Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 5: Your Internal Bathroom Scales

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Staying vertical is important for weight loss

In the 5th installment of this 10-part series, we will take a look at some sound advice on how to make building a healthier and leaner body fun by becoming a weekend warrior. Plus, how this may be relevant to losing weight due to your “internal bathroom scales.”

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If you have been following the advice given thus far in “Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide” steps 1-4, you will likely have already noticed some favorable changes in your body shape, your weight, and how you feel inside. If so—that’s great! If not—take heart, as it may take some longer than others, but it will happen for you.

That said, let’s take a look at why you should seriously consider becoming a weekend warrior--without having to enlist in the National Guard.

When you think about it, kids are natural weekend warriors. Remember those school day interrupting weekends that began with Friday night where you had the whole weekend ahead of you that seemed nearly-eternal until the dusk of Sunday evening and reality began to sink in with the dread of homework due and classes starting in the next 12 hours?

If you were like many kids -- before the internet and Gameboy -- the weekend was not wasted. It was spent running, jumping, climbing, swimming, reaching for that fly ball or sprinting down a concrete court. In other words, when your weekend was spent doing anything BUT homework you were following your body’s natural inclination to move. To unwind and expend pent-up emotional energy. To decompress with physical activity.

As adults, most of us no longer do that. Time is a precious commodity. Work is never-ending. And as a result, we forgot how to play. Which perhaps non-coincidently is when we also began to put on those pounds--ounce by ounce over the years.

Perhaps we can never regain the freedom of childhood, but with adulthood comes the freedom to make choices. And as such, if you find yourself just too busy to play like a child, even one day of a weekend, then your health will definitely be adversely affected and your body will tell you something is not right. It’s something to think about. What is your body telling you today?!

The good news is that there is a wide range of play activities geared for adults that will get you moving, build more muscle, and burn more calories, all while having fun—and it may only take up half of a weekend day. One particular example are adult obstacle courses for the weekend warrior who wants to put their body to the test.

Here is a YouTube video of one popular obstacle venue called “Tough Mudder” to give you a clear picture of what’s out there and how much fun it can be playing like a kid again:

Not sure what’s available in your area or if it’s right for you and your current physical condition? Just Google-search terms like “obstacle course races” and you will be guided to a plethora of fun physical activities that cater to all ages and fitness levels.

Research Supports Why Becoming a Weekend Warrior is Important for Weight Management

According to a recent news release from researchers at Gothenburg, Sweden, they have found evidence for the existence of an internal body weight sensing system that operates like internal bathroom scales. The crux of the finding is that your body while vertical i.e. standing or upright, is actually sensing your body weight and fat mass and passing that info onto the brain telling it to keep hunger at bay.

“We have discovered a completely new system that regulates fat mass. We hope this discovery will lead to a new direction in obesity research. The findings may also provide new knowledge about the cause of obesity and, in the long run, new treatments of obesity”, says John-Olov Jansson, Professor at Sahlgrenska Academy.

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“Quite simply, we have found support for the existence of internal bathroom scales. The weight of the body is registered in the lower extremities. If the body weight tends to increase, a signal is sent to the brain to decrease food intake and keep the body weight constant.”

The study was performed on obese rodents that were made artificially heavier by loading them with extra weights. The animals lost almost as much weight as the artificial load place on their bodies. The extra weights caused body fat to decrease and blood glucose levels to improve.

The researchers speculate that the increased body weight activates a sensor dependent on a special cell type found in weight-bearing bones.

Earlier research has shown an association between time spent sitting with obesity and bad health. Thereby, supporting the researchers’ new findings among which is that mice depleted of the special type of bone cells did not experience the weight-reducing effect of increased body loading.

“We believe that the internal body scales give an inaccurately low measure when you sit down. As a result, you eat more and gain weight”, says study co-author Claes Ohlsson.

In case you’ve missed the previous 4 steps of Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide, here are the relative links to each step:

Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 1: First Things First

Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 2: The Most Important Change is the Easiest

Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 3: Clean Up Your Plate

Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 4: The Only Weight Loss Exercise You’ll Ever Really Need

References:

The body's own bathroom scales - a new understanding of obesity University of Gothenburg news release Dec. 26, 2017

Body weight homeostat that regulates fat mass independently of leptin in rats and mice” PNAS 2017; published ahead of print December 26, 2017, doi:10.1073/pnas, John-Olov Jansson et al.

Image Source: Pixabay

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