Monday, June 19, 2017

Weight Loss 101 - The Stall and Whoosh Effect

Third in the "Weight Loss 101" Series, I will be talking about adipose (not the cute little guys from Doctor Who, but the real life adipose). I will explain to you the Stall and Whoosh Effect, and why you may not be losing weight.. or at least *think* you aren't losing weight. This information could save your whole diet!

You’ve been sticking to your diet to the letter. You’ve been working out, counting calories, and have created a deficit. You step on the scale and nothing; the needle hasn’t budged. Another week passes. You’re weighing and logging everything you put in your mouth. You up the intensity of your workout. You just *know* this week you’re down a pound at least. Weigh in day comes, and still nothing. Not one ounce is gone. This is a frustrating thing that happens to all dieters. It is what causes so many to give up and go back to eating like they used to. You begin to rationalize, “I’m older now and my metabolism is too slow to lose weight”. “It must be my thyroid”. “My body just can’t slim down”. Before giving in and downing half of a Supreme thick crust pizza, let me tell you about something called “stall and whoosh”.

Adipose cells, also known as fat cells, are responsible for storing unused energy. This energy is stored inside the adipose in the form of triglycerides, or what we call fat. Fat isn’t a bad thing. Fat cushions our body, gives us shape, keeps us warm, and keeps our body running when we aren’t eating. We all need fat in order to live, and our body is programmed to keep those fat stores “just in case”.

When we diet or exercise, and there is no fuel in the blood stream to feed our other cells, such as the brain, liver, and lungs, the adipose cells release triglycerides into the blood stream. Those droplets of fat are used by the other cells in order to function, and when the triglycerides are converted, we eliminate whatever isn’t used as fuel by exhaling and through urination. This is what we refer to as “burning fat”.

Adipose cells deflate when they are emptied of fat, but they are also programmed to attempt to keep their size and shape for the next anticipated deposit. The way they keep their size is that they absorb water and hold that in place of the fat that they just released. When the adipose are satisfied that they no longer need to hold space open for fat stores, the water is absorbed back into the body and is then eliminated.

What is going on with a stall and whoosh is that you have burned the fat by diet and/or exercise. The water that the adipose is storing replaces that fat, making it look as if you haven’t lost weight, but you have. When the water is finally eliminated, there is a “whoosh” and you wake up the next morning weighing 3-6 lbs less than you did the day before.

There are a couple of signs that you can look for which are clues you are in a stall and whoosh cycle. Check your measurements. If you are losing inches but not weight, it’s a good indicator. Water weighs more than fat, so the inches could be gone, yet you would weigh the same thing (or even more). Another indicator is that your fat feels “squishy” or “loose”. Fat has a different texture than water and moves differently. If your belly or thighs (or wherever you store the most fat) feels extremely squishy or jiggly compared to normal, it is likely water that is being stored.

There are a few theories on how to trigger a “whoosh”. One theory is to up your sodium content temporarily. Sodium absorbs water and would allow the body to flush out the extra water. Alcohol is another theory. As a diuretic, drinking hard alcohol and staying within your daily calorie allowance could help flush out the water. Some say that carb loading for a day is a good way to get the adipose to release the water. I have tried all three of these with varied results.

The one thing that I know works every time is to stay the course, don’t eat the half of a Supreme pizza, and just allow the adipose to do their thing. If you are continually creating a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. Don’t let water retention prevent you from reaching your goals. Understand it, accept it, and wait it out. You can do this.

Friday, June 16, 2017

40 Things That Happen When You Lose Weight

I’ve been on my weight loss journey since September. It is now June. It hasn’t been particularly hard, and it really hasn’t taken that long considering the amount of weight I had to lose. I’ve lost nearly 80 lbs so far. So many things have changed in my life within the past nine months. Some things are great. Some things aren’t so good. There are pros and cons to everything that we do. I think my pros have outweighed my cons by a lot. If you’re toying with the idea of starting a diet and exercise program, read this list. It may give you the motivation you need.

Here is a list of 40 things that happen when you lose weight.

1. You look homeless until you can buy new clothes because none of your clothes fit right.

2. You have several people ask you if you are losing weight and how you are doing it.

3. People tell you how great you look.

4. Some will try to sabotage your weight loss progress by tempting you with food.

5. All of a sudden everyone becomes concerned with you “starving yourself”, even if you’re still 50 lbs. overweight.

6. You start looking at yourself in the mirror more often.

7. You can actually fit into an airplane seat.

8. Your legs can actually cross.

9. Your thighs stop rubbing together when you walk.

10. Your rings no longer fit and you have to get them resized.

11. You discover bones that you never knew you had and mistake them for knots.

12. Sitting becomes uncomfortable because you feel the bones in your bum digging into the chair.

13. Finding a sleeping position becomes a task because your hip bones are digging into the mattress.

14. Walking becomes easier.

15. People around you start making healthier decisions for themselves.

16. You can fit on a stool without your butt fat hanging off.

17. You have more energy.

18. You sleep better.

19. You feel a sense of pride in your accomplishments.

20. People will flirt with you more. A LOT more.

21. Your friends start calling you by new nicknames, like “skinny mini” or “Incredible Shrinking Woman”.

22. You want to go out more often.

23. When you catch your reflection in a store window, you don’t immediately realize it’s you.

24. The meat manager at the local grocery store who you have seen weekly for the last 10 years all of a sudden speaks to you for the first time, asking how you are and how your day went.

25. Family and friends will brag on you behind your back.

26. Some people will criticize you.

27. Your husband (or wife) may start to become jealous.

28. Someone you haven’t seen in a while may not recognize you.

29. Your boobs and butt will shrink before your tummy trims down.

30. You feel cold all the time.

31. You look at the clothes on a rack in your new size and think, “That’s too small for me”.

32. People will like you more. Not because you look better, but because you don’t hate yourself any longer.

33. The people you used to envy now look fat to you.

34. You start *wanting* to have your picture taken.

35. You wish you had more pictures of yourself when you were fat.

36. People take you more seriously.

37. You can sit in the floor more comfortably.

38. Guys (or girls) will start checking you out.

39. You can now buy better looking and more fitted clothes in the stores instead of the “old people” clothes for plus sized people.

40. You wonder why the hell you didn’t start losing weight earlier.

If you've lost weight and have experienced different things than I've mentioned here, please comment below! I'd love to hear from you!