What Happens To Your Body When You Start Losing Weight

As you start to lose weight, your body isn't just eliminating fat stores. There's a lot happening behind the scenes as the number on the scale starts to drop, and you can expect to notice a lot of different sensations, especially if you're losing weight at a rapid pace. But even if you're losing weight at a steady, healthy pace (usually around one to two pounds per week), you'll notice some side effects.

If you're losing weight at a healthy pace, you may notice that you have more energy as your body starts to shed pounds, according to Health magazine. That could also lead to exercise becoming your new favorite pastime. As you lose weight, exercise will feel easier, which makes it easier to do regularly.

You may notice some other physiological changes, like a shift in your menstrual cycle for women who get their periods, clearer skin, better cognitive function, and even less knee and joint pain. You may also start to feel cooler: Researchers believe that as you lose significant amounts of weight, your body temperature may lower as a result (via WebMD).

But remember, weight loss affects everyone differently. For some people, they'll feel healthier, but for those who didn't have much weight to lose, or who are being very restrictive with their diet, there may be some negative consequences to weight loss.

Are there downsides to losing weight?

The down side to dropping weight is that your body is likely going to rebel against you at some point: Expect your appetite to increase even as pounds drop. "We don't know exactly why, but when you lose weight, the various hormones that control your hunger and desire to eat seem to kick in more, encouraging you back to your own set point," Vicki March, M.D., of the Weight Management Center at Magee-Womens Hospital explained to Self. That means you'll have to be vigilant about understanding your own hunger cues and what your body needs to function optimally. Adding more fiber and protein to your diet may help avoid that desire to overindulge (via OpenFit).

You may also notice that after the first week of weight loss, the number on the scale starts to get more stubborn and won't budge as easily: That's because at first, you're likely dropping a few pounds of water weight, while losing actual pounds of fat takes more slow and steady effort. So don't stress if the process of losing weight takes longer than you'd hoped.