WHY DO WE LOSE MORE WEIGHT INITIALLY?

All set to lose weight? Be prepared for one roller coaster ride. The first few weeks will probably make you fall in love with weighing scale, provided you are following a plan consistently. Over the next few weeks of your journey, you will see a gradual slow down. Some painful weeks will have you witness no change at all. At this point, many people start changing the weighing scale’s batteries or strategize placement of the weighing scale at different parts and angles of the floor. Some will even go to the extent of buying a new one. Suddenly, the same weighing scale will turn into your foe and you will ask “Et tu brutus?” The saving grace is, you’re not alone!

The odds of you losing weight will mostly be faster at the beginning of your weight loss process and will gradually slow down as you move along. Let’s try to understand why this happens.

reasons for initial weight los

There are a variety of factors and reasons that contribute to this trajectory of weight loss and we will talk about it more in detail. INFS Faculty Akshita Arora had some insights in this regard. Here are some of the commonly observed reasons:

  1. Creating a large calorie deficit (>25%) can result in significant initial weight loss
    in the first 1-2 weeks. Many people are over enthusiastic at the beginning of their
    weight loss journey and hardly pay attention to creating a calorie deficit that is
    sustainable.
  2. Loss of Water Weight: Some diets, like Ketogenic Diet, result in faster loss of
    water weight. When we cut calories, mainly from carbohydrates, the body starts
    utilizing stored glycogen. Losing glycogen is accompanied by water loss.
  3. Affected Adherence: Generally, people are usually more motivated when they
    start with a diet plan but the motivation might start fading eventually in some cases.
    Lack of adherence can contribute to increase in calorie intake and slowing down of
    rate of weight loss.
  4. Unfavorable metabolic and hormonal adaptations happen to slow down the
    weight loss and may also prevent successful long-term maintenance of weight. This
    results from following a yo-yo dieting pattern (on and off diets), crash dieting
    (drastic cut in calories) or being on large deficits for a long time.

It is absolutely essential to choose and work with an eating plan that is sustainable. If you go in for fad diets or diets that are extreme, the long-term plan of losing weight and then maintaining it would actually be next to impossible.

Facts about losing weight

  • Did you know that losing weight drastically could actually put you at risk? If you suddenly shed those extra kilos rapidly, it might pose health risks like gall bladder damage, kidney failure, osteoporosis as well as irregularities with the heart.
  • Heavier people actually burn more calories than those who weight lighter. The reason for that is because people who are on the heavier side have a higher basal metabolic rate meaning that the metabolism to burn calories is greater in them compared to the lighter ones.
  • The most common and known techniques for losing weight is through exercising as well as maintaining a low-calorie diet. If you only work with one technique and not a combination, it might not be as beneficial as when you combine the two together to lose weight.
  • In order to prevent yourselves from gaining the weight again, the best solution is to start by losing all of it slowly but consistently. So losing weight, does not only mean that you are losing it in numbers, it also means you are losing muscle, which will eventually slow down your metabolism, which in turn will definitely slow down the process of losing weight over a period of time.

set realistic expectations

Social media is a great tool but can also be a façade at times. Most transformations you see are not sudden and even though they are inspirational, immense hard work and consistency has gone behind making them possible. It is important to realize that in many cases, it took years for the weight to pile on. Expecting it all to vanish within weeks, is an unrealistic expectation, one that many of us keep while starting our weight loss program. When this expectation goes kaput, most of us give up! The slow down or plateau is a sign that your body is adapting to your new, healthy lifestyle and should be considered a cue to push harder!

conclusion


You must have heard at some point in you weight loss journey that it’s as much physical as it is mental. This is true. The hugest challenge is to keep yourself motivated and replace the inner dialogue of “Why am I not losing weight?” to “I am doing great so far. How can I remain on track?” It is human tendency to seek tangible results. However; keep appreciating the intangible changes and soon the numbers will follow. A sustainable diet with a mix of exercise, combined with consistency and perseverance is the best way forward for you and everyone around you.

Author : Saakshi, A psychologist by education and a fitness enthusiast by choice, she dreams to combine these worlds. Content writing and social media management is a passion that keeps her in the constant learner mode.

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