Each day, we learn more about how to lose belly fat efficiently through research and while many people believe in the positive effects of diets such as the keto diet and intermittent fasting, evidence suggest that in the long run, people will put the weight back on that they lost initially.
When we try to lose weight, we work against our bodies, which likes to hang on to fat reserves as it expects bad times to come. "Human preferences for energy-dense sweet and high-fat foods may have evolved for reasons of survival", as this 2010 paper on Human Perceptions and Preferences for Fat-Rich Foods suggest. Our bodies are happy to reserve some fat because it knows that at some point, it will have to use it to keep us alive. So in theory, more fat reserves equals to an increased chance of survival.
(Image credit: Getty Images)
One of the issues is that we live in a world where energy-dense food is abundant so there is no need for us to store fat. We can buy avocados and watermelons all year around and we also have access to a variety of supplements. As well as that, we also created an environment around us that preserves energy: we live in warm houses, move less and so on.
The Health Survey for England 2017estimates that "28.7% of adults in England are obese and a further 35.6% are overweight but not obese".Despite all this, a good chunk of the population is still not obese. If we would crave all the food in the world all the time, surely everyone would become fat in no time? There must be other forces at play than just sheer will that regulates how much we weight.
One theory is that your body has a 'set point' or 'settling point': a bodyweight it likes to keep and return to most of the time. According to a research paper titled Set points, settling points and some alternative models: theoretical options to understand how genes and environments combine to regulate body adiposity, published in 2011, "the set point model...suggests that there is an active feedback mechanism linking adipose tissue (stored energy) to intake and expenditure via a set point, presumably encoded in the brain" while "the settling point model is based on the idea that there is passive feedback between the size of the body stores and aspects of expenditure."
Fitbit Versa 3 Fitness Smartwatch | Buy it for 199.99 directly from FitbitThe Fitbit Versa 3 blurs the line between fitness trackers and full-blown smartwatches. It has built-in GPS, over 20 pre-loaded sport modes, offline music capability, tracks heart rate 24/7 and more. Thanks to Active Zone Minutes, the Versa 3 can keep track of your physical activities, even if you don't log the exercise sessions. Not to mention, the Versa 3 costs the same as the Versa 2.View Deal
Today's best Fitbit Versa 3 deals
Fitbit Versa 3 - black...
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Both theories suggests that our bodies have a preferred weight it likes to keep whether we like it or not. This would explain why we pile the weight back on once we are finished with the latest 4-week diet-fad. The theory also implies that once we stopped forcing our bodies to do something it really doesn't like doing (i.e. getting rid of fat storages), it will return to point it thinks will serve your survival the best.
Bad news is, this system can not only be flawed but also abused by people. For example, our bodies can suffer from leptin-resistance, leptin being a hormone often referred to as the 'starvation hormone'. A study called Leptin resistance: underlying mechanisms and diagnosis suggests that "a decrease in tissue sensitivity to leptin leads to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia".
Bad diet can also influence these theoretical set points, especially strict calorie restrictive diets. When we force our bodies to lose weight through starvation, it tends to reduce our energy expenditures as a response. After we return to our usual diet, the body will happily restock the fat it lost and does it even quicker since it already reduced its energy expenditure by lowering resting basal metabolic (BMR) rate, as explained in this research paper titled Reduced Metabolic Rate after Caloric RestrictionCan We Agree on How to Normalize the Data?
(Image credit: The Protein Works)
This could also explain why people put on more weight when they return to the normal food intake levels after low calorie diets. Since the body lowers its BMR, eating the same amount of food you used to eat will result in an even greater calorie surplus and therefore quicker fat reserve replenishment.
An article called Does Metabolism Matter in Weight Loss? and published by the Harvard Medical School mentions that "our bodies are also programmed to sense a lack of food as starvation. In response, our BMR slows down, which means fewer calories burned over time. That's one reason why losing weight is often difficult."
The more often and longer you go on extreme calorie restricted diets, the more likely you will damage your metabolic-system and sustain the 'losing weight-putting more back on cycle'.
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Is it pointless to diet? Of course not. Normal BMI is associated with better health prospects in general, so it is worth losing some weight if at all possible. But how?
One solution might be to keep a somewhat calorie restricted diet all the while boosting metabolic rates. Metabolism can be boosted just by walking a bit more and including certain food items in your diet.
This might be more challenging to some than others leptin-resistance can be at play in some cases but in non-extreme cases, it is more than achievable to drop some weight through the combination of moderate exercising and a balanced diet. Resistance training is also said to help keeping the weight off, as noted in a paper aptly titled Resistance Training Conserves Fatfree Mass and Resting Energy Expenditure Following Weight Loss.
An important thing to keep in mind is time, as in letting your body adjust to changes. Your body is extremely adaptable but also slightly pessimistic, so it can change quickly in response to negative stimuli such as a lack of food, but reacts slower to positive ones as it expects that lack of food to happen again in future...
