Why is it HARD to lose weight and keep it off?

Why is it HARD to lose weight and keep it off?

January 29, 2020 13 By William Morgan


Can you lose weight and keep it off? Well,
the research states potentially not. Only 5% of people who lose weight due to
exercise and dieting regimens able to keep that weight off over a period of
time. So what does this mean for the other 95% of us? Is dieting futile and
why is it so hard to manage our weight? To discuss this in more detail and look
at some tactics for maintaining weight loss I’m going to discuss this with Dr.
Gina Cleo. Dr. Gina is a registered dietitian, a nutritionist, and has spent
years investigating and studying the science underlying weight loss and
weight management. Gina, thanks so much for coming here
today. Thanks Christian, it’s great to be here.
Most people get heavier with age, and we hear a lot about diets and exercise
regimens as a way to successfully lose weight, but research shows that most
people simply return to their original size. The status quo therefore, is to put
any weight you lose back on again. So Gina why is it so hard to maintain
weight loss over a period of time? This is definitely the most frustrating part
of any weight loss journey and we we find that ninety-five percent of people
who lose weight will then regain that weight again so it can be such a
difficult journey and we do know though that the majority of people who
are regaining that weight are just simply eating too much for what their
body needs and we often think that it’s a lack of willpower or motivation but
there are actually a number of physiological effects that take place in
the body when we lose weight. So what are these internal effects? So our body has a
predefined level of fat stores. It’s what it calls the set point or the ideal
point. So when we lose weight we also stimulate a series of physiological
responses which are designed to get us back to this ideal weight, that’s the
weight that our bodies like, and so what happens is we have an increase in our
hunger hormones and a decrease in the hormones that make us feel full. So
straight away we’re losing weight but we’re actually getting hungrier so we
eat more and then we regain that weight again. The science behind this is patchy, a little bit contradictory, but when we lose weight it seems like the
fat cells don’t necessarily die off. They simply shrink in size, and so when we’re
dieting we look thinner but it’s very easy then to refill those with fat, that
when we get off our health regimen or we stop dieting they can very easily refill.
Now one thing that I find when I exercise a lot is that I feel like I’ve
deserved it and I’m more likely to eat a lot more junk food or extra portions of
food is this just me or is this a common phenomenon. No you are definitely not
alone this is a very common thing that I see and I’ve actually called this the
“Halo Effect” so we exercise and then we feel
like, Yes, I’ve deserved to have extra food or food that I wouldn’t normally be
eating, and we also really overestimate how many calories we burn during a
workout so in one study for example the participants had lost between 2 and 300
calories during their workout but when they were asked how many calories they
think they burnt they estimated about 800 calories and so as a consequence
we’re overcompensating and eating a lot more than they need it to what about
motivation yay another factor with weight regain is absolutely motivation
so when we’re losing weight we might seek the advice of it say a dietician or
a health coach for example but we don’t continue consulting them when we’re just
maintaining the weight you know we’ve we’ve achieved our goal and we’ve lost
our weight and so then we stopped seeing those health professionals and so we
lose the accountability and we lose that support system and therefore we’re not
as motivated to maintain the weight does self control then have anything to do
with us absolutely actually self-control is one of the main reasons that people
regain their weight so think of self-control like a muscle and the more
you use it the more exhausted that it gets and self-control is a resource that
depletes throughout the day and any stressful type of situation can deplete
your self-control it could be bad traffic a difficult exam
or an argument that you had with someone for example so as your self-control to
please you have less of it to then be on a really strict diet or exercise regimen
and so you just throw your hands up in the air and go oh just I don’t want to
do this anymore and you end up eating whatever you can reach for. So the focus
seems to be consistently on dieting whereas actually having a long term plan
for health weight maintenance after you lose that weight is just or even more
important. What do you recommend then as a way to maintain any weight loss?
I always recommend that people look at changing their habits rather than
depending on their self-control so habits are the things that you do
automatically in your day that you’re not
completely conscious of so that could be things like brushing your teeth or tying
your shoelace putting your seat button in the car you know the things that you
do automatically so we form habits by firstly making small manageable changes
and that could be something that I would say do something so small that you can’t
say no to doing it and then repeating those until they become like second
nature that you don’t even have to really consciously think about doing
them anymore so by making habits that burn calories or habits that help you
with that weight loss it then removes the self-control the motivation of
always having to do something. Thank You Gina, I really appreciate you coming,
it has been very helpful. Thanks for having me it’s been great to be here. Now
that was meant to be the end of the video but as I was editing and listening
to what Gina was saying I had a couple of extra questions about some tips and
tactics that she recommended to maintain that weight loss over a period of time
and learn two other things that I’d love to keep discussing in more detail. So I
asked her to come back and talk with us again.
So Gina, the big worry is if dieting isn’t working for that many people even
95% of people are going to simply put that weight back on again then is dieting a
sham? What’s the point of it? The thing is that every single diet is packaged
differently. The low carbohydrate diet gives different promises and is packaged
differently to say a ketogenic diet or a paleo diet a fasting diet and so those
diets can work in the short-term but they don’t offer that long-term benefit
and unless a diet is specifically promising long term outcomes then it’s
not necessarily a sham because you know short term it can be effective
for weight loss a major question I had as well was you mentioned that making
things have bitch you’ll no longer need their self-control and the motivation to
do them so what are some examples of healthy habits that people can do to
maintain weight loss so healthy habits can be things like eating from a smaller
plate or walking and taking the stairs instead of the escalator or standing up
for 10 minutes in every hour just to be more conscious of being more active so
it’s really just a little things that you could do in your day that then add
up over over the week or over the months. In summary, listening to Gina and hearing
about the most recent research why it’s hard to keep any weight we lose off is
starting to make more sense. We’re bombarded by weight loss strategies and
diets every day. New age, exciting eating plans or interventions with many of them
working quite well. We’re not against dieting and in fact watching and
considering what you eat is vitally important and healthy the problem is
that we rarely put into place tactics for maintaining any weight lost over
long periods of time we rush into diets and exercise plans with enthusiasm, drive
and motivation, yet as Gina described, over time these attributes wear thin and
we end up back in our normal routines so what can we do? Well, in the long term
weight maintenance is far more important than weight loss. What’s the point of
putting all that effort and sweat into losing weight if it’s just going to
rebound straightaway? Now, as soon as possible, or before you start dieting put
into place strategies that don’t rely upon motivation and self control
strategies that you can work with in the long term. Gina’s advice and research
finds that making good practices into habits is a fantastic way to start
whether it’s standing up for 10 minutes every hour or ensuring that you have
bitch’ll a pack an apple or healthy snack each day make your hard work count
and focus on maintaining any lost weight over the long term you’ll be more active,
you’ll feel better about yourself and one step closer to having a happy,
healthy body! you you