5 surprising ways the body sabotages your weight loss

Your body will resist weight loss so you have to rely on yourself to maintain the lifestyle and behavioural changes to get results.

5 Ways the body fights against your weight loss

Weight management is a personal choice for a healthy life. The body, on the other hand, will fight against the necessary changes. Especially extreme weight loss. This is why 90 percent of people who lose weight gain it back according to Northwestern Medicine.

Sustainable weight management is possible through understanding how your body responds to weight loss. This will help you set realistic expectations on your weight loss journey.

Here's what you may not know about weight loss and the body


When you start managing your calorie intake, the body responds by slowing down your metabolism to compensate for the loss and maintain your current weight. This way, fat is stored for future energy because the body interprets your weight loss (calorie shortage) as a sign of distress.

Metabolic compensation isn't the only body response to encourage weight gain or prevent weight loss. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells to let your brain know when you are full. As the fat shrinks, they produce less leptin meaning you will not feel as full as you usually do.

Your stomach also produces ghrelin which alerts the brain that it's time to eat. As you lose weight, ghrelin levels rise to make you eat more frequently.


Weight loss also affects the part of the brain that regulates food restraint. This part becomes dormant which means that even though you eat more to feel full due to the other hormones, you don't register how much you're consuming.

Over 400 genes have been linked to weight gain. They impact metabolism, appetite, body-fat distribution, and cravings. It's not clear how much genes impact your weight gain, but some genes are associated with a higher difficulty to lose weight despite lifestyle changes. In this case, you can take a preventive approach against obesity rather than trying to lose weight.


Weight loss in the past through exercise and diet changes will make the body more resistant to future tries. The hormones and metabolism will adjust to make sure the damages the body suffered the first time, don't happen again. The results will be fewer with subsequent tries.

Other factors include:

A favourite weight number that your body sets

Weight loss may not look like other people's or what you expected.

Your emotional health is not tied to your weight. If you feel dissatisfied in other areas of your life, the weight may return.


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