Things You Need To Know About Weight Management




For these past few days, I’ve been researching about how to effectively lose weight. Many health experts and weight loss websites give tips and suggestions to do this and that, to avoid this and that and explain how it affects our body in a certain way but as I study and research about it, I get more and more curious as to what is going on in the body and why do I experience the things I am experiencing now. One example is why do I get hungrier when I’m sleep deprived. I’ve experience this first hand and was curious as to why does the body react this way. This led me to research a little bit deeper into our physiology and biology and I found some interesting things you might want to know.

I listed things that we need to know about weight management to fully understand how the body actually works and how it affects our system. This is going to be a bit technical but I tried to keep the words as simple as possible so that everyone can understand it. I hope this list will benefit you in your plans to lose weight.


1.  The more fat you gain, the hungrier you get.

Basically after you eat, your fat cells releases hormones called Leptins which tells your brain that you are satiated and therefore decrease your appetite. Leptin is known as the “satiety hormone” and tends to regulate the food intake in the body. The more fat you have, the more leptins your fat cells will produce and this is also true vice versa. But then again, why do fat people tend to eat more than others? That is because of leptin resistance. If there’s too much leptin hormones being sent to the brain for a significant amount of time, it will start resisting them to protect itself by limiting its leptin intake. Even if you’re consuming less food the next day, it will still resist leptins and it will remain like that for a certain amount of time. If you don’t regulate your diet, your brain receptors will keep on resisting leptins and you will still be hungry even if you had eaten enough.


2.  Lack of sleep can increase your appetite.

There are two hormones that helps regulate your hunger, the leptin, the one we talk about earlier, and the ghrelin, the counterpart of leptin. While leptin tells your brain to stop eating, ghrelin does the opposite and tells your brain that you need to eat. Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” and is produced by the stomach. It stimulates your appetite and promotes fat storage. While sleeping, leptin levels rise up and ghrelin levels goes down which explains why you don’t feel hungry while you’re asleep. Having less sleep disturbs these hormone levels, making you feel hungry even if your body doesn’t need food.


3.  Your metabolism can be improved.

The most common excuse that people have when they can’t manage their weight is that they have slow metabolism, in this case, they are referring to the basal metabolic rate. The amount of energy that gets burned depends partly on the basal metabolic rate which can be influence by the DNA, age, gender, body structure and composition. Before we go any further, we need to understand first what metabolism really is. Metabolism is the chemical reaction that keeps the body functioning, maintaining homeostasis and sustaining life but particularly in this regard, it is the process that converts food and drinks we consume into energy. There are two classifications of metabolism that contributes to weight management, anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism promotes constructive metabolism, building up macro-molecules and storing energy whereas catabolism promotes destructive metabolism, breaking down macro-molecules and releasing energy.

Repairing and maintaining muscles tissues requires energy. Even the process of storing energy consumes energy too. All the parts in our body needs energy to keep functioning; that includes cells, organs and glands. The rate of the overall consumption of that energy is called the basal metabolic rate which I mentioned earlier. The muscle stores energy in forms of intramuscular fat and glycogen reserves to be used for daily activities as well as maintaining and repairing muscle tissues. Glycogen is much easier to convert into energy than intramuscular fat which results it being the first one to be depleted. Intramuscular fat contributes to weight gain for most individuals and it is one of the reasons why overweight people have trouble losing weight. Having said all that, there’s a hormone, secreted by fat cells similar to leptin, that helps in breaking down this stubborn fat into fatty acids which will be then converted into energy and that hormone is called adiponectin.

Adiponectin is a peptide hormone which regulates glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown. It stimulates the muscles’ ability to utilize glycogen and fats into energy but there’s a catch. Unlike leptin, the lesser fat you have in your body, the more adiponectin will be produce by your fat cells. In order to improve your metabolism, you need to lose weight. Basically, the leaner your body gets, the faster it is to burn energy even at rest thus making it easier to lose weight.


4.  Consuming lots of carbohydrates contributes to weight gain

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Simply put, consuming large amounts of carbohydrates, in this case, simple carbohydrates widely contributes to fat storage. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose molecules upon entering into the small intestines which will then be absorbed by the bloodstream. In response to the increase in blood glucose levels, the pancreas will secrete more insulin hormones to regulate the blood sugar levels and preventing it from going too high. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat and promotes the uptake, reabsorption and build-up of macro-molecules. It allows glucose from the bloodstream to enter body cells which will be then use as energy. If there are more glucose than the cells need at the moment and the blood glucose levels are still high, any excess glucose will be stored as fat in the fat cells to be use later. If you consume more than you burn for long period of time, the stored fat gets accumulated into the fat cells, making it larger and heavier thus leading to weight gain.


5.  Work out helps burn fat.

Maintaining muscle tissues uses quite a bit of energy which means the more muscles you have, the more energy you burn even at rest but this is only burning the glycogen and fat reserves in your muscles. In the concept of losing weight, your primary goal is to burn fat reserves stored in the fat cells. For the body to do that, the muscle needs to deplete first its glycogen and fat reserves for it to use the glucose from the bloodstream thus decreasing blood glucose levels. In response to the decrease in blood glucose levels, the pancreas will secrete more glucagon hormones to regulate the blood sugar levels and preventing it from going too low. Glucagon is a catabolic hormone which, like insulin, also regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat but unlike insulin, it promotes the breakdown of macro-molecules, releasing stored energy. It will stimulate the liver to breakdown its glycogen reserves into glucose releasing it into the bloodstream. For the liver to keep up with the glucose demand of the body, the fats cells will start breaking down its stored fat into free fatty acids and glycerol. The free fatty acids will be used by the heart as energy and the glycerol will be used by the liver to create more glucose and releasing it into the bloodstream. The importance of having to regulate blood glucose levels is to provide the body with readily available glucose supply. By working out, you’re speeding up the depletion of glycogen and fat reserves in your body thus increasing the rate of burning fat. Even after you worked out, you’re will still burn fat because by that time, the stored energy reserves were already been depleted.


Endnote

As you can see, I came up with this list as a way to introduce the important hormones involved in losing weight. These hormones play a vital role in not just weight management but also in our overall health. How our body reacts to blood glucose levels and food intake tells us how too much of good thing might turn out to be a bad thing. I hope this list had shed some light about the subject. I wish you good luck and have a great day.

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