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Health | Iswari ©

Lose Weight

Weight loss: how does it work?

Losing weight is a physiological process involving the loss of body mass and weight, as a result of the loss of fat reserve tissue. Weight-loss depends fundamentally on these factors:

Increase in metabolism: when the metabolic activity in the body consumes more energy than is being introduced through food.

Low-calorie diet: if the introduction of energy into the body is less than the basic energy expenditure. (deleted end of sentence: unnecessary) 

Increased metabolic impact of the diet: some foods rich in proteins can speed up the metabolism;

Balance between a hypocaloric diet and an increase in metabolism.

In general, if we want to lose weight, we are initiating a catabolic processes in the body. In other words, we burn out reserve fat for energy purposes. But the catabolic process is not selective: when we go on a diet, in addition to losing the reserve tissues, we can also lose other tissue, like muscle. For this reason, it is always necessary to follow a weight-loss diet in a careful and scrupulous manner, under the supervision of a health professional.

Lose weight vs slimming down

These terms are often used synonymously but losing weight and slimming down are two different things. To slim down means precisely to lose the excess fat, that is to burn the fats that we have accumulated in our body.

Losing weight means more generally losing body mass. A restrictive low-calorie diet can quickly lose many kilos, but together with fats, even "precious" tissues such as muscle is lost.

Generally, we can say that the goal of a weight loss diet is to slim down, losing only fatty tissue or fat, but without losing muscle tone.

Why is it difficult to slim down?

Losing weight is never a fast, easy or a simple process. Slimming down, as we have seen, is a process even more selective and therefore even more difficult. Our body is a very complex machine, which has evolved over the millennia to promote the survival of our species.

Evolution has rewarded the most resistant individuals, those capable of surviving for days without food. As a result, our body is designed to minimise muscle loss and especially the loss of fatty tissue, because these are our natural energy reserves.

Our body, therefore, is opposed in every way to losing weight and slimming down by improving metabolic efficiency. When we start a low-calorie diet, our metabolism adapts to the introduction of fewer calories, slowing its functioning. For this reason, as soon as you come off a restrictive diet, instead of losing weight, you actually put on more!

How to speed up the metabolism?

For many, the secret of losing weight fast is therefore to speed up the metabolism, without resorting to a low-calorie diet. Our metabolism is the biochemical processes in our body that is designed to extract energy from food to meet the demands of our cells.

To accelerate our metabolism, we need to increase the energy expenditure of our body. This process depends on 3 factors:

Basal metabolism

Thermogenesis induced by our diet

Physical activity

The basal metabolic rate is the minimum energy expenditure necessary to maintain vital functions during sleep and waking, and accounts for up to 70% of the total energy or calorie expenditure. Up to 30% of energy expenditure depends on physical activity, while 10% to 15% depends on food digestion.

To accelerate our metabolism, it is necessary to increase our lean mass, that is our muscles, and to intensify the physical exercise, which in turn will tone up our muscle mass.

Can you lose weight by eating?

To lose weight quickly and in a healthy way you have to eat well. As we have seen, simply following a low-calorie diet is harmful and also depletes our lean tissue, a condition that will result in a subsequent slowing of the basal metabolism and therefore the immediate recovery of the lost pounds.

A weight loss diet must respect the needs of our body, first of all nutrition. You can lose weight by eating and you must eat to lose weight. It is important to follow a balanced and healthy diet, introducing all the nutrients that our body needs.

How to lose weight? The rules for losing weight healthy

The only effective way to lose weight is to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Trying to lose weight quickly without taking into account all the factors involved in the functioning of our body can be dangerous and is always useless: in a short time, you put on more weight than before.

To lose weight healthy, you must follow these rules:

Measure the starting conditions (basal metabolism, age, type of physical activity, diet, health conditions) to customise your weight loss;

Regulate hydration;

Perform regular and continuous physical activity to increase lean mass;

Balance your diet in order to meet the needs of the body, speed up the metabolism and avoid the accumulation of fat.

Diet: what to eat and what to avoid?

Assuming that healthy eating must be accompanied by regular physical activity, here are the golden rules of a weight loss diet:

Consume 3 meals a day, and if necessary, add 2 light snacks;

Reduce food portions, adjusting them according to parameters such as age, height, weight, gender, % of lean mass and type of activity performed;

Avoid all junk food, fast food, processed products, refined foods, and foods that are full of additives, preservatives or dyes, sugars and saturated fats, such as snacks, sandwiches, and ready meals;

Avoid alcohol and sugary carbonated beverages;

Avoid or reduce sweets and desserts, substituting refined sugars with natural sugars with a low-glycemic index;

Avoid sauces and abundant seasonings;

Reduce the consumption of simple carbohydrates such as pasta and bread, favouring whole grains instead;

Reduce the consumption of meat, fish and eggs, sausages, cold cuts and cheeses;

Consume seasonal fruit and vegetables;

Superfoods to burn fat

Superfoods are natural foods that have exceptional (removed out of the ordinary – unnecessary) nutritional properties. Some of these can complement  a weight loss diet and promote the loss of excess fat reserves, accelerate the metabolism and provide the body with all the nutrients necessary for a successful weight loss.

Spirulina: a green alga with detoxifying properties. It contains over 60% proteins and is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, but also beneficial fatty acids. It detoxifies the body, and contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass.

Guarana: rich in slow-absorbing natural caffeine, it does not have the side effects of coffee and is known for its ability to burn fat and turn it into energy.

Oats: rich in fibre, they satiate and nourish you, appeasing the sense of hunger that often leads us to snack frivolously.

Matcha: stimulates thermogenesis and burns fat by converting it into energy. But it is also rich in protein, and useful for maintaining your lean mass.

Wheatgrass: purifies, detoxifies and nourishes, promoting slimming.

Superfoods can be a valuable aid in the loss of fat mass and are great allies of a healthy and balanced diet. They contain large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but also proteins, fibre and essential fatty acids, all of which are essential nutrients for our health and to lose weight in a safe way.