Weight Loss: How Does It Work?

Loss weight

To lose weight, you have to change your calorie intake

Any gain or loss of weight is the consequence of a change in our caloric intake.

To achieve what we call the energy balance, we must expend as much energy as we consume . Calories represent the energy value of food.  The more foods are high in calories, the more energy we have to spend to offset.

To lose weight, you must create a negative balance , that is, burn more energy than calories ingested. Losing 0.5 kg per week, a reasonable goal, is equivalent to spending 3,500 more calories than you consume. This implies a negative energy balance of 500 calories per day, which will be achieved through the combination of reasonable food restriction and regular physical activity.

A case of calories? Not only

Several factors may interfere with the calorie variable consumed. For example, it has been shown that the nutritional value of a food on the nutrition label can be 20-30% higher or lower. Can we really rely on the nutrition label to calculate our calories? Moreover, the amount of energy a food contains in the form of calories is not necessarily the amount of energy we absorb, store and / or use.

Indeed, we absorb less energy from minimally processed carbohydrates and lipids because they are more difficult to digest. It is therefore beneficial to eat the least transformed possible.

Also, we absorb more energy from foods that are cooked because these processes break down plant and animal cells, thus increasing their bioavailability. Finally, depending on the type of bacteria present in our intestines, some people have a greater ease of extracting energy / calorie from plant cell walls than others. These species of bacteria are bacteroids. In short, everything is not just a question of calories ingested.

How Much Weight Lose to Lose Weight Safely?

If you are overweight or obese , losing only 5 to 10% of your weight over a 6 month period greatly reduces your risk of heart disease and other health conditions.

The recommended weight loss rate to stay healthy is 0.5 to 1 kg per week. Losing weight at this rate will help you maintain your weight afterwards in addition to giving you time to incorporate your new lifestyle.

Maintaining moderate weight loss over a long period is better than losing a lot of weight and then resuming it. Indeed, it is demonstrated that when they regain the lost weight, people mainly recover adipose tissue (fat mass) and do not return to their initial muscle mass (2).

If you want to lose more than 10% of your body weight, wait to maintain this weight loss at least 6 months before proceeding.

A loss in the range of 5 to 10% of its initial weight is associated with significant improvements in blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, with fewer drugs needed to treat these risk factors cardiovascular. Other benefits include improved sleep apnea, joint pain (especially knees), mobility, depression and quality of life.

In case of overweight, do not wait to change your habits

Most people are aware of the risks associated with being overweight. This is even one of the reasons mentioned for losing weight: to have better health.

Excess weight can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes , high blood pressure , heart disease, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea , osteoarthritis , hepatic steatosis, kidney disease and Problems during pregnancy in women, such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk of caesarean section (6).

BMI and waist circumference: two indicators to assess the risk of overweight

It is the accumulation of weight, through the years, that can lead to a significant excess weight.

Your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference are two factors that can help you assess your risk.

Discover our tool to easily calculate your BMI by clicking here 

If your BMI is above 25 and your waist circumference above 88 cm for a woman or 102 cm for a man , your risk is higher to develop the health problems mentioned above. Consult a health care professional for an overall assessment of your condition.

The place where there is an accumulation of fat is therefore more important than the total body weight. In addition, a person with a normal BMI but a high waistline indicates the presence of abdominal fat (apple shape) and his or her risk of having health problems may be as great as an individual with a higher BMI but a turn Of normal size.

It should be noted that in a person aged 65 years and over, a BMI between 23 and 27 was shown to be more optimal for survival rates than the standard BMI range of 18.5-25. Mortality rate would not increase before a BMI of 33 in these individuals (3).

Weight balance: what is it?

If your weight and / or waist size is normal and you still want to lose weight, what do you do?

Ask yourself first the reasons for your choices. If it is only a matter of appearance, look instead for the improvement of your body image. If your weight is normal but your lifestyle is not healthy, it may be a good reason to alter your diet. Naturally, you would lose weight loss.

For those whose weight is already in the weight category “health”, it is rather try to tend towards its weight balance. The balance weight is one in which one feels physically and psychologically well. It is unique and unique. The “set point” theory, developed in 1982 by Bennett and Gurin, proposes that there should be a system of control integrated with each person, a sort of internal thermostat for body fat (10). For some people, this balance weight would be higher than for others. This could explain that some people have difficulty losing weight beyond a certain point. In short, our weight would be physiologically predisposed around an interval of weight that the body will attempt to maintain, even if it is not the “healthy” weight.

Several factors determine this equilibrium:

  • Heredity (very important factor)
  • Age (the equilibrium weight increases with age)
  • The basic metabolism
  • physical activity
  • eating habits

In short, if your point remains stable, despite the efforts, ask yourself the question, maybe your body is not made to go further.

Losing Weight After Pregnancy

The majority of pregnant women would like to see their extra pounds melt after childbirth. It is important to understand that weight loss after pregnancy varies from woman to woman.

Know that it is important to maintain the healthy habits you had during pregnancy. Indeed, eating well after pregnancy helps to restore the mother’s nutritional reserves, to keep a good level of energy and of course to help you regain a healthy weight. We must therefore forget diets and diets and prioritize a varied and balanced diet.

Remember that the weight of the pregnancy was taken in 9 months, so it is not realistic to lose it in 2 months. One year after childbirth, the majority of women regain their pre-pregnancy weight (1-2 kg or 2-4 lb), while 20-30% would have 4 to 5 kg (9-11 lbs) more.

Also, women who were already overweight before pregnancy (BMI 27 and older) or who gained more weight during pregnancy than the recommended one were more likely to be overweight one year after giving birth. Be aware that limiting weight gain during pregnancy will not help you lose extra pounds after giving birth.

If you are breastfeeding, it is even more important not to start a drastic diet because the quality of your breast milk could be affected and hinder the development of your baby. In addition, studies show that breastfeeding would contribute to faster weight loss after childbirth.

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