Approximately 71.6 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese.
If you’re part of this population, you know how frustrating it can be to lose weight. What’s also frustrating, though, are the body changes that occur when you do start to shed excess body fat.
Coping with body changes during weight loss can be challenging, and a lot of people are afraid to talk about them.
If you’re looking for an honest exploration of what happens when you lose weight, keep reading. Listed below are some common body changes that occur, along with how you can best handle them.
What Happens When You Lose Weight?
A lot happens to your body (on the inside and the outside) when you lose weight. This is especially true when you lose a significant amount in a short period of time.
The following are some common body changes people experience when losing weight:
Loose skin is often the first thing people notice when they start losing weight.
When you lose a large amount of weight, your skin often can’t keep up with the changes your body’s going through. As a result, it will probably be looser than you’d like.
Sometimes, loose skin can be uncomfortable and cause chafing, too.
Sometimes, if you lose a lot of weight and aren’t exercising at the same time, you may experience a decrease in muscle mass.
The majority of the weight you lose will be body fat, it’s true. You can expect some muscle loss, though, especially if strength training is not part of your workout routine.
Often, rapid weight loss comes with changes in appetite, too.
This has to do with changes in the levels of leptin and ghrelin, hunger hormones, as your body adjusts to its new weight.
You may find that you’re hungrier than you once were, or you may find that you have very little appetite.
Some people experience emotional changes when they lose large amounts of weight, too.
In most cases, they feel happier and have more energy. Sometimes, though, experience mood swings or have trouble adjusting to the way their body now looks.
Changes in Taste
Often, taste changes as well.
Many people (87 percent, according to one study) report that their sense of taste feels heightened after a drastic weight loss. This can help you to enjoy your meals more and feel less tempted to overeat.
It’s also not uncommon for your body temperature to change after losing weight.
People who experience dramatic weight loss often find themselves feeling cold more often and being more sensitive to changes in temperature.
Coping with Body Changes During Weight Loss
As you can see, there’s a lot more to losing weight (especially large amounts of weight) than seeing the number on the scale decrease.
If you’re currently experiencing any of these body changes, or if you just want to be prepared for when you do notice them, here are some tips that will help:
Consider Cosmetic Procedures for Loose Skin
If you find that your loose skin is uncomfortable, or if you just don’t like the way it looks, you may want to consider cosmetic surgery to remove it.
This surgery can help you feel better and be more confident in your new appearance. It may also help you stay motivated to keep the weight off since you’ve made more of an investment.
Pump Some Iron
To make up for any muscle loss you may have experienced, start making strength training a regular part of your routine.
This will also help to speed up your metabolism. Having a faster metabolism will help you burn more calories and manage your weight in a more effective way.
Learn to Listen to Your Body
It can take a while for you to get in touch with your body’s hunger and fullness cues after losing a lot of weight.
You may want to work with a professional, such as a registered dietitian, to help you stick to an eating schedule and learn how to recognize when you’re hungry and when you’re full.
Keeping a journal about the appetite changes you experience is helpful, too.
Work with a Mental Health Professional
If you’re experiencing mood swings or other emotional changes, don’t be afraid to reach out to a psychologist or counselor.
They can help you work through your feelings and figure out what’s at the root of them. This, in turn, will allow you to enjoy your weight loss and appreciate how far you’ve come.
Now that you have a sharper sense of taste, work on savoring every bite of food you take.
The more you appreciate the flavors and textures of your food, the more satisfaction you’ll get from your meals. You’ll also be less likely to overeat when you learn to stay present while you eat and enjoy your food on a deeper level.
Carry a Sweater
Feeling cold after weight loss is common, especially when you’ve lost weight quickly using the Orbera gastric balloon or another technique.
To avoid shivering all day long when you’re at work or out and about, keep a sweater handy so you can keep the goosebumps at bay.
Learn More About Medical Weight Loss Today
The purpose of this article is definitely not to deter you from looking to lose weight. Losing weight is one of the first steps many people need to take in order to improve their health and minimize their disease risk.
It’s important to understand the entire scope of what happens when you lose weight, though. That way, you can be prepared and having a plan for coping with body changes during weight loss.
Keep this information in mind so you can stay motivated during your journey.
Are you ready to lose weight and keep it off? If so, we’re here to help at Next Level Weight Loss. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.