How Proper Nutrition Helps You Lose Weight

Posted: June 10, 2016 in Blog, Dieting, Health

It usually happens in the spring. You get outside for the first time in months and you go for a nice long walk, or you plant the garden, or you throw the ball around with your children.

Whatever the activity, the following day you are sore all over. Why? Because your muscles were asked to do a lot of activity that they weren’t ready for. When you stretch muscles beyond what they have been built up to do, you actually do slight damage to them. The soreness is actually your muscles repairing themselves.

Don’t panic. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. As your muscles fix themselves, they come back somewhat stronger than before. Your body does this just in case it needs to be ready to continue the level of activity you did on your first day out in spring.

Of course, if you got that activity regularly, and your muscles were prepared for it, you wouldn’t get sore.

What Dieting Does to Your Body

Just like your muscles get sore after the stress of activity for which they are not prepared, your body has a similar sort of reaction when you go on a diet.

Think about it. Your body goes along day by day in a regular routine of energy coming in through the food you eat, and energy going out through physical activity. Even if you eat an unhealthy diet and live a sedentary lifestyle, your body gets used to the routine.

It’s called homeostasis, or the tendency of your body to seek a state of equilibrium within its internal environment. In other words, as long as you maintain a certain threshold of health, your body likes to keep things the way they are. It’s why you get bad chills, or serious fever, if your body temperature goes even slightly below or above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately, being chronically overweight can cause your body to get used to a situation that is not the healthiest for you. As amazing as it is, your body can’t anticipate the complications and unhealthy effects of extra weight. In that way, homeostasis can actually support an unhealthy lifestyle.

When you suddenly and drastically change your diet to lose weight, you can disturb your body’s homeostasis, and that can trigger a number of unwanted reactions.

1. Your Metabolism Can Slow Down

When your body detects less energy coming in, it can trigger a reduction in your metabolic rate to reduce how much energy you burn. The problem? You can end up putting on weight even while you’re dieting.

2. You Can Feel Sluggish

You end up burning fewer calories because your body simply doesn’t have the energy to support extra activity, which makes it that much harder to continue to lose weight.

3. You Might Lose Muscle Mass

When you reduce calories, you may not be giving your body the macronutrients it needs. One of those is protein. When it doesn’t get enough protein, your body begins taking it from your muscles. And that means you will be even less likely to take part in any calorie-burning activities – and less likely to lose weight.

How Nutrition Helps Your Body Lose Weight

The points listed above are precisely the reason why diets rarely work for sustained loss of weight. You sheds some pounds in the short-term as your body loses water weight and hasn’t had time to respond to the disruption in homeostasis. After that, your body really becomes a battlefield between its need for energy and your will power to fight against it. Needless to say, your body’s instinct for survival usually wins.

By understanding what happens to your body under the stress of a diet, you can better understand the reasoning behind the right way to lose weight.

If dieting upsets your body’s homeostasis, why not look for ways to lose weight that avoid that disruption.

1. Adjust Your Diet, Don’t Change It

Your body needs a certain number of calories each day. How many calories a body needs is different fr each person. By using a measured approach to reducing excess calorie consumption more gradually than in a crash diet, it gives your body time to adjust to the changes. And that reduces the threat to homeostasis.

2. Give Your Body Nutrition

Not every change to your diet should necessarily be related to calorie reduction. By swapping high-nutrition foods for low-nutrient varieties, and using nutrition supplementation, you give the body the energy it expects and needs to maintain homeostasis.

3. Find Your Weight Loss Groove

By adjusting your diet and making sure your body has proper nutrition, you create an environment in your body that is conducive to healthy weight loss. An environment that has much less chance of being derailed by your body’s defences.

Just like how much energy your body needs to remain healthy is unique to you, so to is the right balance of diet and nutrition. The nutrition consultants at your nearest Herbal One Centre know how to find the perfect balance for you.