Things you might not know about weight loss

If you have been struggling with your weight for years you probably think you know everything there is to know about weight loss. Here are somethings you may not know about weight loss.

  • Weight loss is still calories in and calories out. Yes, that’s a simplification, but after all the other factors and considerations about nutrition and thermogenetics are acknowledged, calories still matter. Too many and you’ll gain weight and too few will result in weight loss.

  • The source of your calories matter if you’re going to be satisfied eating fewer. Your body needs a combination of macronutrients and micronutrients to be healthy and fit and for you to feel your best. When you’re limiting the calories you’re eating to maintain a slight calorie deficit, the source of your calories matter. If you maintain a balanced diet that provides the nutrients your body requires you’re more likely to feel satisfied. Satisfaction is essential when it comes to sticking to a reduced calorie diet.


  • There is more triggering your urge to eat than just homeostatic hunger . Hunger is triggered by many things including a drop in blood sugar levels, ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and the sight, smell or even thinking about highly palatable food. If you are constantly sleep deprived you may upset your ghrelin balance which making you feel abnormally hungry. In addition to too much ghrelin, not enough sleep can also make you leptin resistant. Leptin is the fullness/stop eating hormone.


  • You can experience true hunger with all the of associated sensations (i.e. mouth watering, stomach growling or feeling empty) even though it’s less than an hour since your last full meal. It’s called hedonic hunger.

  • Stress eating is more than just a bad habit. Stress causes your body to release adrenaline. Adrenaline makes you want to take action to protect yourself. Adrenaline draws on reserved strength and has been responsible for people to display inhuman strength such as lifting a car to save a loved one. The body releases cortisol after adrenaline to help it recover from the stress. High levels of cortisol affect hunger and your body’s response to insulin. It’s also believed to trigger your appetite for highly palatable foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt. Stress eating can be both a emotional and physical trigger for eating. To successfully manage stress eating you will need to find ways to relieve stress.


  • You make at least 200 decisions about eating every day. You probably think, “not me,” but chances are you do. Many of the food decisions are mindless. Sometimes we mindlessly decide to eat, what to eat, when to eat, and when to stop.  Other times we’re aware of decisions we’re making in regards to eating. The reality is we are surrounded by food, images of food and thoughts of food every day, all day which is why we make so many decisions.

  • When you lose weight up to 1/3 of the lost pounds may be lean muscle rather than body fat. Your body uses fat as a source of energy when you cut back on calories. That is the simple explanation of how weight is lost. If the calorie deficit is too great, however, your body will also cannibalize its muscle mass. Following a very low calorie diet causes a greater amount of the lost weight to come from muscle. It’s possible to maintain or even build muscle while losing weight by doing specific exercises to build muscle.
Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.