Why is it difficult to lose weight ?
By Asha Nair
(Dietitian at a Defence organisation)
Weight loss mystery debunked! Weight loss has always been associated with calories. The concept is: more the calories, more the weight. New research on weight loss and its association with diseases it has found that weight loss has so many factors to consider other than calories.
The human body is a complex system which is interlinked across the board from the tiny DNA to organ systems. The bigger organ systems work in synchronization with the other organ systems in the body, and they cannot work independently. Therefore, to know about weight loss, one has to study the structure and function of the human body in detail.
For this reason, an expert who studies the functioning of a human body in all its details is the one who can help you with weight loss. A diet plan based only on calories is simply not enough, but must be dealt with in such a way that a person achieves his/her goals without being deficient in any of the micronutrients that are essential to the body.
There are many factors which can affect weight loss. Some of those which we don’t have any control over are Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), age, genetic factor, and the ones over which we do have control are diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Let us investigate each of these factors in turn.
Calorie Deficit For 1Kg Weight Loss
This is the trick that is constantly peddled all over cyberspace by “weight-loss coaches”. A calorie deficient diet is definitely helpful in losing weight, but one has to make it a point to check all the bodily parameters before deciding on starting such a program.
Calorie deficit weight loss should be considered without compromising on any essential micronutrient, such as vitamins and minerals. If neglected, this will lead to other problems.
What Supplements Should I Take Daily
An optimal nutrition plan is that which provides all the nutrients required for a person in a day. When it is not possible to meet this optimum, supplements are used to balance the required amounts.
Supplements of all kinds are available to cater to a variety of deficiencies. It ranges from helping to build muscle with exercises, to helping deal with malnutrition.
The use of supplements must be under the supervision of an expert, like a doctor or a dietician. All supplements bought at the store should also be consumed with the consultation of an expert, since misuse can even lead to toxicity, causing harm to such essential organs as liver and kidneys. These supplements first hit the liver and the kidneys, as they are the organs that cleanse our system of impurities, and they cannot handle the concentrated amounts of chemicals that are found in these kinds of supplements.
Beware of using any kind of supplements that is available in the market. If any company or pharmacy is endorsing weight-loss or weight-gain pills or supplements, make sure to check for its authenticity with a medical expert or a dietician/nutritionist before consuming.
Nature already has everything that is required for a balanced diet in the form of organic and natural foods, that the use of supplements is rarely a necessary option.
Is Detoxing Really Necessary
Another popular form of a weight loss diet is detox diets, endorsed in so many social media platforms. There is no scientific evidence proving the special ability of a food to detox our body. The body has its own unique ability to cleanse itself against most of the toxins that enter into it from the air we breathe to the food we eat. Before getting into a detox diet, consult an expert on this.
Is Fasting Good For Health
Long-term fasting has drastic effects on weight loss as it can lead to low blood sugar levels, low blood pressure, weakness and fatigue. This can also lead to other problems in the long run, predominantly malnutrition.
If you are planning to fast, consult with your family doctor since they are aware of any lifestyle disorders like Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, CVD or if you are underweight or malnourished, and prescribe a suitable course of action.
Intermittent fasting sure does help with so many lifestyle diseases, but the jury is still out on the evidence for this.
Why Hormonal Imbalance Occur
Hormones play a major role in regulating so many body functions, including metabolism. If your weight loss is stubborn and you are not able to lose weight in spite of your greatest effort, then you should get your blood parameters checked, in order to determine the reason(s).
Hormones like leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol, thyroid and male and female sex hormones can cause changes in metabolism and can bring about weight gain.
The changes are visible even if there are only small variations of these in the blood. Stress can also lead to changes in the hormone levels, especially cortisol, leading to weight gain. There are many hormonal disorders associated with weight gain in men and woman. Insulin resistance and changes in blood sugar levels, PCOS, PCOD and hypothyroidism are a few of them.
Can Body Inflammation Cause Weight Gain
Inflammation is a natural mechanism of our body to get rid of microbes and it is good if it happens in a balanced way. Sometimes, too much inflammation leads to weight gain and obesity.
Inflammation leads to changes in hormones like insulin, which can change blood sugar levels. This can in turn bring about changes in the hormone leptin, which regulates how much one should eat. Other metabolic disorders like CVD, autoimmune conditions, hypertension, etc., can also lead to inflammation. There is a special diet plan if one is dealing with these conditions.
Genes are the basic building blocks of a human body. Every cell is made up of these tiny molecules, which together determine what or who we are. Genetics, or our genetic make-up, which is largely inherited, cannot be changed and we have to live with this our entire lives. This is also one of the main intrinsic factors for weight gain. Genetics play an important role in determining our physical form. Specific genes work in connection to weight gain and obesity. We can identify these genes and modify our diet accordingly.
Ketogenic Diet Pros And Cons
Also popularly known as the “Keto diet”, this has become the most sought after diet. Ketogenic diet was originally prescribed for people with neuro-disorders, mainly seizures. Now, this is being adopted extensively for weight loss.
Ketogenic diet works mainly on the principle of fat as an energy source to the body, replacing carbohydrates. Almost 70% of the diet consists of fat, 20% protein and less than 10% carbohydrates.
The end-product of a ketogenic diet is ketone bodies, which is quite different from a carbohydrate rich diet. To break these down, the liver and the kidneys have to work differently, and they require more energy than usual to break down fat. This is the reason why this diet is more popular for weight loss. Ketogenic diet is very good as it reduces insulin in the blood which is the main culprit for many lifestyle disorders.
There are also so many drawbacks to this diet. As it requires more energy to break down fat, and because of greater amounts of by-products of processing as compared to processing carbohydrates, it adds a lot more strain on these organs, especially the kidneys. Fats being the predominant part of this diet, chances are there can be increased amounts of cholesterol in the blood. There are also increased amounts of ketones in the blood and urine. Most common side effect is kidney stones, and high levels of acids in the body, due to keto acidosis.
Also, when switching back to a normal carbohydrates-based diet, the body has a hard time coping with the change. Consult a doctor or a dietician before starting a keto diet.
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams
Dealing with different types of diets and taking the right decision for your weight-loss needs in this world of information overload can be challenging and daunting. A lot of people just give up rather than deal with all the complexity. But help is at hand. Seek expert assistance; there are specialists trained to help you deal with this. You are not alone. At the same time, remain cautious. Whenever you obtain any information regarding food, nutrition and health, try to determine the credibility of the information and its source. Are you considering obtaining credible and authentic nutrition advice and evidence-based diet plans?
(IBS & FODMAP)
(Dietitian at a Defence organisation)
scrutinyfoods by Asha Nair (MSc Nutrition and Dietitics) aims at improving Gut Health for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Weight Management and lifestyle disorders. They also provide genetic testing and gut microbiome diet with 10 years' experience in their field. Feel free to take her guidance by contacting her at the below link. Website : www.scrutinyfoods.com | Instagram : @scrutinyfoods | Facebook: Scrutinyfoods |