When it comes to losing weight, here’s the change I recommend, rather than any other alternatives, as I will explain. Because losing weight is not exclusively about reducing calories.
There are numerous factors you need to take into consideration, which may affect your metabolism and therefore, have a great impact on weight loss. Having trouble sleeping or stressing too much are some examples of factors, which decrease metabolism. A recurrent inability to soundly sleep, causes the immune system to react as if your body was in a constant infection process. Chronic inflammation can manifest itself in diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and depression. Inflammation itself, disturbs the transmission of certain hormones, essential to the digestion process, and that will affect your ability to lose or maintain weight. I will discuss this subject later on this article.
“In the long run, inflammation will eventually complicate the body’s ability to get rid of fat cells. Yet, if you do lose weight, carrying high levels of inflammation in your body, your fat cells will end up reducing its volume, but they will not disappear. “
Putting effort in reducing inflammation is therefore, very important to continue with your weight loss. If you manage to control the inflammatory process, your body will not only be able to eliminate fat cells, but it will also convert them into other tissue types, such as muscle cells.
Nevertheless, inflammation in the body is not due to poor sleep alone. This condition might also be a result of bad food choices, toxins, processed fats and meat. As a consequence, it is important to be aware of the foods we consume, so we can consciously choose highly nutritive foods with high levels of good fat and minimum amounts of contaminants. Our daily decisions and habits have a greater impact on our body and long-term health, than we imagined.
“Not all inflammation is bad, however. In fact, inflammation is a normal and necessary reaction of the body. When we get injured for some reason, the body’s immune system reacts causing the surrounding area to become inflamed. This is necessary to prevent infection and to quickly heal.”
When we feel highly stressed, the body instantly begins to prepare for a fight-or-flight situation. This is an automatic reaction regulated by the autonomic nervous system and it is a mammals genetic heritage, to quickly react when facing life threatening situations. Neither the autonomic nervous system, nor stress reaction, can be controlled only using willpower. The stress reaction activates the production of certain hormones such as Cortisol, Ghrelin and Insulin, which are, along with Leptin, the four most talked about hormones, when it comes to weight loss and weight behaviour. Cortisol causes fat the be stored, mainly around the stomach area, even when eating well and exercising is a part of you routine. It also increases your cravings. If you ever felt like eating something sweet when being stressed, then it was probably Cortisol, the responsible hormone for that craving.
Ghrelin, also called the ”hunger hormone” is released by endocrine cells located in the stomach and by the Hypothalamus, through the autonomic nervous system. The release itself, induces the body to decrease its metabolism and increase appetite, in order to bulk up and save some energy for an eventual fight or flight situation. Imbalances in Ghrelin levels has been shown to play a significant role in developing obesity issues, insulin resistance and diabetes.
Leptin is the opposite of Ghrelin. This hormone decreases appetite and speeds up calorie burning. However, it is important to mention that this hormone is not released as a result of stress. Stress actually reduces its production, which consequently emphasize Ghrelin’s effects.
Finally, there’s Insulin. This hormone increases fat storage and reduces fat burning. Too much insulin drastically increases your risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes type 2. Insulin levels are dependent on what we eat and are therefore easily controlled, by cutting out unhealthy and sugary foods. Stress causes the body to release stored Glucose throughout the bloodstream, in order to provide the body with the energy it needs, to eventually fight or flee. As a response to the increasing blood sugar levels, pancreas secretes insulin, which stimulates cells, especially liver muscle and fat cells, to absorb glucose. In a fight or flight situation, the body wants to make sure muscle cells have enough energy to fight or escape.
Nevertheless, low amounts of stress might have a positive effect on you. It makes you sharper and increases your body’s performance. Whereas, too much stress breaks down your muscles, makes your fat cells store even more fat, increases your blood pressure and affects your hormonal balance. All of these factors will increase inflammation in your body. So, how do we control insulin in the best way possible? Stay tuned for the following article and find out all you need to know.
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