Can weight loss be maintainable successfully?
Majority of people who are able to lose weight gain it back after years when they make a “diet.” The urgency to lose weight to look good for summer or to improve health leads them to do easy and unknown choices that restrict foods to obtain a low calorie diet. Individuals have been focused on just losing weight without taking in consideration what happens during and after the weight loss. People gain all the weight back and blame their motivation or lack of willpower for the reason to not make this maintainable.
Life is the biological set of chemical reactions (Kalat, 2009). The body is always working to maintain those chemical reactions in proportions that equate a right temperature called homeostasis. (Kalat, 2013.) The temperature of it depends of the body’s set point; the amount of work the body is require to maintain (Kalat, 2009). It varies according to the individual’s genetics, behavior and environment (Soeliman, Azadabkh, 2014). The body’s lack of micronutrients when is receiving low calories, so it becomes hard to make those life’s chemical reactions to happen, producing unwanted behaviors as a fight and flight reaction that tries to get the body to its normal temperature which varies according to the situation (Kalat, 2009). The basal metabolism is the energy the body uses to maintain the body’s set point. If the body doesn’t use all the energy given, stores it in form of fat, increasing the body’s weight that over a repeated time leads to hold a higher temperature (Soeliman, Azadabkh, 2014). This causes a hormonal imbalance that affects the individual’s health, increasing the amount of work it hast to do to produce the same work, like an increase of heart rate that causes heart attacks or strokes (Kalat, 2009).
A technique for weight loss is achieved creating a calorie deficit, a reduction of calories. The body stores the energy is not used as fat, as known as calories (Kalat, 2009). To avoid those extra calories storage, an increase of physical activity is recommended instead of just reducing the daily calorie intake (Soeliman, Azadabkh, 2014). A lower calorie intake can also reduced the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals the body requires to maintain homeostasis affecting the body’s optimal function which disturbs behavior (Kalat, 2009), after losing weight. The body’s thermogenesis decreases and resists to lose more weight dropping hormones levels like leptin and thyroid, and increasing ghrelin; the hunger hormone (Soeliman, Azadabkh, 2014). Appetite increases to satisfy hunger and not only depends of how much you need, but also the environment, taste of food (Kalat, 2009). The individual’s motivation and willpower to continue to diet is stimulated and triggered by a chemical imbalance causing people to overeat or binge. The body’s behavior depends of the messages the hypothalamus receives that stimulate hunger. The hormone ghrelin triggers the behavior (Soeliman, Azadabkh, 2014), but blood glucose satiates the cells coming from the part of the hypothalamus sensitive to hunger. Nutrients are described to be essential to produce the energy in the body making the chemical reactions to maintain the body’s set point (dictionary.com). If the body lacks of any nutrients, it will trigger hunger hormones causing it to send wrong messages to the brain that causes health problems (Swift, Johannsen, et al, 2014).
Weight loss can be maintainable successfully when the individual attempts to lose fat not simply weight. If the body receives the nutrients to maintain hemostasis it will keep the hunger hormones in balance and will not cause reactions to the behavior (Soeliman, Azadabkh, 2014). Physical activity is a way to use energy to lose weight while keeping a calorie intake to the body’s requirement which depends of the age, height and daily physical activity. For the body to eliminate fat and keep muscle mass requires strength, this type of activity increases the basal metabolism causing the cell’s action potential to use more energy when the muscle fibers break down (McPherron, Guo, Bond & Gavrilova). When this type of activity is repeated, it will be learned by the brain making the cells to adapt to make a long-term body composition. People do not have an overweight set point, it is accumulated through out not just genetics but daily behaviors and environment (Swift, Johannsen, et al. 2014).
A set point is changeable through repetition of behaviors that allow the body to do the reactions needed to maintain life. A lifestyle change is a successful method to maintain the weight loss off, doing small daily changes repeatedly (Kalat, 2009). Learning what foods to choose and how much the body needs to maintain will keep the weight off for a long term, because the brain learns from repeated behaviors. A diet to lose weight will not maintain the weight off, but a lifestyle change that increases physical activity will assure that the individual’s weight loss success.
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Johns, D. J., Hartmann-Boyce, J., Jebb, S. A., & Aveyard, P. (2014). Diet or Exercise Interventions vs Combined Behavioral Weight Management Programs: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Direct Comparisons. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114(10), 1557–1568. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.07.005
Kalat, J. W. (2009). Biological psychology. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
McPherron AC, Guo T, Bond ND, Gavrilova O. Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism. Adipocyte. 2013;2(2):92-98. doi:10.4161/adip.22500.