Written by guest blogger Alexandra Sherman
One of the most diverse pathways of the human body is that of balancing energy intake and expenditure. When trying to lose weight, the amount of energy going in – from food in our diet – must be less than our energy out – through normal daily activity and exercise. In the science world, studies show that we all have our own weight “set point”. Everybody’s set point is unique, depending on many factors, including genetics and diet. Thousands of cells signal to one another when we even think of food, let alone take the first bite! This is why, when we start to restrict our calories, the signals change.
The body produces the hormone ghrelin in the gut, which increases hunger and food intake. Another hormone, leptin, is produced by fat cells and signals the brain to decrease food intake. Insulin also plays an important role in long term regulation of body weight by signalling when enough food has been eaten. During weight-loss and dieting, the body increases ghrelin to signal for more food, and decreases leptin, that normally tells your brain it’s time to stop eating. This is the body’s response to calorie restriction. It is afraid that eating less will prevent essential nutrients from reaching the brain and stop the body from functioning at it’s best. Being lethargic and brain foggy is a common response to limiting calories, as the brain is slowing the body down for protection.
To ensure your body is well protected during weight-loss, patience is key! A speedy diet may seem like a quick fix, but changing the levels of circulating hormones will have the weight creeping back on just as soon as it drops off. Long-term, healthy goals are more important. The body has time to slowly adapt to little changes in hormones, instead of being sent into weight-loss shock. Seeing an Accredited Practising Dietitian is a great way to ensure that when you’re on any weight-loss journey, you do it in a safe way for your body.
The most successful weight loss comes not only from a diet change, but a mindset change. Caring for your body is the top priority when trying to lose weight, and understanding the little messages our brain is sending is a step in the right direction.
Our team can provide a holistic service for you, all in the one place! Our dietitians and eating psychologist work closely together to provide help with nutrition for weight loss, and support with adjustments to mind set.
Call 03 9890 1095 to make an appointment today!
D.G. Baskin, D. Figlewicz Lattemann, R.J. Seeley, S.C. Woods, D. Porte Jr, M.W. Schwartz
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Crujeiras AB, Goyenechea E, Abete I, Lage M, Carreira MC, Martínez JA, Casanueva FF. Weight regain after a diet-induced loss is predicted by higher baseline leptin and lower ghrelin plasma levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Nov;95(11):5037-44. Epub (2010) Aug 18.
Cummings DE, Weigle DS, Frayo RS, Breen PA, Ma MK, Dellinger EP, et al. Plasma ghrelin levels after diet-induced weight loss or gastric bypass surgery. N Engl J Med. (2002); 346:1623–30