What happens to the body when you lose weight

Even the most correct diet can have undesirable consequences. We asked a nutritionist to tell us about the most common “side effects” of weight loss and give advice on how to avoid them.

Что происходит с телом, когда вы худеете


Flabby skin

Perhaps this is one of the most unpleasant consequences of dieting, which eliminates all the aesthetic consequences of weight loss. Of course, we are not talking about losing two or even three kilograms — in this case, stretch marks are waiting for you at most, the appearance of which can be prevented today with various oils and creams, and if they do appear, then a cosmetologist will help get rid of stretch marks. When it comes to changing the size of XXXL to the smallest S, you should be very careful. With rapid weight loss, the skin will not have time to react to the new dimensions and shrink enough so as not to cause discomfort. The only possible way to get rid of flabby skin is a surgeon’s scalpel. Smokers and older people will be particularly susceptible to this problem.

Что происходит с телом, когда вы худеете

Nutritionist’s comment: The first rule that helps to maintain a good skin condition during weight loss is a gradual “reset” of weight, in this case it will be easier for the skin to adapt and shrink. The optimal weight loss is 4 kg per month. In the case when it comes to a large body weight, then in the first month you can lose weight by more kilograms — up to 6-7. However, during this period, mostly water will go away, and not adipose tissue. In the future, you should stick to a smoother rate of weight loss.

In the process of losing weight, it is useful to do procedures that activate the contractile abilities of the skin. They are selected individually, based on the age and condition of the skin. Most often, doctors recommend lifting (radio wave or infrared) and laser hardware procedures. All of the above is done in courses for 2-3 months. It is effective for the prevention of sagging skin during weight loss and massage. It can be recommended in combination with hardware techniques — this approach gives a very good result. Massage enhances drainage, accelerates the excretion of fatty acids, which are formed after the breakdown of more complex fats, stimulate the flow of arterial blood to subcutaneous fat, superficial muscles and, in fact, to the skin.  

Что происходит с телом, когда вы худеете

Another problem that can be encountered when losing weight is the formation of striae on the skin. Whether you encounter this problem or not depends, first of all, on genetics, but the appearance of stretch marks can also determine the condition of the skin. Elastic, well-hydrated skin resists stretching more effectively, which means it is less prone to stretch marks. For the prevention of striae, all procedures that improve blood circulation in the skin are useful — peels, massage with a hard washcloth, contrast shower.

For the formation of new skin cells, the body needs structural elements, primarily proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids (their best source is fish and/or lean poultry meat). Therefore, to maintain skin tone during a diet, you need to adhere to the basic rules of rational nutrition!


Что происходит с телом, когда вы худеете

The most common ailment accompanying diets. And it’s not about the amount of carbohydrates consumed, which, as we know, are responsible for our mood, but ultimately. According to a study conducted by British scientists and published in the journal PLOS One, people who have been dieting for four or more years are more prone to depression than those who lose weight in cycles. During this time, people begin to perceive the diet as an end in itself and, reaching the final result, do not understand where to aim further. 

Nutritionist’s comment: It is important to take into account that the process of weight loss is associated not only with the observance of a certain diet, i.e. dietary restrictions, but also with the correction of eating behavior in general. If, for example, food has been one of the few sources of pleasure for a person for a long time, then, of course, having lost it, his mood will be depressed for some time. In this case, psychotherapeutic methods of influence should also be connected to weight loss: auto-training, meditative and breathing techniques, visualization. It is also necessary to expand your circle of pleasures, which includes pleasures for the body (SPA-skin care, massage, saunas, pleasant tactile sensations, physical activity), the soul (self-development, going to theaters and exhibitions, reading books, etc.) and hands (any kind of applied creativity). 

The second aspect that depression is often associated with during weight loss is the lack of micro- and macronutrients. In particular, those responsible for the synthesis of hormones (serotonin and dopamine), as well as substances necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system (these are Omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins, for example, vitamin D and group B, as well as trace elements — magnesium, selenium, chromium). That is why, with weight loss after the examination, complex medications are prescribed to prevent mood decline and the development of depression.

Muscle Loss

Что происходит с телом, когда вы худеете

This is especially true for those who like to lose weight quickly, in a matter of days, switching to strict restrictions. Remember, such weight loss usually does not lead to a long-term result, and the dropped kilograms are more than gained in the first days after returning to the usual diet. In addition, those who urgently “lose weight with muscles” will expect flabby skin, pronounced cellulite and a slow metabolism, which will hinder the achievement of results. Every kilogram of muscle lost slows down the metabolic process by 10%. This means that food will be absorbed worse in the body and accumulate in the form of fat.

Nutritionist’s comment: In order to preserve muscle tissue while losing weight, it is important to adhere to a rational diet in which the content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is balanced, as well as to abandon strict restrictions on diets with low calorie content (about 1000 kcal per day). Reduce the total daily energy consumption by no more than 500 kcal, so you can lose weight by an average of 3-4 kg per month. The balance of protein-fat-carbohydrates in its ratio, even if you lose weight, remains the same (only the caloric content of the diet is reduced!): proteins — 20-30% depending on age (they give satiety and are the building material for all cells of our body, enzymes and hormones), fats — 20-30% (2 3 — from fish and vegetable food, 1 3 — dairy products, meat and poultry), carbohydrates – 40-60% (no more than 15% of them are simple carbohydrates, the rest are complex, mainly fiber). Sugar, refined flour, and trans fats should be completely excluded from the diet. 

Weakened immunity

Что происходит с телом, когда вы худеете

Frequent colds, chronic fatigue, rapid fatigue, headaches, cycle failure, problems with the adrenal glands are just some of the problems that people who lose weight may face. According to a study by the Cancer Center in Seattle, those who have lost weight significantly and recovered more than five times in their lives have twice as weak immunity as those who constantly keep their weight under control.

Nutritionist’s comment: There can be many reasons for a decrease in immunity during weight loss. This is an unbalanced diet (the body may simply lack the building material for the synthesis of immune system cells), and a lack of vitamins and trace elements (many of them are involved in the formation of immunoglobulins and antibodies), and the presence in the diet of foods that cause food intolerance in humans (in this case, the immune system is “distracted” by food components, and its resources are no longer enough to fight pathogens). Another reason for weakened immunity is a violation of the intestinal microflora. An imbalance in the composition of the microbiota can, among other things, be one of the reasons for the appearance of extra pounds and make it difficult to lose weight. Having found out the cause and corrected it, it is possible to establish the normal functioning of the immune system. 


Psychotherapist, Ph.D., author of a patented technique for correcting eating behavior and weight loss (website), member of the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM, USA).

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