Why Do I Weigh Less In The Morning
We are going to discuss why do I weigh less in the morning? This question has been asked by many people who think that they have not lost weight for a long time or if they have lost some pounds it was just water weight.
Weight loss programs claim that you can lose up to 2 lbs per week. It may sound small but in reality it is not. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs in 4 weeks then you will need to lose at least 5-6 lbs each week. How much did you hope to lose in one month when you started on the program? Now if you want to reach your target of losing 20 lbs in 4 weeks, you must be prepared to lose more than 6 lbs per week.
There are many reasons as to why do I weigh less in the morning. Let us examine them one by one.
When we wake up in the morning, our stomach is empty and the body’s water is lost through sweat, respiration and urination. Because the stomach is empty and there is no food in the stomach, the body does not receive any nutrients from the food consumed during sleep. The only source of energy comes from the fat stores. As soon as we get out of bed, the first thing we start doing is to drink lots of water. We believe that this is because we want to quench our thirst. However, most of the times, the reason behind drinking so much water is to make sure that all the organs in the body remain hydrated. When the liver gets dehydrated, it starts producing sugar from glycogen which results in excess blood glucose levels. Excess blood glucose level causes an increase in hunger leading to overeating. So, drinking water helps prevent dehydration of the liver. Water also helps keep the heart healthy and protects against stroke and kidney stones. Drinking enough amount of water prevents constipation and lowers down the risk of colon cancer. Also, it keeps the skin moist and gives elasticity to the hair follicles. Hence, increasing the intake of water helps maintain optimum health.
Another important reason for drinking water in the morning is to reduce bloating. Bloating occurs due to over consumption of foods rich in fiber and carbohydrates. These foods break down into sugars that cause fermentation in the large intestine resulting in gas formation. To avoid bloating and flatulence, it is recommended to drink water after every meal.
After breakfast, we tend to eat snacks such as chips etc. which contain high amounts of salt. High salt content increases fluid retention in the body causing weight gain. Therefore, eating salty snacks early in the day makes us retain fluids thus making us look bloated even before lunch. Eating heavy meals late in the day leads to indigestion and hence we tend to consume extra liquids to ease digestion. This further adds to weight gain.
Our body also loses water while sweating, breathing and urinating. Sweat is responsible for cooling down the body temperature. Our body needs to release heat produced through exercise or stress. While sweating itself is necessary, excessive sweating should be avoided. Breathing is essential for life. But, excessive inhalation of air can lead to dryness of mucous membranes, chest tightness and wheezing. Urination is needed for elimination of waste products generated during metabolism. If urine is retained due to blockage of the urinary bladder, it obstructs natural flow of fresh oxygenated blood to the kidneys. Thus, frequent urination reduces the risk of developing kidney disorders, hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases.
Hence, it is very important to replace the water lost through sweating, respiration and urination. There are many ways to replenish the lost water. One of the easiest methods is to take a big glass of cold water right after waking up. Another way is to drink a cup of warm water with lemon juice 30 minutes prior to breakfast. Taking a bottle of water along with you while travelling ensures that you stay well hydrated throughout the journey.
If you wish to know how much water you need to drink daily, here are some guidelines based on age group.
Children (under 12 years) – 3/4 cups of water per pound of bodyweight per day
Teenagers (12-19 years) – 1.5 cups of water per pound of bodyweight per day
Young adults (20-39 years) – 1.2 cups of water per pound of bodyweight per day
Middle aged adults (40-59 years) – 1.1 cups of water per pound of bodyweight per day
Senior citizens (60 years and above) – 0.9 cups of water per pound of bodyweight per day
As discussed earlier, taking a glass of water right after getting out of bed is the best option to quench your thirst. You can also add a slice of orange peel or a piece of ginger root to give flavor to plain water. Adding mint leaves, cinnamon powder, cumin seeds, cloves or curry leaves to hot water enhances its aroma and taste.
You should always check whether you are consuming sufficient quantity of water. Most of the overweight persons do not realize their requirement of water. They simply rely upon coffee, tea or soft drinks to quench their thirst. Coffee contains caffeine which stimulates secretion of urine and interferes with proper functioning of the kidneys. Tea contains tannin acid that irritates the lining of the digestive tract thereby disturbing the normal bowel movements. Soft drinks contain phosphoric acid that contributes to osteoporosis. Hence, drinking adequate amount of water alone would ensure that you don’t fall prey to any disease.
Now let us see what happens to our body when we go to gym. After working out, our muscles produce lactic acid which accumulates in the muscle tissues. Lactic acid inhibits the ability of the muscle cells to contract thus reducing strength. Muscles cannot function properly without regular supply of oxygen. During exertion, the body consumes large quantities of oxygen. Oxygen molecules attach themselves to hydrogen atoms present in the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen around the body tissues via blood stream. Since oxygen is required for efficient performance of various bodily functions including muscular activities, the demand for oxygen increases significantly during physical exercises. When the oxygen level in the blood falls below the saturation level, hypoxia sets in. Hypoxia is generally relieved by inhaling pure oxygen. Although exercising releases oxygen from the lungs, it takes longer time to deliver it to other parts of the body. Hence, exercising for about 45 minutes provides maximum benefit. For those who prefer to work out for shorter period, exercising for 15 minutes once in half hour is equally beneficial as compared to those who workout for 45 minutes several times in a day.
The same principle applies to the brain as well. Cerebral blood vessels play a crucial role in maintaining the normal functioning of the central nervous system. Blood vessel walls consist of three layers namely endothelium, media and adventitia. Endothelial cells form the outer layer of the vascular wall. Their primary task is to protect the inner layer consisting of smooth muscle cells and connective tissue elements. Media comprises of smooth muscle fibers and collagen fibres. Adventitia consists of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Fibroblasts are responsible for production of extracellular matrix proteins like collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acids. Myofibroblasts are specialized type of fibroblast that contribute to the contraction of smooth muscle cells. Contraction of smooth muscle cells is responsible for tightening of blood vessels. Contractility of smooth muscle cells depends upon availability of calcium ions in the cytoplasm. Calcium ion concentration is controlled by voltage dependent calcium channels located in the plasma membrane. Opening of these channels allows entry of calcium ions into the cell. Once inside the cell, calcium ions bind to calmodulin protein forming CaM. CaM interacts with troponin C protein to regulate the contraction of cardiac muscle cells. Tropomyosin protein binds to actin filaments to inhibit movement of myosin head towards ATP hydrolysis reaction. Opening of calcium activated potassium channel KCa activates sarcoplasmic reticular calcium pump SERCA. Activation of SERCA causes efflux of calcium ions across the sarcolemma followed by relaxation of the smooth muscle cells. Hence, opening of calcium activated potassium channel plays a major role in controlling the contraction of smooth muscle cells.
Calcium activated potassium channel is inhibited by nitric oxide. Nitric oxide synthase enzyme catalyzes conversion of amino acid arginine to citrulline and NO. NO diffuses across the cellular membrane and reacts with O2 to generate NO3.NO3 enters the cells through specific transporter called NOS. Once inside the cell, NO3 combines with free iron to form highly reactive intermediate peroxide radical (.HO)..HO attacks sulfhydryl (-SH) groups present in intracellular proteins. Sulfhydryl (-SH) groups react with -SOH radicals formed due to combination of H+ ions and O2 to form persulfide (-SSH) groups. Persulfides react with SH groups present in enzymes to alter their activity. Persulfides also combine with O2 and H+ ions to form H2O2 and OH.. Hydroxyl radicals attack DNA bases.
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