Taking up a weight-loss diet, individuals succeed in completing the program wonderfully and lose the target weight. When they repeat it again to lose weight further, they don’t achieve the desired results as they have reached a weight-loss plateau. Obese people burn less calories and dieting often puts an individual in a plateau beyond which further weight loss becomes a strenuous task. But, the reason behind these was unknown until now and our body was challenged every time we tried vehemently to stay in shape. We might follow the perfect healthy diet, do exercise and avoid all unhealthy foods but still find it difficult to lose the extra weight that keeps hanging all over our body.
Our body needs energy to perform any activity and we derive this energy by burning fat tissues. Sometimes, our body decreases this fat-burning process to store the fat to be used later in times of urgent needs. Humans, in general are quick-witted and smart at storing resources for later use in need of energy and our body too works in the same way. Human body works vigorously to suppress energy expenditure for use later which is nature’s way of preparing itself for famine or drought.
But, why does our body sometimes store excess fat that can lead to overweight/obesity and what are the mechanisms involved in this “fuel” storage? When a research group tried to identify this, they came across an enzyme TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), which played the key role in deciding how much fat to burn and how much fat to keep in store for use later.
Two prime observations were noted linking slowing metabolism in obesity and fasting. There are two feedback loops intertwined to self-regulate this system.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.