The Science of Weight Loss
It seems as if just about everyone either wants—or needs—to lose weight these days. From young people to senior citizens, we all seem to be struggling with staying within our weight comfort zone. But it may be more about our society and what’s happening around us than about us as individuals.
A Brief History of Our Changing Culture
In the past couple of generations, our culture has shifted. While in the early part of the 20th century, we were happy doing things at a slower pace, as the 1950s rolled along, we got more and more excited with the ease and simplicity that was overtaking our world. TV dinners, fast-food restaurants, and two-income families took the place of Mom cooking all day and providing well-balanced meals for her family.
These days, we as a society are focused on instant gratification. It’s as if we nearly require quick meals, quick snacks, and a quick fix for our cravings. And unless you’ve planned well, these quick fixes are often the least healthy options we can choose. Unfortunately, they also lead to most of us carrying more fat on our bodies than we are happy with, even if we make time to hit the gym almost daily.
So we’re eating on the go, ingesting more processed foods, and probably not working out as much as we should. What’s really going on here?
The Science of Weight Loss
Scientifically, quite a lot goes on in our bodies when we start to lose weight. But even when the number on the scale will go down, you’re not always losing what you think you’re losing.
When dieting and reducing the amount of calories you normally eat, your body starts to get the energy it needs by releasing and using its glycogen storage. Glycogen naturally holds a lot of water, so when it is being used, it releases the water it’s holding. When you are dipping into your glycogen store, you release approximately four grams of water for every one gram of glycogen. That means that, during the first week or so of weight loss, it is not uncommon to lose five or more pounds of water weight alone.
Next You’ll See…
After glycogen stores become too low or depleted, your body’s next best choice for energy is to use your fat cells. The energy inside of your fat cells is called triglycerides. Triglycerides are an extremely high-energy source for your body, containing around nine calories of energy per gram of fat. Your body will naturally choose to burn triglycerides after glycogen and before the amino acids in your muscles.
Obviously, this is where you want the majority of burned fuel to come from so that you’re effectively burning fat.
Sometimes, we can take our efforts to extremes. After your body has burned its glycogen and triglycerides, it will begin to start breaking down your muscles into individual amino acids as an energy source. Unlike glycogen and triglycerides, amino acid is not stored in your body as a source of energy, which is why your body must break down muscles to release amino acids as a fuel source.
This is not where you want to be, and it’s one of the reasons you should be monitoring your caloric intake as well as varying your exercise with cardio, stretching, and weight-bearing exercises.
Are You Losing Fat?
Typically, when you start dieting and exercising, your goal is to lose fat. So, what exactly is fat loss? It might not be what you think it is. When you are “losing fat,” you are actually not losing it at all. Instead, you are shrinking your fat cells. Your body has a predetermined amount of fat cells, and when you are gaining or losing fat, you are actually only swelling or shrinking the fat cells, making you appear fatter or skinnier.
When you use the CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure, you are actually reducing the amount of fat cells in the area being treated from 20% to 25%. So instead of just shrinking them, you’re eliminating them. The procedure only affects the fat cells in the targeted area, and your body naturally processes these frozen, dead fat cells out of your body over the course of the next few months.
What you’re left with are fewer fat cells that are gone for good. Those suckers aren’t coming back. And that leads to much faster, more visible gains when combined with diet and exercise.
So learn about the benefits of freezing (and eliminating) your fat at Bodify, Phoenix’s premier CoolSculpting boutique. Take a look at our before-and-after pictures to see some real results and then call us. We look forward to seeing less of you very soon.