the likelihood of migraines by a staggering 50% (10).
The constant increase in fat cells only causes more inflammation in the entire system, which leads to a higher risk of migraines. Experts from the Endocrine Society believe that slimming the body can help with the headaches.
To study the impact of weight loss on headaches, they analyzed 473 patients. The goal was to see how much the fat reduction helped with pain intensity, frequency, duration, and disability.
The results showed that weight loss drastically reduced the headaches in patients, including pain intensity and frequency. It also helped with hypertension, heart problems, and respiratory illnesses. Overall, with weight loss, patients managed to improve their quality of life both indirectly and directly (11).
Morbid obesity is known for causing chronic skin inflammation. It drastically impacts the cutaneous tissue, which affects the entire composition. Therefore, the skin becomes vulnerable to redness, acne, peeling, pores, and more.
When you lose weight, you also filter out all the toxins from the system. With a healthy lifestyle, you provide the system with an adequate dose of nutrients and vitamins that benefit the skin.
Although the change in skin appearance won’t be tremendous at first, it will eventually clear up the skin and stop the peeling. The inflammation can subside and provide people with healthy-looking skin.
Experts believe that after losing weight, you will reestablish the correlation between the skin tissue and expressed proteins. This is something that can come in handy when you want to regulate the actual properties of the cutaneous tissue (12).
Most people notice a drastic change in skin appearance after getting bariatric surgery. Since the procedure reduces the weight, it halts the damage done from the metabolic syndrome.
The few extra pounds tend to put a lot of pressure on the entire respiratory system. When you pair that with seasonal allergies, it can become a serious problem. Overweight individuals who also suffer from allergies aggravate their symptoms every time they come in contact with a trigger.
Plus, obesity makes people vulnerable to asthma. With complications such as these, it becomes difficult to control any breathing problem. That’s why it could worsen the condition and cause a number of complications (13).
However, by removing the excess weight, they are taking the load off their lungs. This means the breathing canals open up and it becomes much easier to deal with the allergies, or breathing in general. Of course, weight loss won’t help you ditch the pills or inhaler, but it will make breathing more comfortable.
You will be losing fat all around the body – that includes the feet too. After a proper weight loss journey, you won’t be able to fit into your old shoes. So, you will have a fun time picking out a new pair of shoes that will compliment your smaller feet.
Besides, the extra weight tends to add a lot of pressure on the feet. The more fat you have, the harder it is to wear high heels or fancy footwear.
But, with the weight loss, you will feel a lot more comfortable. Your calves become thinner and you can fit in slimmer shoes. Most importantly, walking will be much easier. The pressure from the fat will disappear, so you can enjoy long walks wherever you like.
Every weight loss journey should be a long and well-planned process. Don’t opt for quick fixes that may or may not create the results you want. Remember, the body needs time to adapt. That’s why you should take each step slowly and allow the system to keep up.
It is true that losing weight can offer numerous benefits. But, it will also create so many changes. Therefore, it is essential to figure out everything that can happen in your body both inside and out. Now that you have a clear sight of what to expect, you will have an easier time taking care of your system post weight loss.
Also, stick to healthy eating even after you’ve slimmed down. Besides, you don’t want to regain the fat that you lost. With patience and consistency, you will achieve the long-term effects you are hoping for.