Losing weight is complicated. Not only because it is hard for us to stop eating what we like and we get discouraged when the results do not come quickly, but also because our body has mechanisms to make it more difficult for us.
The equation, at first glance, seems simple: to lose weight you have to consume more calories than you consume.
Therefore, if we reduce the caloric load of our meals, we should achieve a weight reduction. But it's not always like this.
And it is that the natural tendency of our body is to stay with the weight that it has, explains in Eldiario.es the scientific divulger Darío Pescador. This is called homeostasis and is a process controlled by the hypothalamus, the control center of the brain's endocrine system.
Why? Well, because the body does not like to lose energy, it is explained in one of the latest videos from SciShow, a Youtube channel specialized in science and which points out some of the factors that make losing weight so difficult:
Hormones such as leptin, which are found in the fat cells of the body, are reduced when we go on a diet.
A low level of leptin in our body is interpreted by the hypothalamus as starvation, so it starts sending signals to our body that it should eat more.
Other organs also use hormones to warn the brain that it is not getting enough energy.
The stomach uses lagreline, which regulates the appetite, to tell the brain to make higher intakes.
And in turn, the pancreas reduces the production of insulin - which regulates blood sugar - and amylin - which gives us that feeling of fullness.
All these hormones act together to say one thing to the brain: we are hungry.
The energy efficiency
If this were not enough, our body reduces caloric expenditure when it sees that we provide less energy. That is, the less we eat, the harder it is to burn calories.
The organs and muscles become more efficient and spend less energy to perform their vital functions, warned by the brain that there is an energy shortage.
They also look for energy from other sources and, instead of going to the fat reserves as we would like, extract their energy from the food we eat during the diet. The loss of fat is tremendously complicated.
The memory of the body
And if this did not make the mission of weight loss difficult enough, we must remember that our body also has memory. And it's not exactly good at losing weight.
The hormones have a hard time getting back to their normal production levels once you've left the diet, so even when you're eating regularly, they keep telling the brain that they're hungry.
What is the consequence? What do you eat more? Hence, the dreaded rebound effect is explained many times.
And the energy efficiency mode also remains. It is as if having subjected our body to previous diets, we would have scared him by restricting him from certain calories and now he does not want to risk spending too much.
So even years after leaving the diet, our body is still slow when it comes to spending calories.
There are also other factors such as genes, type of food or even environmental factors that can influence the ease that we have to lose weight, gain weight or maintain our weight.