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Adaptive thermogenesis: why the body resists losing weight?
Getting rid of extra pounds is not easy, and maintaining the result is even more difficult. Indeed, many different processes affect the change in weight in the human body. One of them is adaptive thermogenesis. Researchers have shown that weight loss affects energy metabolism. Let's figure out why this happens and how the body reacts to losing weight.
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Effective energy expenditure
Thermogenesis is the ability to convert calories into heat. The phenomenon of adaptive thermogenesis is that due to a calorie deficit while losing weight, the body tries to maintain balance and reduces energy expenditure. And although energy costs naturally decrease, because weight falls, the body still turns on protective mechanisms. Calorie consumption falls disproportionately to the lost kilograms.
Experts have studied this phenomenon and came to unexpected conclusions. Even after a year after successful weight loss, the body remains in a mode of reduced energy consumption, which affects the effectiveness of training.
In 1995, a group of US scientists led by Rudolf Leibel conducted an experiment. It was attended by people who lost 10% or more of their starting weight.
The subjects were divided into groups - each consisted of three people with the same body weight and gender. At the same time, one of them maintained weight after losing weight for 5-8 weeks, the second - for more than a year, and the third participant had never lost weight before. The volunteers lived on the premises of the research center and ate a liquid diet that allows them to maintain a stable weight.
During the experiment, scientists monitored how much energy the subjects spent on various activities during the day, including how many calories they needed for digesting food, maintaining physical activity and vital functions.
It turned out that the daily energy expenditure of participants is different. The highest are in subjects who have never fought overweight. Below - for those who have lost weight. In total, the difference is 428-514 kcal per day.
The fact is that people involved in sports spend energy more efficiently and need fewer calories to maintain strength.
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Decreased activity outside the gym
Adaptive thermogenesis is also associated with a decrease in muscle metabolic rate, changes in hormonal levels and internal organ mass.
Energy costs are reduced even moreand because there is less physical activity in everyday life. Scientists are sure: when losing weight, a person unconsciously reduces extra-workout activity.
Basically the body spends energy on three main processes:
digestion of food - about 8%;
basal metabolism , that is, breathing, heartbeat, etc. - 50-75%;
physical activity - 17-32%.
The latter, in turn , is divided into training and informal - unconscious movements, shopping, moving around the house and other daily activities. Roland Weinser's research has shown that it is the reduction in informal activity that often leads to weight gain.
You can keep in shape by increasing the load in the gym or simply changing your habits. Stop using the elevator and instead take the stairs, take morning walks, get a team and play volleyball.
Protecting against extreme weight loss
In addition to Rudolf Leibel, other scientists have studied adaptive thermogenesis ... Some of them, in the course of experiments, did not find changes in energy exchange with weight loss.
James Amatruda, professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, conducted a similar study on calculating energy costs. The experiment involved 18 women. However, they were not under constant supervision, but led a normal life, which violates the purity of the experiment. In this case, it is impossible to accurately measure the consumption and expenditure of calories in the study participants.
Nevertheless, recent studies have proven that metabolic adaptation does exist. Today, a number of tests can be done to assess how energy costs will change with weight loss. On average, for those whose mass has decreased by 10% or more, the net difference is 100-150 kcal per day. This is how the exchange rate decreases. Therefore, it is unlikely that adaptive thermogenesis can cause weight regain if the level of physical activity is maintained. On the contrary, this defense mechanism does not allow you to rapidly lose weight, bringing the body to extreme conditions.
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Therefore, if the weight goes off slowly, do not be upset - this is how the body takes care of your health.