It’s no coincidence that you’re not feeling as hungry as before your
Liposuction procedure. To understand why, first, you need to understand the role your excess fat was playing in making you feel hungry.
A theory was put forward in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2014. The article suggests that the more fat tissue the body has, the more calories are taken and locked away in this fat tissue, leaving fewer calories in the bloodstream to satisfy your body’s energy requirements. The result is that the body needs more and more calories. The more fat we have, the more we need to eat.
Simply put, we get hungrier because we are getting fatter, not the other way around.
This explains why the traditional view behind weight loss whereby less calories in and more calories out equals weight loss, is so hard to stick to. Your body is working against you the whole time.
Could it be that it’s not overeating that causes us to get fat, but instead it’s being fat that causes us to overeat?
Why Does This Happen?
Basically, your excess fat was keeping you stuck in a cycle. What happens is when we eat the average diet, which, unfortunately, these days includes bread, chips, processed sugar and wheat, this leads to higher insulin levels. Higher insulin levels lead to weight gain, which leads to more fat cells, these fat cells then steal your calories, which causes you to feel hungry, which means you’ll eat more of these insulin-producing foods, which leads you back to the start of the cycle. Unless something changes, the cycle perpetuates.
How does it happen?
Calories are stolen by your fat cells, so your body loses the energy it needs, this causes you to feel hungry. And, the calories that are stolen by your fat cells cause the fat cells to grow larger. Meanwhile, you are still eating more because you still feel hungry.
It’s like your body is working against you.
On top of this (just when you think it couldn’t get any worse), your body and brain team up again to deliver the final blow; your metabolism slows down, so your body holds on to even more fat. Because these fat cells are taking in and storing excessive amounts of glucose and other calorie rich-compounds, less are left to fuel your metabolism.
This triggers your brain to tell your body to do two things, first, increase your energy intake (which is why you feel more hunger), and second to save energy (metabolism slows down). So you then either, a) eat more, which means you’ll gain weight, or b) cut calories, which will increase your hunger and cause your metabolism to get slower and slower.
This is the reason why diets that focus on reducing calories hardly ever work. For some food for thought see our article on which diet will help you lose weight and keep it off.
Obesity researcher Dr Rudolph L. Leibel has studied this process. In one trial, a group of thin and obese people were underfed while another group of the same were overfed. Dr Leibel found that underfeeding led to a slower metabolism and overfeeding led to a higher metabolism. In both cases, peoples’ bodies responded in a way that tended to push the weight back to where it started. This resulted in researchers proposing that the body has a set weight that is predetermined by our genes.
If it’s down to genes, then why are obesity rates today almost triple what they were in the sixties?
The answer is simple: Insulin.
What types of food produce the most insulin? Highly refined and rapidly digestible carbohydrates. Chips, biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, white bread, sugary breakfast cereals, all of these are prime examples of insulin-producing carbohydrates.
Over the last half-century, the average diet has shifted towards more insulin-producing foods which have led to the increase in insulin levels, putting fat cells into storage mode and resulting in an obese population.
It is known that excess insulin treatment in patients with diabetes causes weight gain, and inversely, insulin deficiency cause weight loss.
One study by Harvard professor Dr David Ludwig shows just how much of an impact these kinds of foods have on body weight. The study examined overweight and obese individuals who had lost 10-15 percent of their body weight. Their diets ranged from low-fat diets to low carbohydrate diets.
Dr Ludwig found that despite consuming the exact same number of calories, the subjects on the low carbohydrate diet burned around 325 calories more per day, than those on the low-fat diet.
Removing Fat Breaks The Cycle
When those fat cells were removed through your liposuction treatment, your appetite was also reduced because you had less fat cells stealing all those calories. Less hunger means less overeating which means less insulin production which all adds up to long-term weight loss.
This shift cannot be achieved by dieting. So far, research has suggested that as long as these fat cells are in your body, they will continue to steal calories away for storage. Currently, the only fat reduction technique that can remove large quantities of fat cells is liposuction (apart from more invasive surgeries like a tummy tuck or thigh lift). The procedure has been typically known as a quick fix for some unwanted fat, but liposuction actually produces long-lasting effects not only on your weight but on your overall health. Even removing fat in just one area may lead to an overall weight loss result.
Fat cells can also be removed through a relatively new treatment called Coolsculpting, which can remove small amounts of fat from targeted areas. There is not yet any evidence to suggest that Coolsculpting has the same effect.
These findings come as no surprise to, Cosmos Clinic surgeon and liposuction expert Dr Joseph Ajaka, “I’ve always believed liposuction has a long-lasting weight loss effect” explains Dr Ajaka who, after performing over 5,000 liposuction procedures, has seen this effect first hand, many times. “In patients who have had large volume liposuction especially, they all report a reduction in their appetite after having had liposuction performed”, says Dr Ajaka.
Also, Dr Ajaka has found that his diabetic patients report a reduced amount of insulin required after having liposuction performed. Liposuction is a much less invasive treatment for obesity, as Dr Ajaka shares, “Lap –band surgery has been the go-to procedure for obese people trying to lose weight, this type of surgery is very risky and can have major complications. Now, finally, here is some proof that liposuction may be the better option for overall weight reduction.”
Does This Mean It is Impossible to Put On Weight After Liposuction?
It is possible to put on weight if you overeat and lead a sedentary lifestyle post liposuction. However, it is virtually impossible to return to your pre-lipo body. This is because your body doesn’t produce more fat cells after about 18 years of age, the ones you have can only get larger, which means that if you put on weight, your shape will be a larger version of your post lipo physique.
Liposuction has long-term health benefits, but that doesn’t mean you can just rest on your laurels and become a couch potato after liposuction. It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after your liposuction to keep yourself healthy long-term. For some inspiration check out our post on how exercise can keep you looking and feeling younger.