What Happens to Your Body and Brain When You’re Losing Weight
For every 10 pounds of fat you lose, 8.4 lbs are exhaled into the air and the rest is converted to sweat, tears, urine, and other fluids from your body. But losing weight is not just about your back rolls or belly fat, because during this process your whole body goes through a lot of changes. And sometimes you might also get unexpected results.
Bright Side found out exactly what changes in your body and brain when you shed extra weight.
11. Your energy level goes up.
The first thing you experience after shedding some extra pounds is a big energy boost. The reason is pretty simple — the less weight you’re carrying around, the more energy you save for doing other important things. Besides that, weight loss improves oxygen efficiency, so you won’t find yourself out of breath anymore when climbing stairs or trying to catch the bus.
10. Your memory improves.
Your brain is another organ that benefits from losing weight. Some studies have even shown that getting rid of excess fat can improve your cognitive abilities related to planning, strategizing, and organizing. After weight loss, your brain also becomes more active when storing new memories and therefore it needs fewer resources to recollect the necessary information.
9. Your skin becomes clearer.
Your weight-loss journey provides another additional bonus — you not only feel healthy, but also look healthy. Some people who’ve decided to lead a healthier lifestyle and lose their extra weight have noticed tremendous changes in their appearance. Their skin cleared up and stopped peeling, their hair became thicker, and their nails became stronger.
8. Your knees don’t hurt anymore.
Losing just one pound of bodyweight reduces 4 pounds of pressure on your knee joints. Just imagine how grateful your knees will be if you free them from this burden! In addition, losing weight, especially if it’s visceral fat that’s stored around your belly, can reduce the symptoms of arthritis and other joint diseases.
7. Your allergies get milder.
Extra weight strains your respiratory system and, if you often suffer from seasonal allergies, it only aggravates your symptoms. But as you become thinner, you start experiencing milder allergies because your breathing canals become clear. In some cases, you may even be able to ditch your inhaler and avoid taking your usual seasonal pills.
6. Your feet become smaller.
When you shed extra weight, you lose fat from your entire body, and this includes your feet as well. So don’t panic when your favorite shoes start slipping off your feet. Instead, be happy that it’s now easier for you to zip up your boots around your thin calves. And don’t forget to re-size your rings — your fingers will get slimmer too.
5. You become more sensitive to cold temperatures.
As you lose pounds, you literally lose the insulating fat that blankets your body and keeps it warm. Without this extra layer, your body becomes more sensitive to changes in temperature, especially in cold weather.
Another reason why you start feeling chilly is that your metabolic rate slows down. Your body is trying to conserve as much energy as possible because it doesn’t have a lot of extra calories anymore. So be prepared that sweaters and cardigans will become your new best friends.
4. Your menstrual cycle changes.
Your hormone levels are closely connected with your body weight. So when you lose or gain some extra fat, your endocrine system goes through certain changes. The rise and fall in your estrogen and testosterone levels may result in menstrual irregularity, a heavier or lighter flow, and the shortening or lengthening of your cycle.
3. You have fewer headaches.
Although obesity doesn’t trigger headaches directly, it raises the risk of having a migraine by 50%. The current theory, supported by health experts, suggests that fat cells increase the amount of inflammation in your body. In certain situations, this inflammation can cause migraines. That’s why losing extra weight may reduce the severity and quantity of your headaches.
2. Your appetite increases.
When you lose weight it reduces your levels of leptin, a hormone that’s released by your fat cells which sends signals to your brain that you’re full. While your body is trying to bring your leptin levels back to normal, this can lead to an increased appetite and a strong desire to eat fatty and high-calorie foods. But don’t surrender — these cravings will disappear when your body gets used to its new lifestyle.
1. You stop snoring.
Researchers have found out that losing at least 5% of your body weight can help you sleep better and longer through the night. It turns out that even modest weight loss reduces the excess weight around your neck that usually blocks your upper airways and aggravates the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring.
With nothing to wake you up in the middle of the night, the quality of your sleep gets significantly better and this, in turn, helps you lose weight much faster.
Have you ever tried to lose weight? Which positive and negative side effects did you notice? Share the stories about your weight loss journey with us in the comments!
Illustrated by Natalia Okuneva-Rarakina and Leonid Khan for BrightSide.me