Why is it sometimes you can’t shift the fat – Is this the Answer?
We all have heard the general answer that if you want to lose weight then burn more calories than you are taking in and this will surely happen? If it was as simple as that then many of the weight Buddy type organisations would actually run out of clients as a one time go at a particular diet and the maintenance of that would see them successful. The fact is that most people who go on diets just rebound into a worse state of body fat percentage than they have ever done before.
So how do you look at weight loss as a Bodybuilder or any kind of athlete to get the weight off without experiencing the massive rebound that people go through.
Check out the article and leave a comment
IT’S ALL ABOUT EFFICIENCY
The word “metabolism” gets misused a lot these days. People talk like it’s something we can all manipulate as easily as turning up the volume on a radio. Raise your metabolism, they say, and you burn fat. Lower it, and you gain fat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t capture the reality of what’s going on inside our bodies.
The truth is that all of us have what’s been called a “body-fat set point,” meaning the body-fat level our body is accustomed to and will attempt to maintain itself. It’s highly individual, too. Five different people might have five different set points based on a range of factors including genetics, activity level, and a lifetime of nutritional habits. Whatever that set point is, the body wants to keep you there as long as it possibly can.
Drop calories too quickly, and the body will adapt to make fat loss more difficult; consume too many excess calories and the body will adapt to make weight gain harder. These adaptations are made—you guessed it—through changes in your metabolism.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, the first few pounds might melt off relatively easily. Your body didn’t see it coming! However, progress quickly slows down. “Not so fast,” says your body. “You’re drifting away from your set point.” It responds by making it a little harder for you to burn calories.
Why does this happen? Because the further you get below your set point, the more efficient your body’s energy systems become.
This increase in efficiency has wide-ranging effects. Your basal metabolic rate is lowered, the amount of energy you expend during activity is reduced, and even the thermic effect of food—or the amount of calories you use to break down nutrients—decreases. The farther you get below your body-fat set point, the more efficient you get.
Other changes happen as well when you lose weight. Not surprisingly, your fat cells shrink, and when they do, they secrete smaller amounts of leptin, a hormone that, among other things, tells you when you’re full. What’s intriguing about leptin is that studies have shown that your levels drop far more than they should, based on the amount of fat you lose—and they stay low even after your weight has stabilized. Basically, your body overdoes it, so you rarely feel full or satisfied. At the same time that this fullness hormone is decreasing, ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is increasing.
SET POINT’S REVENGE
The size and number of your fat cells both help to determine your body-fat set point. When you refeed after deprivation and gain back some of the weight you lost, cells that previously shrank swell in size to their former, larger selves. In theory, this should tell your body that order has been restored and the set point has been defended, right?
These new fat cells are what can really wreak havoc. The more of them you have, the smaller the average size of your fat cells becomes. This, along with your reduced leptin output from weeks and months of hardcore dieting, signals to the body that it’s still below its body-fat set point.
Furthermore, increased insulin sensitivity of fat cells resulting from your weight loss and dieting may promote increased nutrient storage in adipose tissue. Put it all together, and your body-fat set point has effectively gone up. Basically, your body now wants you to be fatter than were before you started dieting.
This whole situation can happen to anyone be it professional athletes, gym goers or the proverbial diet buddies. If you are into bodybuilding and you follow a calorie restricted diet then the diet you used “last time” might not be the one that works again this time. It goes to follow that if you are not listening to your body then you could be fighting a losing battle. What should be the balance of protein, carbs and fat for different stages of bodybuilding and diets. Click the links to find out more.
Thanks to bodybuilding.com