Damaged Fat Cells and Weight LossWe all know that it can be extraordinarily difficult to lose weight. The journey often makes us feel like new skiers on a Black Diamond course, sliding and turning, not knowing which path to take. The navigation of weight loss may be easier if we begin to understand what goes on in our bodies’ cells that contribute to the difficulty of weight loss. A recent study may hold a piece of the compass in opening a world of information regarding the physiology behind losing weight.

This study, conducted by University of Exeter researchers and published in the January 2018 edition of Metabolism, found that fat tissue damage may make it even harder for obese individuals to lose weight.



“…the study found that fat tissue damage may make it even harder for obese individuals to lose weight.”


The trial studied lysyl oxidase (LOX), which is an enzyme that crosslinks collagen and elastin. If LOX is expressed in excess, a prime characteristic of obesity, then fibrosis (scarring of connective tissue) can occur in obesity-associated dysfunctional adipose tissue (AT).

When researchers measured LOX expression in AT, they found that hypoxia (oxygen depletion that may be caused by excess growth) and inflammation caused an increase in LOX. This, in turn, resulted in damaged AT, making it even harder to lose weight.

This brings to light the “oversimplifying nutrition and weight loss” conversation, and provides another example as to why it’s important to veer away from making weight loss solely about “calories in vs. calories out.”

The authors of this study want to make it clear that even though it may be more difficult for obese individuals to lose weight, it is not impossible. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, moderate in fat and low to moderate in carbohydrates in conjunction with regular physical movement, can help with weight loss.

I also wonder if an anti-inflammatory diet could alleviate some of the damage caused by obesity-induced conditions. Could an anti-inflammatory diet increase the possibility of successful weight loss in the obese?

Discovering that it may be a little bit harder for you to lose weight if you are obese, may provide a sense of compassion if you are having difficulty losing weight. Understanding the physiology as to why weight loss can be difficult provides us with a more educated picture regarding what is going on, and helps us craft a plan to move forward.

Read the study here.

If you are interested to hear more and receive personalized nutrition, check out STYR’s app, fitness tracker and suite of connected smart devices. Through the platform, you can track and log activity, food, hydration, sleep, nutrition, mood and more to personalize your nutrition needs based on data, science and access to registered dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers.

Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We insist that you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical/health condition or treatment and before initiating a new health care regime. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the STYR app or on www.MyNutritioniQ.com.

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