With more than 66 percent of adult Americans struggling with issues of overweight or obesity (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it is clear our weight is a topic on everyone’s minds. However, few people truly understand how the human body loses weight and keeps it off. This helpful article will cover these topics and more.
Your body uses energy that arrives in the form of calories. At its simplest, a “calorie” is an agreed-upon measure the food and health industry uses to denote the amount of potential usable energy present in one food source or another. Energy can come from fats, protein or carbohydrates. The more calories your body burns, the more energy it is using and the more potential fat it can burn away.
How Your Body Chooses Which Calories to Burn
Some forms of calories are just easier for your body to burn than others. For instance, carbohydrates are the easiest type of calories for your body to convert into fast energy, which is why carbohydrates – when available – are your body’s go-to energy source. If you want your body to get down to the business of burning fat calories for energy, you have to ensure it doesn’t have a continual supply of carbohydrates as well, because it will always choose carbohydrates first. This is also why many diet plans begin with a period of “low carbohydrate” eating, to help encourage your body to choose to burn fat calories instead. You may have heard this process referred to as “ketosis” – but it simply means that your body is burning fat instead of carbohydrates to get its energy.
Where Does the Fat Go?
When the body begins to access your fat cells for energy, those fat cells will shrink. This is because your body is removing what it needs from each fat cell to burn it for energy. When those fat cells shrink, your body does too. This begins to manifest as looser jeans and roomier blouses, as well as a lower number on your personal scale. Here is where you will need to monitor your diet carefully to ensure you continue to shrink the fat cells until you meet your weight loss goals.
Monitoring Loss and Gain
Once you reach your personal weight loss goals, your task turns from losing to monitoring and maintaining. Within the human body, what this looks like is a daily attempt to match the amount of energy (in calories) you take in with the amount of energy your body expends on a daily basis. If you consume more energy calories than your body requires for energy that day, you risk regaining the lost weight. If you take in fewer energy calories than your body requires, you will continue to lose.
When you are equipped with a basic knowledge of how the human body takes in, accesses and then uses energy, you are much more likely to be able to meet and maintain your health and weight loss goals.
About the Author: Harrison Shields is a diet and weight loss consultant in the Washington area. He always encourages new patients to check these guys out to learn more about how the human body uses energy and burns fat.