Spoiler alert. If you’re on a weight loss quest then you might not like what you’re about to read. However, if this describes your situation, then this is probably exactly what you need to read. Losing weight is not easy. Many people mistakenly blame this on a lack of willpower or discipline, but it’s not that simple. Our bodies don’t like it when we restrict our calorie intake. This makes weight loss extremely hard. Read on to find out more.
1. Adaptive thermogenesis
When you lose body weight, you require less calories each day compared to before you lost weight. This decreased energy requirement is more than what would be expected from just a decreased body weight. There is also a reduction in non-exercise activity thermogenesis such as fidgeting or normal daily living activities. Without conscious awareness, you’ll be moving less so that you’re burning less calories to make up for the lower caloric intake. This is our body’s way of restoring its baseline body weight.
2. Increased mitochondrial efficiency
You might remember from high school science classes that mitochondria are often termed the powerhouse of the cell. Mitochondria produce energy in the form of ATP. When calories our restricted, mitochondria become more efficient at producing energy. AKA, they’re getting down to business and wasting less energy. Yet again, this is our body’s way of keeping our body weight stable. What’s interesting about this increased mitochondrial efficiency is that it’s not seen in everyone. This may explain why some people may be more diet resistant than others.
3. Hormonal alterations
Taking in less calories than we expend or having a low level of body fats results in changes to our endocrine system. For instance, changes in thyroid hormone, leptin, insulin, ghrelin and cortisol levels can all be seen with a reduced calorie diet. The result of these changes in hormone levels is a decreased energy expenditure, decreased satiety and increased hunger. Bottom line: you’re going to be more hungry. What you thought was a lack of will power or discipline around the box of donuts at lunch was not mental, but rather due to physical changes in your hormones.
Weight loss may sound like an impossible task, but don’t lose heart. There are some things we can do to combat the above, but you’re going to have to wait until next week’s blog to find out. To get this straight to your inbox, click here.