A gentle decrease in calorie intake and moderate increase in exercise levels can help put the body on a more sustainable and healthy bodyweight trajectory in the long run.
Today's best Gym & Fitness deals
Fitbit Aria Air Bluetooth...
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike...
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic...
XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding...
Bowflex SelectTech 1090...
The Fat-Loss Plan: 100 Quick...
Knog Plus Front Light -...
Grenade Carb Killa Protein...
- Weight loss expert's 'simplest and most effective' way to burn fat with high protein plan - Express - November 28th, 2020
- Shawn Mendes lost sleep to work out and thought he'd lose fans if not - Insider - INSIDER - November 28th, 2020
- Don't Just Sit There: A Little Exercise Makes Up for a Full Day of Sitting - Everyday Health - November 28th, 2020
- Tara Sharma pens note on why physical activity is needed now more than ever before - The Indian Express - November 28th, 2020
- Diabetes as a condition can not entirely be reversed, it only enters Remission Mode, says Expert at ASSOCHAM's 'Illness To Wellness' Series -... - November 28th, 2020
- Lifestyle tips to help keep your body and mind healthy during the pandemic - Yahoo! Voices - November 28th, 2020
- HEART OF WELLNESS Immune-strong movement and nutrition - Barnstable Patriot - November 28th, 2020
- What is brown fat? Know how it can protect you from diabetes, obesity - Times Now - November 28th, 2020
- The Recovery Room: News beyond the pandemic November 27 - Medical News Today - November 28th, 2020
- Prostate cancer: Survivors talk radiation, loose bowels and battling a disease more common than you think - CNA - November 28th, 2020
- The Effects of Doing Body-Weight Exercises Every Day - LIVESTRONG.COM - November 28th, 2020
- Watch What Happened When This Guy Ate and Trained Like Eddie Hall - menshealth.com - November 25th, 2020
- Diet to exercise: FSSAI suggests these post-festival tips to resume a healthy routine - The Indian Express - November 25th, 2020
- Diabetes: Facts you should know in the era of COVID-19 - Q City Metro - Qcity metro - November 25th, 2020
- What Is the Endomorph Diet? What Can You Eat on the Endomorph Diet? - GoodHousekeeping.com - November 25th, 2020
- Swollen Stomach and Weight Gain: Causes of Abdominal Bloating - Healthline - November 25th, 2020
- What are some of the best diets for men? - Medical News Today - November 25th, 2020
- Here are a few tips to keep yourself healthy amidst winters - Times of India - November 25th, 2020
- Type 2 diabetes: One of the best diets to help with insulin resistance and obesity - Express - November 25th, 2020
- Market America | SHOP.COM Shares Five Ways To Help You Avoid Excess Sugar While Still Enjoying The Holidays - PR Web - November 25th, 2020
- Justin Herbert Who Lives on Subway Sandwiches - GQ Magazine - November 25th, 2020
- Henry Cavill full body workout: Get as strong as Superman and The Witcher - T3 - November 25th, 2020
- Do Chemicals Cause Breast Cancer? Its Unknown, but Two Researchers Say That the Government Should Do More to Protect Women - SurvivorNet - November 25th, 2020
- Weight Loss: Lose Belly Fat With This Quick Lower Abs Workout That Can Be Done In Just 20 Minutes - NDTV - November 25th, 2020
- Obesity and pets - Illinois Times - November 25th, 2020
- Weight loss: Two things that helped Nita Ambani lose 18 kilos - Times of India - November 25th, 2020
- Dieting downfalls and the promise of a non-diet approach - Daily Cardinal - November 25th, 2020
- Working out in a polluted city? Here are some exercises you must avoid doing as air pollution rises - Times Now - November 25th, 2020
- How to lose belly fat: get in shape before it all goes wrong again during the holidays - T3 - November 25th, 2020
- Exercise nutrition: whether you should eat before or after a workout depends on your fitness goals - The Conversation UK - November 16th, 2020
- Strict diets can deprive us of our happiness and health - The Aggie - November 16th, 2020
- Polo G on His New Album 'The Goat,' Workout Routine, and Complicated Diet - menshealth.com - November 16th, 2020
- Henry Cavill Witcher workout: a full body workout in just 5 moves plus a diet based on lots of protein - T3 - November 16th, 2020
- Lockdown: Survey finds that many in SA gained weight, despite trying to lose a few kilos - Health24 - November 16th, 2020
- Fitness: Outdoor exercise is the new normal even for winter - Montreal Gazette - November 16th, 2020
- The importance of knowing your family health history - PhillyVoice.com - November 16th, 2020
- How Diabetes can affect your eyes and what you can do to avoid those complications - wmar2news.com - November 16th, 2020
- Mary Trump says terrible diet and lack of exercise will prevent Donald Trump from running in 2024 - Queerty - November 16th, 2020
