Your body goes through many changes during your weight loss journey. Here are just 8 ways you can expect your body to change after you lose a significant amount of weight.
Sure, you might notice you have thinner arms or those “love handles” have shrunk, but what occurs inside your body during weight loss is even more spectacular.
When we lose weight, our bodies undergo some major changes. And if we take the time to decrease those pounds the healthy way, practically all the transformations are beneficial.
Do you want to live longer? Boost your immune system?
Let us give you the 411 so that when you shed your pounds, you can do it safely and experience all the health benefits along the way.
Before we discuss the alterations a human body will experience with weight loss, we must first insert a quick note about healthy methods.
The healthiest way to lose weight is to exercise and eat a balanced diet. Period.
Healthy eating makes up 75% of weight loss; the other quarter is derived from exercise.
Improper fasting or relying only on one or the other won’t work or will cause immense health issues, and while many products can, indeed, help you lose weight, some are unhealthy.
So when we refer to “weight loss” throughout this article, think the healthy way: diet and exercise.
How Your Body Changes During Weight Loss
From fat cells to hormone changes, your body transforms as the numbers on your scale decrease.
1. Fat Cells
Fat cells are called adipocyte cells, and they absorb stored fat, called triglycerides. Triglycerides are the Darth Vader of weight loss; they stack up in our bodies when we have excess fat.
When we lose weight, lipolysis occurs. During this process, the triglycerides are depleted as their energy goes towards other bodily functions, such as heart muscles. As a result, the fat cells shrink, resulting in that splendid beach body we’ve all been working so hard for.
Proper weight loss through a diet and exercise is a fantastic way to cleanse your body.
As lipolysis occurs, removing those nasty triglycerides and reusing them for other processes, our bodies create and expel waste. Much of this waste is in the form of carbon dioxide and water, which we then sweat out or set free in the toilet.
3. Blood Pressure
Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Burning off those pounds can also help with this.
As we gain weight, blood pressure rises. Our hearts must work harder to pump blood throughout the body, resulting in more force being applied to the arteries. As we exercise to lose weight, our hearts grow stronger.
This means our resting blood pressure decreases. The heart won’t have to work double-time to get that blood flowing; instead, it pumps blood easier, which puts less pressure on arteries and decreases overall blood pressure.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states, “Losing even 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure–and losing weight has the biggest effect on those who are overweight and already have hypertension.”
4. Muscle Tissue
If we lose weight too fast, our body turns to other forms of energy besides the regular calories.
First, it will turn to fat, which is exactly what we want!
However, if pressed, the body may actually begin to metabolize muscle tissue, and that’s a huge problem.
When losing those pounds the healthy way, however, we can actually build muscle while we lose weight. This increases the body’s metabolism, making it easier to get rid of triglycerides. It also makes you stronger, reducing the chances of injuries or even other issues like neck spasm pain in accidents.
To do this properly, be sure to eat and exercise appropriately:
Eat more protein
Lose weight slowly
Keep cardio exercises short and incorporate strength training at least three times a week
Give your muscles time to rest
If you follow these steps, you’ll avoid losing muscle mass and will still shed those pounds.
5. Hormone Levels
Those fat cells do more than just get nice and plump with triglycerides; they also let loose a whole lot of estrogen. This can wreak havoc on our hormones, which are meant to have balanced levels to keep us, well, balanced.
With high estrogen levels come a bunch of nasty symptoms: fatigue, muscle loss, a decreased libido and even higher chances of breast cancer.
When we lose weight, those symptoms disappear as our hormone levels balance out.
Studies indicate losing weight can also mean losing bone density, but only if dieters don’t exercise enough.
When we lose weight, the nutrients needed to maintain strong bones are taken away. This weakens them. Furthermore, bone growth is not stimulated through exercise so the bones become brittle.
Even those who diet healthily must keep a close eye on bone density. Taking calcium supplements and ensuring you are exercising regularly will help keep those bones strong.
7. Immune System
How would you like to avoid those cringe-worthy colds or steer clear of the toilet during flu season? Weight loss can help.
Excess body fat leads to higher production rates of “pro-inflammatory” immune cells. These cells circulate throughout the body and encourage inflammation, which is part of our body’s immunity procedures. While this may sound like a good thing, these cells can slowly lead to heart disease and other health issues.
Upon losing weight, the pro-inflammatory immune cells are reduced to lean levels, creating a balance that is optimal for health and immunity.
8. Brain Neurotransmitters
If you want to be happier, losing weight is the way to do it.
Studies indicate obesity is linked with lower levels of opioid receptors in the brain, which create the sensation of pleasure. Researchers speculate these lower levels may actually encourage overeating; the individual compensates for the lack of “happiness” through food.
Yes, we might literally eat our worries away.
So the next time you’re eyeing that chocolate muffin, just remember: your own brain chemistry might be working against you. Steer clear and your neurotransmitters and receptors will reward you down the road.
Show Off Your Wings
What occurs inside our bodies during weight loss is truly transformational, quite similar to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.
It takes work and dedication, but the end results are spectacular.
If you want more tips on losing weight the healthy way, be sure to read our articles. Spoiler alert: an easy way to smile at the scale is to drink lots of water. You can read more about that here.
Diet well, exercise safely and show off those new, glimmering wings.