Metabolics

Understanding Metabolics

While you may feel alone in the daily obstacles you face, 79 million Americans face similar challenges while living with the disease of obesity. (1)

Your reason for exploring a weight loss option is uniquely personal. Your concern over a weight-related health condition may have grown. Like others, you might long to play with your kids or to simply have more energy to enjoy the things you love. Overall, you just want to be healthy, look good, feel good, and be active once more.

Obesity can be defined as living with excessive weight to the extent that it begins to impair your health. Some common medical conditions associated with obesity (also known as co-morbidities) include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, gallstones, and certain cancers. (2)

There are many factors that influence your weight:
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The disease of obesity is complex which may explain why it is challenging to lose the weight and keep it off.

Metabolic Health

Understanding how your body regulates weight is key to understanding which weight loss option might work for you.

Your body regulates weight through a complex, whole-body process. Numerous communications between the various systems occur through hormonal and brain signaling. Directing the overall process, the brain reacts to incoming messages and signals new instructions to your body in order to maintain what it feels is a healthy weight. (3)

Obesity is Not a Choice

While our natural human propensity is to consume and store fat for self-preservation reasons, the modern environment has negatively affected our weight regulation process. Some of these modern influences are: food nutrients, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, distress, and weight-promoting medications.

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While not fully understood, the accumulation of fat levels causes a metabolic imbalance of hormonal and brain signals to occur, resulting in metabolic dysfunction of this regulation system.

The brain acts as the “quarterback” of the complex weight regulation process while hormonal & brain signals act as the “messengers” between the systems — all working in concert to orchestrate the maintenance of weight levels.

Weight Loss and Regain Cycle

Always in self-preservation mode, the body treats dieting and subsequent fat loss as a threat. Different systems trigger a cascade of signals which act as the body’s defense mechanism to regain the fat. This flood of signals increases feelings of hunger and cravings, and decreases the sense of fullness, causing you to put the weight back on. (4)

The body is unrelenting in this preservation mechanism. Dr. David Katz, the founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said, “Throughout most of human history, calories were scarce and hard to get, so we have numerous natural defenses against starvation. We have no defenses against overeating because we never needed them before.”

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Why Diet and Exercise May Not be Enough

Because your body works to defend its weight, dieting and exercising are rarely effective in helping people with obesity achieve and maintain a healthy weight long-term. When you go on a diet, your body thinks it’s being starved and its survival instincts kick in.

Compared to patients who had bariatric surgery, those who pursued diet & lifestyle changes were only able to maintain 1% weight loss at the 20-year mark. (5)

Begin Your Journey Today

We can help break the cycle of obesity. Contact us today to begin your weight loss journey!

References

  1. Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012.JAMA. 2014;311(8):806-814.doi:10.1001/jama.2014.732.
  2. NHLBI, Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation andTreatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Published October 2000. Accessed May 17, 2015.
  3. Kaplan L,Seeley R. Metabolic Applied Research Strategy Compendium. Bariatric Times, September 2012.
  4. Sumithran P,Prendergast LA, Delbridge, E, et al.Long-term persistence of hormonal adaptations to weight loss. N Eng J Med, 2011;365:1597-1604.
  5. Sjostrom L. Review of the key results from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) trial. J Intern Med. 2013 Mar;273(3):219-34. doi: 10.1111/joim.12012. Accessed May 17, 2015.