While we know a lot about the human body, there are still some things that surprise us, especially when it comes to weight loss. There are a lot of different things that factor into how much body fat a person has and how they can go about losing it. Did you know that fat is important for our bodies to function due to the hormones it produces? While most people think body fat is a bad thing, having too little of it isn’t good for someone’s health either. Below are some surprising facts regarding fat loss that you might not have known before.
Sleeping More Helps
When it comes to wanting to lose weight, you need to be getting a good night’s rest. There have been studies done in the past to show that people will lose more weight while sleeping than sitting in front of the television. The reason for this is that the brain uses 20% of the body’s energy just to work and REM sleep gets the brain working harder, hence burning more calories. Then there is the fact that people who wake up earlier will feel hungrier, which gives you more reason to sleep in. When people get less than six hours of sleep, the supply of leptin, which makes people feel full, is decreased.
It Increases Appetite
You already know that a lowered supply of leptin in the brain makes people hungry, but did you know that fat produces leptin as well? When people lose fat, there is less leptin in their body which makes them feel hungry. Fat is vital to the body and this reaction is a survival instinct to get you to eat more and restore the fat that was lost. Of course, people don’t want this when they lose weight, but it is surprising to know.
Metabolism Is Lowered
Leptin allows the muscles in the body to function optimally, so when there is less in the body, the muscles become more efficient. This reduces a person’s metabolism by 10% when they are resting and 25% when they are exercising, meaning that people will lose weight slower. When this effect is combined with the feeling of being hungrier, it isn’t surprising that people end up gaining weight back easily. However, exercise can help to increase and support the metabolism, so this doesn’t happen.
Fat Doesn’t Need Food to be Created
Some people think that fat on the body can only be there because of the food eaten but that isn’t the case. Stem cells are multipotent and can increase tissues in the body, depending on what it needs. These stem cells can be used to replace bone, muscle or cartilage as it wears out, helping the person to feel normal again. The same can happen to fat when it is lost, and the body is in need of more. The stem cells will turn into fat cells instead of bone or muscle, which isn’t what you want when losing weight.
Genes and Hormones Affect It
Most people think that eating too much and not moving enough causes people to gain weight, but there are other reasons why people might carry more fat. Hormones can control how much someone weighs and when people get older, the fat-burning hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone decrease. Even if someone is eating and doing the same as they used to, they will start to gain weight. Then there is the fact that a person’s genes play a role in how much body fat someone has. Women are likely to store fat two to three times more than men are and will struggle to lose it. Scientists have also discovered that certain people have genes that make them more likely to be obese.
However, just because our bodies might want us to hold onto fat, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something to combat it. Working out regularly and eating healthy can do wonders for your health and the amount of fat you carry.