Amazing Ways Your Body Changes From Losing Weight
We all have personal motivating factors that help us launch our weight loss journeys. For most of us, these reasons usually include goals like wanting to look better in our swimsuits, to fit into our high school jeans or to wear a tighter notch on our belts. Although losing pounds and inches feels absolutely gratifying, most of us don’t expect all of the other amazing alterations that happen in our bodies as we lose weight! Below are eight common--and unexpected--transformations that also happen while we’re busy minding the measurements. Consider them incentive to focus less on the numbers themselves and more on the healthy shifts you will notice in your body over time. Already past your weight loss transformation? Be sure to share the unexpected body changes you experienced along with way!
Your hormones optimize.
Most people don’t know that fat cells excrete extra estrogen in both men and women, which can then wreak havoc with your hormone balance. When your body has too much estrogen or is estrogen dominant, symptoms can creep up, including lowered testosterone and libido, muscle loss and general fatigue. When your body loses fat and decreases fat cell size, however, many of these symptoms go away as your hormones gradually normalize again. My clients often explain that as they lose weight, their libido starts to rise. Although enhanced body image can contribute to that change, better hormonal balance is likely a significant influence as well.
Your brain is happier.
A whole foods diet, consistent exercise and movement, and better sleep can all contribute to optimum balance of our brains’ neurotransmitters as well. That can mean a better mood and more stress resilience in your everyday life.
You’ll store fewer toxins.
Our bodies are exposed to thousands of toxins each and every day through the food we eat and other aspects of our environment. Fat cells love toxins and are known to store them when our bodies can’t keep up withdetoxification due to overload. Consequently, the more fat we have, the more toxic we can become! The result? We can experience symptoms such as fatigue, complexion changes, body odor, etc. On the other hand, when we lose fat, we store fewer of these toxins, which decreases related symptoms and disease such as cancer. Note: as your body breaks down fat and releases it, these toxins simply dump into your body. That’s why it’s so critical to support natural detoxification through plenty of filtered water, dry sauna usage and a clean diet.
Your complexion will be brighter.
If you’ve ever looked at any set of before and after photos in a weight loss success story, you’ll notice how much brighter and radiant members’ faces are in the after photos! Fewer toxins, enhanced circulation, improved nutrition, better hormonal balance--and new confidence!--all contribute to making our skin more supple and healthier looking. It’s actually my favorite part to see in my clients' transformations.
You’ll sleep more soundly.
We’ve talked about how lack of sleep can cause weight gain and other metabolic nightmares, but have you heard of anyone sharing how they get better sleep after losing weight? Many of my beginning clients often snore, wake often or have trouble breathing at night. All of these complaints seem to rapidly disappear following or even during a weight loss transformation.
Your immune system will be stronger.
The receptors on our fat cells attract immune system cells. Immune system cells' jobs include promoting subtle inflammation in our bodies to help fight off pathogens like viruses. When we carry around extra fat pounds, our body begins to produce a heightened immune response as if we were trying to fight off a virus or an injury. A little inflammation is okay, as it’s intended to help the body fight off infection, but when it’s caused by extra poundage, it can be a slow killer to the body. When we lose the extra fat, we lower the inflammation and our risk for any associated damage to the body.
Your blood pressure will decrease.
Stored fat (specifically belly fat) can heighten blood pressure in the body. Heightened blood pressure is a risk factor for many metabolic issues as well as heart disease. When we shed pounds, blood pressure tends to normalize, reducing these risks. Stress is another common culprit in high blood pressure. Consider that you’ll benefit even more if you include stress management in your health journey!
You’ll enjoy better mobility.
Carrying around extra pounds tends to cause serious wear and tear on the body – especially when your structure and internal organs were developed for a smaller stature. Added weight impacts everything, including extra stress on your joints and muscles. My clients are always amazed to find out not just how much more active they become after losing weight, but how much more mobile they are playing with their kids or performing everyday activities such as tying their shoes or even walking. Here’s one “best practice” for illuminating the difference your body is enjoying: carry around the weight you lost. For example, if you lost 20 pounds, carry around two 10-pound dumbbells to get a quick realization of how much extra stress your body was shouldering!
Written by Anika DeCoster – Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss