- Why Am I So Cold? 6 Surprising Changes Your Body Goes Through When You Lose A Lot Of Weight
- Your Nose Changes
- Your Feet Get Smaller
- You Might Stop Snoring
- You Might Be Cold All The Time
- You Are More Energetic
- You Enjoy Sex More
- How to Make Your Nose Smaller
- Sketchy internet remedies
- Nonsurgical remedies
- Surgical remedies
- Experiment with different looks
- Could Weight Loss Affect Your Rhinoplasty Results?
- Your Nose and Weight Changes
- The Effects of Weight Change on the Face
- Weight Loss After Rhinoplasty
- Start the Rhinoplasty Conversation Today
- 8 unexpected — and negative — things that could happen when you lose weight
- 1. You could develop sagging skin and stretch marks.
- 2. You could stop getting your period.
- 3. You might feel colder.
- 4. You might have trouble sleeping.
- 5. Your taste perceptions could change.
- 6. You might have a hard time continuing to lose weight.
- 7. Your relationship could change.
- 8. You could get depressed.
- Side effects aside, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health.
- How Your Body Fights Weight Loss
- And Why It Wants to Gain Weight Back
- 1. Your Metabolism Will Slow Down to Store Fat
- 2. Your Hormones Will Increase Drive to Eat
- 3. Your Brain Won’t Register How Much You’re Eating
- 4. Your Genes May or May Not Be Helping
- 5. Your Body Is Extra Prepared for Your Second Try
- 6. Your Weight Has a Favorite Number
- 7. Your Weight Loss Might Not Look Like You Were Expecting
- 8. Your Emotional Health Remains Independent of Your Weight
- What Can Help
- What Happens to Your Body When You Lose Weight
- Weight Loss 101
- How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Week?
- What’s Happening in Week 1
- What’s Happening in Month 1
- The Takeaway
Why Am I So Cold? 6 Surprising Changes Your Body Goes Through When You Lose A Lot Of Weight
When you lose a lot of weight, you usually know what to expect. Your clothes get baggy, you need to resize your rings, and you may need to pick up a smaller bra. But some changes definitely catch people by surprise. We’ve compiled a few unique changes that people have shared that their bodies went through, and while not every change is something to kick your heels in the air about, for the most part, they’re positive alterations. Either way, if you’ve shed some weight, a little or a lot, get ready for a body transformation, and be sure to applaud yourself for all your hard work, sis!
Your Nose Changes
Despite saying that she doesn’t see anything wrong with plastic surgery, Khloe Kardashian told Cosmopolitan that if you think her nose looks smaller than it used to, it’s not because of cosmetic surgery. It’s because not only has she learned the tricks of the contouring trade, but her recent 40-pound weight loss has helped her face take on a whole new shape. She told the mag, “when I lost weight, my nose did get smaller, and also I now know about contouring. Like when I wash my face, my nose is wider.”
I initially was skeptical that your nose would go through such changes after weight loss, but experts say that it makes sense because the face as a whole is slimmer than before. As Richard W. Fleming, MD, a plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills put it on RealSelf, “Losing weight may change the appearance of your nose because it will be seen adjacent to the surrounding thinner facial structures but it will not make the nose appear thinner.”
Your Feet Get Smaller
I can personally attest to this. Not only can losing weight help you with feet issues (including pain), but it can also make your feet smaller. AZ Central Healthy Living pointed out that “According to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, fat is stored energy, packed into efficient cells to be burned off when your body needs it, such as when you exercise. Hormones and genetics dictate where fat cells are stored in each person, including the feet. Although different people are predisposed to lose fat in different body areas first, eventually even the fat stored in your feet will get burned for energy.”
You Might Stop Snoring
Some of us snore when we’re sick, others when we’re exhausted. And some of us snore after significant weight gain (especially if that weight is stored around the neck). Dr. Jordan Pritikin, an otolaryngologist at Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center, wrote for the Huffington Post that losing that weight can help you stop all that snoring naturally, and will also help you fall asleep deeper, faster.
You Might Be Cold All The Time
According to the good folks at Shape, if you lost a lot of weight and find yourself feeling colder and colder, to the point where you have a personal heater blasting at all times at work and feel miserable in restaurants, libraries and movie theaters, it may not be an iron issue. As it turns out, “Fat is a natural insulator, so you become more sensitive to changes in temperature as you lose pounds.” Having a thick scarf or cardigan on hand will do the trick.
You Are More Energetic
Have more energy after your weight loss? It’s a common positive change to the body. That’s why getting off the train a stop before where you usually get off and walking home isn’t as taxing, why on days where you rest instead of head to the gym, you might feel like you want to get up and get moving–even if it’s just a few yoga poses or dancing to a favorite playlist. And that’s why what used to leave you exhausted doesn’t require as much energy. Score!
You Enjoy Sex More
Maybe it’s the fact that you’re not so focused on what your body is looking like and doing during intercourse, but for many, sex is much better after dropping the pounds. Also, you have more energy for it, and you may get aroused easier. As Rodale Wellness pointed out, your body just responds better to sexual situations after a weight loss:
“At the European Society for Sexual Medicine conference in Amsterdam, Italian researchers presented evidence that severely obese women who lowered their body mass index through an eight-week residential weight-loss program showed a range of sexual improvements, including more frequent sex, greater sexual desire, and even better vaginal lubrication.”
And while a man might see an increase in penis size after a major weight loss, as Khloe Kardashian also pointed out to Nylon, your vagina might drop a few pounds as well: “I swear my p— has lost weight too, which I did not know was an option but, thank God.”
Our staff has picked their favorite stations, take a listen…
How to Make Your Nose Smaller
Share on PinterestEthan Haddox | Unsplash
The profile of your face is very much affected by the shape of your nose. A large or pronounced nose can be valued as a sign of beauty and distinction. In fact, the lauded and legendary beauty Cleopatra had a nose that was so long and large that people are still talking about it.
But some people see having a prominent nose as an unwanted feature. If you don’t like the way your nose looks, you might be tempted by home remedies and exercises that claim to narrow, streamline, and shorten your nose. Keep reading to find out what you can actually do to make your nose look smaller.
Sketchy internet remedies
There are tons of internet rumors about making your nose smaller. Some websites suggest that putting ice on your nose repeatedly will make it shrink. It won’t.
Some say that applying a paste of garlic extract, toothpaste, apple cider vinegar, ginger powder, or other anti-inflammatory ingredients will get rid of a bump in your nose. This won’t work, either.
There are people who swear that doing certain facial exercises and holding certain expressions can make your nose look smaller. But it’s collagen that gives your face its shape, and your nose is made of cartilage — not muscle or fat. Toning or strengthening certain face muscles won’t make a visible difference in how large your nose appears to be.
There are even DIY injection products and facial molds that you can use to try reshaping the bones in your nose. Many of these products are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Evidence to suggest that any of these remedies work is severely lacking.
Using an unproven home remedy to actually make your nose smaller is unlikely to work. But there are makeup strategies that you can try to make your nose appear smaller, such as nose contouring. Plenty of YouTube tutorial videos explore methods of nose contouring. The basic idea is simple:
- Using bronzer that’s two shades darker than your skin tone, outline your nose on both sides.
- Use a matte highlighter to trace the narrow outline of your nose and bring attention to it.
- Use a beauty blender to play up the shadows and highlights of this effect. It may take some practice, but many people love the result of this makeup technique.
You may also consider what’s called a nonsurgical rhinoplasty. This is a procedure that injects a temporary filler, such as Juvederm or Restylane, into the structure of your nose. These fillers will temporarily even out bumps, divots, or other asymmetries in your nose. The effect can last for up to six months.
If you’re considering a surgical intervention to make your nose smaller, you may have heard of a method called a rhinoplasty. A cosmetic surgeon will consult with you about the shape you’d like your nose to have. Then you’ll be put under general anesthesia while your surgeon removes cartilage and tissue to reconstruct your nose.
Nose reshaping surgeries are more common than you might think. More than 200,000 of these surgeries are performed in the United States every year. It’s the third most popular kind of cosmetic surgery nationwide, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. These surgeries are not typically covered by insurance.
Experiment with different looks
If you aren’t happy with the shape of your nose, there are plenty of options to consider. Noninvasive remedies, such as contouring techniques or fillers, are reversible ways to experiment with the way your nose looks.
The size of your nose is also sometimes dependent on outside health factors, such as weight gain, pregnancy, melanoma, rosacea, and frequent consumption of alcohol. Speak with your doctor if your nose shape seems to be changing drastically.
Could Weight Loss Affect Your Rhinoplasty Results?
Dr. Philip Miller
May 29, 2018
Rhinoplasty surgery concentrates completely on the nose and how it can affect the appearance of the patient’s face overall. Most patients don’t consider the effects that weight loss and weight gain can have on the face and the nose.
But they might want to because changes to your body aren’t isolated from other parts of it, not even from the nose.
If you’re thinking of rhinoplasty surgery or you’re a past patient, think about the effects that your weight could have on the appearance of your improved nasal structure.
Your Nose and Weight Changes
The nose is made of bone, cartilage, and skin, so fat cells aren’t present in its makeup. Because there are no fat cells, gaining or losing weight does not have a direct impact on the shape of your nose and the results of your rhinoplasty surgery. While many patients worry that they can gain weight in their noses, this just isn’t possible.
With that said, however, the nose is really just a part of the face as a whole. Because of this, changes in your weight could impact your facial proportions, overall balance, and your profile. If fat collects around your chin, for example, your side profile will definitely be affected, causing your nasal structure and chin to be out of balance. While your rhinoplasty results won’t directly be affected, maintaining your weight after surgery can definitely benefit the way it looks for years to come.
The Effects of Weight Change on the Face
Gaining and losing weight can greatly affect your face’s appearance. When the body gains weight, it often stores it in the fat cells beneath the chin and around the jaw and neck. Some men and women may even look “puffy” in the cheeks as a result of increased weight. Conversely, losing weight can change the appearance of these areas as they become more refined, thinner, and more pronounced. Some patients discover high, defined cheekbones. Others may experience loose, sagging skin once the fat cells have shrunken around the chin and neck. However it changes, the face will definitely appear different as a result of weight fluctuations.
Weight Loss After Rhinoplasty
A big change to your appearance can often inspire you to make another, which may explain why some rhinoplasty patients commit to proper diet and exercise to lose weight after surgery. It’s always a good idea to take care of your body and maintain your health, but don’t aim too high too fast. Some facial plastic surgeons advise that rhinoplasty patients should take their weight loss slowly. Concentrate on proper nutrition as you recover from surgery and afterwards. The extra weight will naturally come off at a safe pace that is easier to maintain over the long term and healthier for your body.
For additional information, please visit our rhinoplasty and nose job guide.
Start the Rhinoplasty Conversation Today
Talk about your plans for weight loss with a rhinoplasty expert to make sure you won’t have to worry about how it affects your results. Plan your consultation today to get answers to your rhinoplasty questions. An experienced facial plastic surgeon can provide more in-depth knowledge about the nasal surgery process. Dr. Philip Miller has specialized exclusively in facial plastic surgery for over 20 years.
A recognized expert in rhinoplasty, Dr. Miller has been frequently invited to share his specific techniques with his peers at various national facial plastic surgery meetings. He has been voted among the Best Doctors in America each year since 2007 and has also been named a Top Doctor of New York. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller, contact his office located at 60 East 56th Street, Third Floor in New York City, by calling (646) 791-3025.
Next, read all about Having no Shame in Rhinoplasty
Dr. Philip Miller
Dr. Philip Miller is a New York facial plastic surgeon known for pioneering the NatraLook methodology for rhinoplasty, facelifts, necklifts, and more.
8 unexpected — and negative — things that could happen when you lose weight
Losing weight is not always a positive experience. NBC
- Losing lots of weight could cause changes in your mind and body.
- Some people feel cold and have trouble sleeping.
- Others may develop sagging skin and stretch marks as a result of weight loss.
- People’s relationship with themselves and others could also change.
No matter your personal motivation for weight loss, the benefits of being at a healthy weight are indisputable. But some unexpected changes and challenges rear their ugly heads when you are losing, or have already lost, a significant amount of weight.
INSIDER spoke with experts about some of the physical and emotional side effects people experience during or after weight loss — and what you could do to avoid or deal with them.
Although everyone who loses weight won’t suffer from these things, it’s important to be aware of them and to talk to a doctor if they do occur.
1. You could develop sagging skin and stretch marks.
Your skin can’t adapt super fast. Monning27/
Loose, sagging skin and stretch marks are the product of losing lots of weight too fast. Registered dietitian nutritionist Malina Linkas Malkani, creator of the Wholitarian™ Lifestyle, told INSIDER that this happens because the skin isn’t able to shrink as quickly as the body.
“Focus on slow, steady weight loss at a rate of about one to two pounds per week to give the skin time to shrink along with the body,” Malkani, Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said.
She also recommended implementing resistance exercises to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass. According to Prevention, building muscle could help prevent sagging skin during weight loss as well as eating more produce, using sunscreen, and using collagen-based serums or retinoids.
When weight loss does happen quickly and there is a lot of loose sagging skin, some people opt for surgery to remove it. It’s worth noting that the process will result in visible scars and will take a few weeks for recovery, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
2. You could stop getting your period.
Hormonal changes could impact your period. Noci/
The stress placed on your body during weight loss could also impact your period. According to VeryWell, the more weight you lose and the faster you lose it, the more likely your period will be affected.
Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, explained that this happens because your body thinks it’s starving hormonally.
“Lectin will shut off your menstrual period because your body thinks it is starving and it’s not healthy for women who are starving to have a pregnancy at that time,” she told INSIDER. “So your body doesn’t conserve your period so that you don’t get pregnant and really have a problem.”
3. You might feel colder.
Do you always feel cold?
According to Apovian, this common weight loss complaint has to do with your metabolic rate and hormone changes.
“Your body is going to lower your metabolic rate when you lose weight to try to conserve energy,” Apovian said. “And in conserving energy, it doesn’t have a lot of extra calories to keep you warm.”
Another reason you might feel colder is because you no longer have fat acting as an insulator. Shape reports that without that extra layer your body becomes more sensitive to temperature changes as you lose weight.
4. You might have trouble sleeping.
What you are eating might change your sleep pattern. Sergey Mironov/
The relationship between sleep and food is complicated. Not only does what and when you eat affect sleep, but sleep also affects your food choices, NBC’s Better reports.
The basics of sleep come down to a chemical called adenosine, which builds up in your body before a rise in melatonin, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Although we know that sleep is key to successful dieting and weight loss, it might be harder to sleep during weight loss because of dietary changes.
“If you want to sleep well at night you want your tryptophan levels to go up, and the way to do that is to have a little carbohydrates with protein and, that will increase tryptophan levels in the brain and melatonin,” Apovian said. “And when you don’t eat enough or you’re eating less calories, that hormonal balance changes and so you’re not lulled to sleep you’re activated, and your body is looking for food.”
5. Your taste perceptions could change.
You could taste food differently.
“It’s not an act of growing out of anything, it’s your interest in food is hormonal,” Apovian said. “And ghrelin secreted from the stomach makes you very very hungry, and you find different food more appealing.”
This theory is supported by a study that found people who were lost weight via bariatric surgery had a change in taste. According to Time, almost 87% of patients reported this change post-surgery, and half of those people said food didn’t taste as good. Those who had dulled taste buds also lost more weight than their peers who reported their tastes sharpened.
That’s because of hormonal changes that influence how taste receptors relay information to the brain, according to Health.
6. You might have a hard time continuing to lose weight.
The more weight you lose, the harder it is to lose more.
Regaining weight and weight loss plateaus are common after losing lots of weight, and are often due to a lower metabolic rate. According to Malkani, that happens as a result of the loss of lean body mass and the fact that the body now needs fewer calories to function.
“Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can go back to your previous diet after weight loss,” she said. “To maintain your weight loss, it’s essential to adopt the dietary changes you’ve made as a lifestyle rather than a short-term diet.”
7. Your relationship could change.
Losing weight could put stress on your relationship. / Photographee.eu
If you and your partner are committing to a healthier lifestyle — and don’t make weight loss a competition — making healthy changes and losing weight together could benefit your relationship. If your partner isn’t making these changes with you, however, there might be trouble in paradise.
The issue lies in trying to make your partner adapt to your lifestyle changes when they clearly don’t want to.
“Trying to force someone to be healthier almost never works,” Judith S. Beck, the president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the author of “The Beck Diet Solution,” told Shape. “He knows he should exercise and eat less. He doesn’t want to, or he would have done it already.”
According to Women’s Health, avoiding these issues comes down to communication and compromise in the relationship. So instead of eating out all the time cook together (which has it’s own relationship benefits) or workout with your partner by signing up for a race together. Think of ways to be inclusive without forcing your agenda on your partner.
8. You could get depressed.
Losing weight isn’t a cure-all.
On the subReddit thread LoseIt, an online community of Redditors who are trying to lose weight, a number of commenters said that disatisfaction was one of the biggest realities they had to face after shedding tons of pounds.
User Willravel responded to Cube_ writing, “This might seem like a joke answer but it’s actually really insightful and important. Being overweight certainly comes with it’s challenges, but coming out the other side as a healthier you doesn’t mean that life will be all kale shakes and rainbows.”
“It’s very easy for people who are overweight — including myself years ago — to let all of their problems sort of rest on the foundation of the low self-esteem that can come with being overweight. When I finally put in the work and dropped my excess fat, I felt a lot better, I slept better, I could tie my shoes and go up and down stairs until the cows came home, but my self-esteem didn’t magically become bulletproof and issues of depression and anxiety were still there, they were just in a smaller package.”
In addition to anecdotal evidence, a study done at the University College London also found that losing weight doesn’t necessarily improve mental health. Participants in the study who dropped more than 5% of their body weight were 52% more likely to report a depressed mood than those who stayed within 5% of their original weight, according to CNN.
Side effects aside, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health.
Be the healthiest you possible — whatever your size. BBernard/
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, health risks for being overweight and obese include high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, as well as certain types of cancer and diabetes in addition to numerous other health issues. So although there are side effects of losing weight that aren’t great, some — if not most— are controllable to an extent. And they don’t outweigh the positives.
If you are suffering from any of these issues or are planning to lose weight, it is important that you speak with your doctor who could help you manage your symptoms and develop a game plan.
Sign up here to get INSIDER’s favorite stories straight to your inbox.
How Your Body Fights Weight Loss
And Why It Wants to Gain Weight Back
Weight management is a key component of a healthy life. While many people successfully maintain healthy weights through a balance of nutrition and activity, weight loss can be vital for the 71 percent of Americans who are overweight or suffering from obesity. However, weight loss – particularly extreme weight loss – is more complicated than consuming fewer calories than you burn. As many as 90 percent of people who have lost a considerable amount of weight will gain it back.
Sustainable weight management is possible and understanding how your body responds to weight loss efforts can help you establish realistic expectations on your journey.
Here are 8 things you may not know about your body and weight loss.
1. Your Metabolism Will Slow Down to Store Fat
The more you work out or manage your calorie intake to lose weight, the more your metabolism wants to compensate by slowing down to maintain your current weight. Metabolic compensation kicks in to preserve and store fat for future energy. Some physicians theorize this is because the human body has evolved to value storing fat and energy and to interpret a shortage of calories as sign of distress or famine.
2. Your Hormones Will Increase Drive to Eat
Unfortunately, metabolic compensation isn’t your body’s only strategy to prevent weight loss or encourage weight gain. Hunger hormones – leptin and ghrelin – are also at play. Fat cells produce leptin, which tells your brain when you’re full. Fat cells also shrink when you lose weight, producing less leptin and meaning you don’t feel as full. Strike one. Ghrelin, produced by the stomach, tells the brain it’s time to refuel. When you lose weight, ghrelin levels rise, prompting you to want to eat more frequently. Strike two. Research suggests that neither leptin levels nor ghrelin levels return to a normal baseline for at least a year.
3. Your Brain Won’t Register How Much You’re Eating
In addition to your metabolism and hormones, the neural circuitry in your brain is fighting weight loss too. Food has a greater reward value after you’ve lost weight and the part of the brain that regulates food restraint becomes less active – meaning that while you’re eating more to feel full (courtesy of leptin), you’re also less aware of how much you’re eating.
4. Your Genes May or May Not Be Helping
More than 400 genes have been linked to obesity and weight gain and they can affect appetite, metabolism, cravings and body-fat distribution. The exact degree to which you can be genetically predisposed to weight gain or obesity is unclear, but genes have been associated with difficulty losing weight even as you increase physical activity or low-calorie diets. Much like weight management on the whole, addressing a genetic predisposition for obesity is much easier from a preventative standpoint than a reactionary one.
5. Your Body Is Extra Prepared for Your Second Try
When your body gets sick, it creates antibodies to the illness so that the next time, the immune system is prepared. Unfortunately, it reacts in a similar way to weight loss. If you’ve lost weight in the past due to exercise or diet changes and attempt those same strategies again to lose weight, your body – again, mainly hormones and metabolism – will adjust to prevent similar damage and you’ll see fewer weight loss results.
6. Your Weight Has a Favorite Number
Some scientists subscribe to the idea that your body has a set weight point and all of the above – your metabolism, hormones, brain – will adjust to maintain that weight. The theory goes that people can have naturally higher or lower set weights than others and genetics, aging, history of weight loss and other hormonal shifts can all impact your set weight. Moreover, set points can rise but very rarely do they lower. Similarly, they are much easier to maintain – because your body wants to – than reduce, which is why maintaining a healthy weight is easier than losing weight.
7. Your Weight Loss Might Not Look Like You Were Expecting
Unfortunately, it’s not always smooth sailing after successful weight loss – especially successful extreme weight loss – either. Your body may look different than you were expecting. Stretch marks and loose skin are common, and many people deal with the emotional affects of coping with a body that does not look like the ideal they had in mind.
8. Your Emotional Health Remains Independent of Your Weight
A result of this is the tendency for people to tie happiness and emotional health to weight loss and, when they have successfully lost the weight but remain dissatisfied with other aspects of their life, fall into a cycle of dissatisfaction. Guilt at not feeling happy after weight loss can also factor in, as can the temptation to eat to cope with these feelings. Moreover, some people can experience an uncertainty about what’s next after losing significant amounts of weight if that’s been their primary goal.
What Can Help
Some simple strategies, such as making protein a staple of meals and snacks or starting a weight loss routine with cardio before switching to weight training and resistance later on, can help support your weight loss goals. Many people find it beneficial to focus on small, achievable lifestyle goals to work on their emotional health alongside weight loss. For example, rather than looking for a low number on the scale, you may focus on reaching a point where you feel comfortable playing sports or attending a group fitness class. Similarly, aiming for moderate goals that can gradually build to bigger change can help you avoid the pitfalls of rapid, short-term solutions.
“Both medical and surgical assisted weight loss programs have proven to be very successful, but the key element is you,” says Matthew R. Pittman, MD, director of bariatric surgery, Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group. “Committing fully to the behavioral and lifestyle changes required is essential for long-term weight loss success.”
Working with a lifestyle medicine professional can also help you manage expectations, set reasonable goals and respond to your body’s changes if weight loss is a goal of yours. You may also want to consider whether a nutritionist is right for you. The team at the Northwestern Medicine Center for Lifestyle Medicine specializes in setting achievable goals ranging from comprehensive weight-loss treatment and management for overweight and obese adults and educational strategies that promote weight loss to risk factor reduction and tools to improve physical activity and encourage healthy eating.
What Happens to Your Body When You Lose Weight
You’ve been putting in the hard work — eating right, exercising consistently — and now you’re seeing the fat melt off and muscles emerge in its place. But have you ever wondered what’s happening to your body when you lose weight?
Find out all the amazing and complex things that are occurring in your body when you transform yourself from couch potato to lean, mean fighting machine!
Weight Loss 101
The fundamental principle behind weight loss is dead simple: Burn more calories than you consume. Restricting calories forces your body to draw on existing fat stores to power your bodily functions, everyday activities, and workouts.
Since your weight is essentially a form of stored energy (read: calories), it will gradually shrink and your body will shrink with it — in a good way, of course.
The first step of your weight-loss journey is figuring out your ballpark calorie goal. There is an easy calculation to help figure out how many calories you should be eating.
A Google search will also reveal many different formulas to help you tally up calories for BMR, activity, and exercise, but there’s one method to calculate “calories for weight loss” that refuses to die:
It’s called the 3,500 Calorie Rule, which basically states that if you cut 3,500 calories from your diet per week, you lose one pound. Simple, right? Not exactly.
This general guideline has been shown to underestimate multiple factors and may set up unrealistic expectations. Because in reality, your body will eventually fight back against weight loss. Your brain knows why you’re cutting calories, but your body doesn’t, so it does everything it can to conserve energy. (think: slowing metabolism).
How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Week?
Experts recommend you lose weight at a steady one to two pounds per week. But you may experience more than that during the “honeymoon phase” at the start of your weight-loss journey because you’re highly motivated and your body hasn’t adapted to the changes you’re imposing on it — yet.
What’s Happening in Week 1
You’ve picked out a solid strategy to lose weight by establishing healthy habits, following a balanced nutrition plan, and working out regularly.
All of this helped you create a calorie deficit for most days of the week. Sensing this but still want to give you the energy you need, your body breaks down its sources of stored energy, most of it fat, but some of it glycogen.
Glycogen is a storage form of carbohydrates mostly found in your liver and muscles. It’s broken down into glucose when your blood sugar dips or if you exercise intensely. Glycogen is stored with water and when it’s converted to glucose for your body to use, the water goes with it, which is why most people experience rapid weight loss in the first week.
Depending on how much weight you have to lose and how severely you restrict your food intake, this rapid loss of fluid will vary. But don’t be worry — you’re still losing some of this weight as fat!
What’s Happening in Month 1
In the first month, you’re losing it all: fat, water, glycogen, and even muscle tissue, depending on what activities you’re doing to lose weight. As you slim down, individual fat cells get smaller and smaller. The fats stored in the cells are shipped out and metabolized as fuel by your internal organs. This involves a series of chemical reactions where energy is extracted at each step.
So, where does the fat actually go? The end waste products of this reaction are carbon dioxide and water, so you’re actually breathing most of it out, with the rest leaving your body via urine, sweat, and other bodily fluids.
But what about those darn fat cells? Sorry, folks, but you’re stuck with them. Everyone’s body contains a set number of fat cells. When they get smaller, they release less leptin, the hormone that tells your body that it’s full. And when your leptin levels dip, that means your tummy starts rumbling for more grub.
Sadly, this is one of many factors that make losing weight challenging. But there is a solution: Add more fiber (think: fruits, veggies, whole grains) and lean protein to your diet. These types of food will help you feel more satiated.
Another challenge: During this time, you may also drop pounds in the form of muscle mass, which is definitely something you don’t want to lose. The solution: Include a consistent strength-training routine as well as high-intensity interval training to your weight-loss plan to help maintain muscle mass.
Complex math, biology, and physiology aside, remember not to lose sight of the bigger picture: Everything that you’re doing is in service to your overall health and happiness. So don’t sweat the details (too much) and focus on creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.