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Why Homeostasis Prevents Weight Loss

How to Lose Weight Despite Homeostasis

Working closely with a trainer can make you hyper aware of the food that you eat and where your body stores fat. When you closely monitor your weight and skin fold measurements, you might notice that your fat shifts to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the body's method of keeping internal stability no matter what external influence disturbs its normal functioning. Basically, your body wants to store fat "just in case" and will stubbornly shift it to another area of your body rather than release it as energy, even if you are working out and eating right. You might lose weight in your arms, back, and legs, but your belly will take on the weight. You can fight your body's tendency to move fat around rather than lose it with a few helpful tips.

  • Concentrate on Neglected Zones: Try to organize your exercise routines so that you are getting total body workouts. Try interval training so that you are pushing yourself out of homeostasis and thus burning more fat. If your skin fold measurements reveal that you have gained weight in a certain place, give more attention to that area. Do a few extra repetitions or go to group classes that target that zone to build up muscle in that area to tone it.
  • Gradual Diet Changes: There are a million fad diets out there trying to convince you of a quick, efficient, delicious, and pain-free method of losing weight. However, the truth is that every individual requires a personalized diet plan, which is largely based on trial and error. Rather than freak out your system by shifting to an extreme diet, gradually introduce healthy items to your diet. For example, start a morning ritual of drinking a green smoothie.
  • Carbs From Vegetables: My trainer told me to eat most of my carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables rather than grains. Try it yourself by filling your plate predominately with vegetables rather than loading up on bread, rice, or other grains. While research has been done showing that humans are programmed to crave sugar (aka simple carbohydrates), eating more veggies will help you feel less bloated, more regular, and energized.

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Join The Conversation
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 5 years
It is true that total body workouts are best. But you supplement them with targeted workouts to make sure your body doesn't just move the fat to a spot the total workout doesn't hit very well.
ticamorena ticamorena 5 years
it's true that you can't lose weight on specific areas, but you can develop tone and definition on specific muscles that will make a specific area of your body APPEAR leaner or less fatty. but it looks creepy though if you are in fact fat but say have a super muscular, well developed muscle group - it's best for your overall appearance to just start with full body toning/weight loss
Anna-Monette-Roberts Anna-Monette-Roberts 5 years
Hi ladies, Losing weight in a trouble zone is tough, complicated, and confusing. I think the reason you have heard conflicting opinions is because of homeostasis. If you target one area, you're body might simply shift the fat to another area on the body (thus you have to shift your exercises to another area). When working out, it's best to go for total body workouts like a bootcamp class or a yoga class, so you are working out all of your muscles and forcing your body out of homeostasis. However, you can supplement these total body workouts with a few additional reps that target a certain trouble zone. I hope this clarifies things. Good luck with your workouts!
amber512 amber512 5 years
I know! Way to confuse everyone...
deanna024 deanna024 5 years
How come in one post I see all these fitness sites say "you can't tone fat away from just one area," but in the next article, they post a routine or tips for your "fat trouble areas."
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