4 Facts You Should Know About Losing Weight

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According to a recent Forbes survey, 48% of Americans said that improving fitness was their top New Year’s resolution for 2024. A study by the National Institutes of Health also mentioned that the primary motivation behind weight loss, especially among people who are overweight or obese, is to avoid health issues and to feel more comfortable with their bodies. After all, excessive weight can lead to serious health consequences like cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

There are many ways to lose weight – from exercising to subscribing to diets. But sometimes, it can be frustrating to see that none of your methods are working. This is because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight, and various factors may impact your fitness journey. Knowing and understanding the many aspects of weight management is crucial to helping you achieve your weight loss goals. Below, we look at 4 facts you should know about losing weight.

There’s no durable way to boost metabolism

A common promise made by diet supplement manufacturers is that their pills can help boost your metabolism and burn more calories. However, according to Duke University professor Herman Pontzer, these promises of boosting or changing metabolism for weight loss can be dangerous and illegal. A review published in the Obesity Journal also found that there was little to no evidence to support the claims that dietary supplements can aid in weight loss by boosting metabolism. Instead, you can focus on maintaining your lean mass or muscle by eating protein, being mindful of your calorie intake, and getting quality sleep. By building more muscles, more metabolically hungry cells can burn more calories, thus aiding your weight loss journey.

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Weight loss comes at different speeds

Each person’s body composition is different, which is why some may find it takes longer to lose weight than others, who make noticeable progress right away. You might be wondering how long does it take to lose weight, but it’s important to understand that several factors affect weight loss speeds. These include your diet, engagement in physical activities, stress levels, and sleep habits. Those who experience more stress may have a hard time losing weight because their body releases the hormone cortisol, which ramps up appetite. Lack of sleep can also cause levels of ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger, to rise. Instead of being impatient, commit to healthy lifestyle changes and trust the process to eventually achieve your fitness goals.

Not all weight loss is healthy

There are some cases where weight loss is unintentional, but that’s not always a reason to celebrate. When you lose weight without deliberately trying to, it may be because of certain medical conditions. These include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and digestive complications like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, which can impact your body’s nutrient-absorbing abilities, thus causing weight loss. Unlike intentional weight loss, which involves a conscious effort to reduce pounds, unintentional weight loss can be a serious health concern that may require medical intervention.

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Your hormones may work against you

When you try to lose weight, you may feel some type of resistance from your body. A study published in PLOS Biology revealed that weight loss can decrease your leptin hormone, which signals your brain that you’re full, and instead increases your ghrelin hormone, which stimulates hunger. Your hormones are like chemical messengers that tell your organs how to function, and they also affect your weight management. To manage hunger and keep your ghrelin levels healthy, Cleveland Clinic advises eating meals rich in whole grains and lean proteins to healthily satisfy your body’s cravings and nutritional needs. When hormonal imbalances affect your weight management, you can try consulting a medical expert for advice. 

The journey to weight loss is not the same for everyone. Learning these facts is important to help you understand the different dynamics that affect your fitness journey and achieve a healthy life.