Almost 50% of American adults try to lose weight every year. It’s a very common goal, and if you’re overweight or obese, losing extra pounds can be a boon to your health.
From enhanced mobility to a lower risk of heart disease, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help you live better. But if you’ve ever tried to lose weight in the past, you know that it takes more than desire.
Losing weight isn’t easy, and lasting weight loss requires commitment, education, and support. No matter where you are in your journey, it’s important to understand the science behind weight loss and how medical care can support you.
Walter D. Gracia, MD, PA, and our team specialize in body lift procedures for people who have achieved major weight loss. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how weight loss works and how surgery could help you reach those goals.
How weight loss works
Your metabolism is the process that converts food into energy. Your metabolism converts calories from the foods and drinks you consume into energy and distributes them throughout your body to keep you alive.
You burn calories all the time, whether you’re active or resting. The average person burns roughly 1,800 calories each day, but the number of calories you burn depends on several different factors, like:
- Body size
- Body composition
- Activity level
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight over time. Extra calories are still converted to energy, but they’re stored in your body’s fat cells and those cells get larger if you consume excessive calories.
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. It sounds simple, but a lot goes into the process of losing weight.
You need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet that fuels your body. You need to get regular physical exercise. You need the willpower to stick to your weight loss plan and avoid overeating. And when you start your weight loss journey, your body begins by eliminating excess fat from the inside out.
Types of fat and the weight loss process
Visceral fat is found deep in your abdomen, and it’s the first type of fat that disappears with weight loss. But since it isn’t always visible, it can be frustrating to feel like you’re not making progress.
Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is found just below the surface of your skin. It’s the fat you can see and pinch, but it’s harder to lose than visceral fat.
Achieving significant weight loss generally requires that you lose all your excess visceral fat and then excess subcutaneous fat after that, and it’s a process that can take several months — or even years.
Excess skin and the weight loss process
People who achieve dramatic weight loss often find themselves with excess skin that gets in the way of their new figure. This happens because healthy dieting, regular exercise, and bariatric surgery target excess fat in the body, but they don’t change skin.
Your skin has the natural ability to expand and shrink quite a bit. However, your skin and other surrounding tissues may not be able to contract enough following major weight loss. This leaves you with soft, sagging skin and excess fat that won’t disappear on its own.
Depending on the amount of weight you’ve lost, excess skin could get in the way of your daily activities and it can bring your weight loss to an abrupt halt. Dr. Gracia specializes in body lift and contouring procedures to remove the extra skin and fat to help you reach your goals.
Body contouring is completely customizable, and Dr. Gracia begins with a personalized consultation. He reviews your medical history, performs an exam, and discusses your goals with you.
Body contouring can include a number of procedures, such as:
- Upper arm lift
- Breast lift
- Abdomen lift (tummy tuck)
- Buttocks lift
- Thigh lift
Dr. Gracia selects the best procedure or combination of procedures for your body. Since body contouring is a type of plastic surgery, it’s important to understand the risks and decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Many people who have found success in weight loss choose to have body lifts to finish their journey. Dr. Gracia removes excess skin and subcutaneous fat, then contours your body to improve your silhouette.
Are you curious about completing your weight loss journey with body contouring? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gracia online or call our office at 817-336-9450.