What happened when I started losing weight

Note: This is my own experience with losing weight and should not be used for medical advice. Feel free to read my account below, but talk to your doctor with any questions or concerns you have.

One thing to keep in mind before I jump in is that you really don’t “lose” fat cells. While most people think that they’re free floating and pile up in your body, fat cells (adipose tissue) are more like small pockets around your organs and under your skin waiting to be filled with excess dietary fats and carbs. This article by Popular Science explains it more in depth (spoiler alert: when you “burn” it, what doesn’t turn into energy leaves the body as water and carbon dioxide.)

That adipose tissue is made to expand and contract as needed. So while excess water soluble foods exit the body through the bladder, fat soluble foods, hormones, vitamins, and even pollutants are stored in fat cells for later use. I didn’t realize that when I started and thought that losing weight meant feeling better right away. But with anything worthwhile, it takes time — especially when your body is reintroducing the fat (and anything stored with it) back into the system.

To note, I’ve been losing weight through moderation: reducing my portion sizes gradually, eating more balanced meals, and starting to exercise a little more. I’ve lost weight rapidly before, which ended up hurting my metabolism overall and caused some longer term health issues.

Without further adieu, here are the initial things I’ve noticed as I’m shedding pounds.

I’ll update with more I’ve experienced as time goes by. But I can’t stress enough the importance of using moderation to lose weight. Don’t hurt yourself in the process as eating too little or exercising too much can not only undo your progress, but cause major issues.

  1. More blemishes – While many things can affect your skin (hormones, dietary changes, stress, etc.), I’ve noticed that my face has had exponentially more acne and red spots since I started losing weight. Whether indirectly or directly linked, it has been consistent with my weight loss.
  2. Oily hair – Similar to the blemishes issue, I noticed that my hair went from getting oily after a few days to feeling like I needed to shower again after a few hours.
  3. Dimpling skin – It’s not uncommon as you lose weight to see some inconsistency. When your body starts to break down fat, there isn’t necessarily a uniform way of doing so — which is also why spot reduction techniques aren’t really effective. Because of this, you may notice some places where you’re skin — which used to be more smooth — is dimpling. Though cellulite may not entirely go away, healthier lifestyle choices can help combat it.
  4. Nausea – This is one that you have to be careful with because it could be a sign of not eating enough. It’s important to have a well balanced diet and continue to stay hydrated. Even with that though, I’ve been getting a little nauseous each night. It isn’t overwhelming and is consistent with the morning sickness I used to get — mostly just an unsettled tummy. It could be from eating less — small hunger pains as my stomach slowly shrinks. It could be from what is being reintroduced into my system as I lose the weight. Either way, my goal is for a healthier lifestyle, so I just keep a watchful eye on it and make sure to keep giving myself enough nutrients.

To learn more about how losing weight affects the body, watch this video from Tech Insider.

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