- Dr Norman Lazarus has a simple and direct message when it comes to living longer, healthier lives - The Canberra Times - November 16th, 2020
- Over-the-counter diet pills: Do they really help you lose weight or harm your health? - TheHealthSite - November 16th, 2020
- The hard truth about losing weight why speeding up your metabolism for weight loss is a myth - Business Insider Australia - November 16th, 2020
- World Diabetes Day: Steps to improve metabolism for the prevention of diabetes - TheHealthSite - November 16th, 2020
- Here's how to maintain blood sugar levels, starting from your gut - TheHealthSite - November 16th, 2020
- Breaking up with diet culture: A dietitian on how to ditch the toxicity - Women's Agenda - November 16th, 2020
- Confined indoors? Heres how to boost your immunity |India Today Insight - India Today - November 16th, 2020
- Home and Away's Ethan Browne: 'My health and workout secrets' - New Idea - November 16th, 2020
- Questions and Answers About Your Immune System and Winter - Healthline - November 16th, 2020
- Causes of Heartburn During Exercise and What to Do About It - LIVESTRONG.COM - November 16th, 2020
- How to Lose Inner Thigh Fat: Causes and Toning Exercises - Greatist - November 3rd, 2020
- Learning to Actively Pursue the Light at the End of the Tunnel - Charcot-Marie-Tooth News - November 3rd, 2020
- Healthy diet, exercises are pivotal in preventing cardiovascular diseases WHO - - The Eagle Online - November 3rd, 2020
- A deep dive into diabetes in Arkansas | Wear the Gown - THV11.com KTHV - November 3rd, 2020
- 'My Diet Was All Over The Place Until I Started Counting Macros With The Strong Daily App' - Yahoo Lifestyle - November 3rd, 2020
- Polarity Balancing: Benefits, Exercises, How to Find a Practitioner - Healthline - November 3rd, 2020
- Kareena's advice to women who conceived during the pandemic - Daijiworld.com - November 3rd, 2020
- This Guy Ate And Trained Like Conor McGregor And The Cardio Session Alone Looks Like Absolute Murder - BroBible - November 3rd, 2020
- 5 things to know about Vitamin D - StarNewsOnline.com - November 3rd, 2020
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment and Beyond - SurvivorNet - November 3rd, 2020
- What Is Preventive Cardiology? What Doctors Want You To Know About the Emerging Field in Heart Health - Well+Good - November 3rd, 2020
- Weight loss: This guy changed his diet every 10 days and lost 50 kilos! Here's what he ate - Times of India - November 3rd, 2020
- How to exercise to lose weight and build muscle at the same time - Daily Express - November 3rd, 2020
- Kate Middleton's green juice with blueberries and matcha is key to flat stomach diet - Express - November 3rd, 2020
- Henry Cavill Workout: How to Do It, Cautions, and More - Healthline - November 3rd, 2020
- 6 scientifically-proven techniques students can use to relieve stress this school year - Insider - INSIDER - November 3rd, 2020
- Video of Husband Exposing Cheating Wife is Going Viral: Trending Topics, Viral Videos & Funny Memes of The - LatestLY - November 3rd, 2020
- Do you have a sitting job? Here are 7 quick desk exercises to prevent neck and back pain - Times Now - November 3rd, 2020
- Metabolic Renewal Review: Pros, Cons, and Effectiveness - Healthline - October 28th, 2020
- I got a whole new mindset: the health secrets of people who got much fitter in lockdown - The Guardian - October 28th, 2020
- Simple Tips And Tricks To Make Your Diet Healthier: You Must Try These! - NDTV - October 28th, 2020
- How do you calculate your calorie intake? Know some tips, recipes on how to lose weight with exercise and diet - Times Now - October 28th, 2020
- Here's What We Know About the Diet Fuelling Rebel Wilsons Fitness & Weight Loss Journey - POPSUGAR Health and Fitness Australia - October 28th, 2020
- If Your Heart Health Is at Risk, Your Partner Should Get Checked Too. Here's Why - ScienceAlert - October 28th, 2020
- Eat to beat diabetes: Delicious ways to reverse and transform your health explains Gurmeet Arora - PINKVILLA - October 28th, 2020
- Noom diet: The virtual weight loss program taking the world by storm explained - 9Coach - October 28th, 2020
- Link between early menopause and osteoporosis - The New Indian Express - October 28th, 2020
- Adele and Pippa Middleton Both Swear By the 'Sirtfood Diet' -- Here's Why Its Founder Says It Works - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - October 28th, 2020
- Can a Plant-Based Diet Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer? - LIVEKINDLY - October 28th, 2020
- OPINION | Chronic diseases, immunity and nutrition. Nutrition is important now more than ever! - Health24 - October 28th, 2020
- Eat well, be well - NZ Register of Exercise Professionals - Voxy - October 28th, 2020
- Heart palpitations and headache: Causes and treatment - Medical News Today - October 28th, 2020