HOMEOSTASIS – IS IT PREVENTING YOU FROM LOSING WEIGHT.
Despite looking like another complicated biochemical principle, the truth is that nothing is simpler. The word speaks for itself, it means staying the same. Your internal system is very sensitive to change. In fact, the smallest fluctuations can be deadly. If it gets cold outside your body has to make absolutely certain that it doesn’t get cold inside. The chemical reactions of life occur at very precise temperatures above and below which the unique proteins called enzymes fail to work at optimum effectiveness. The result can be fatal.
So, if it’s cold outside, your body takes measures to correct for the change and keeps the temperature up. Your arteries and veins retract from the surface to prevent heat loss. Your hairs stand up to trap a blanket of air around the body as insulation. You begin rapid body movements called shivering which generates heat, this is homeostasis in action. Of course the principle does not only apply to temperature, but every process of life. If something tries to change the internal balance, the body takes corrective action to keep everything the same.
This driving force is all powerful. It is designed to keep you alive and well in a changing environment. If you try to fight it , you will ultimately lose one way or another. You have to go with the flow. Push yourself too far trying to lose fat or improve muscle tone and your body will wind up doing the very opposite of what you set out to achieve. You come to understand the mechanisms that regulate your body. Only then can you begin to manipulate them.
Training stimulates muscle and burns calories doesn’t it? Yet too much training and you feel run down.You lose your appetite for good food and start over eating on rubbish. This is homeostasis at work. Your body is telling you that you are overtraining. If youignore it you can push through .The problem is it gets worse. After a few more workouts you will suffer some kind of injury or simply get sick. One way or another you will break or be broken. A wise trainer works with the individuals body, spots the symptoms early and takes corrective action.
Homeostasis is just as relevant to dieting. Keep reducing your calories and all the motivation in the world won’t help, your body goes the opposite and starts storing calories very efficiently. Its homeostasis at work again.
You feel tired, less like training and soon your comfort eating. Some people counter with diet products or fat loss stimulants to give them that extra pep but eventually homeostasis will get you in the end and when you fall off the cliff, it will be dramatic to say the least.
A 38 year old girl trained at New You recently, She was basically aging rapidly. She was sagging and softening and her body composition was showing excessive visceral fat levels. She needed to lose a combined 42 lbs of visceral , subcutaneous body fat and gain about 3 pounds of lean muscle tissue to raise a very low BMR. She had been working out for the last 2 years and her weight was fluctuating up and down on various diets in combination with a very stressful career. Yet she was still over all gaining weight. Her body was running out of control.
She started out adhering to the programme laid out by her very experienced trainer. It included 3 one to one controlled 30 minute resistance sessions each week combined with three 20 minute walks early in the morning on an empty stomach on the opposite days. This was combined with a balanced diet based on her body composition. Her progression over the first three weeks was bang on schedule with fat reduction especially in the midsection. She was sleeping properly for the first time in years and her energy levels were fantastic.
On week 5 her body composition was taken by our nurse, not only had she stopped losing fat she was now gaining weight and losing muscle. Why? That prophetic angel which sits on all of our shoulders catabolic man persuaded her that she should be doing more exercise and eating less food.To make matters worse she was encouraged by her sister. Instead of her 3 controlled walks she went to the gym 3 nights a week in the advanced spinning class 50 minutes long , she started missing meals and her sleep pattern became disturbed again. Homeostasis got her.
Thankfully we got her back on track, she stopped the spinning classes and started eating regularly again and after 7 weeks she had lost 24 lbs of body fat, gained 2 lbs of muscle and dropped 6 inches from her waist.
Burning fat, staying lean and holding back the aging process is a 24/7 endeavour, we need to eat the right foods in the right amounts throughout the day so we can burn fat without losing muscle. We need to fuel our training and lifestyle and supply our bodies with the building blocks for tissue repair, thus improving our quality of sleep so the anabolic process can win most of the time.