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Why Does My Body Want to Stay Fat?

The Facts We Didn’t Know About Losing Weight…Until Now

Losing weight is simple. Just eat less and exercise more. Right?  That seems to makes sense. One problem is that simple and easy aren’t the same thing.  But it turns out there’s even more to it than that.

According to science – or more specifically, one scientist at the National Institute of Health – even people with a personal trainer, smart diet and consistent workouts have an uphill battle for losing weight they may not be aware of. It seems that in the long run, our bodies actually want to stay fat and will fight hard to get that fat back after a season of healthy eating and hardcore exercise.

An informal study by this same scientist of 13  participants showed they gained an average of 66% of the weight they’d lost after a controlled weight loss competition. 4 of them were actually heavier than they were before the started.

Depressed yet?

 

So, Why Bother?

Finding solutions to the ever growing weight problem of our culture  has never been more important than it is right now. The vast majority of adults in the US are overweight. Some stats show that 40% of us are clinically obese. Doctors know (and often say) that excess body fat significantly increases the risk of serious health problems – especially Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory issues, some cancers and even depression. One study found that obesity is now directly related to more early preventable deaths in the U.S. than smoking is. 

 

These frightening figures are why the NIH provided over $900 million in obesity research funding, hoping to provide scientists a new understanding of why dieting is so hard. We need to find out why keeping weight off over time is even harder than losing it initially. And why the usual weight loss techniques of diet and exercise seem to only work sometimes – and only for for some people.

 

There’s Light at the End of this Tunnel

Fortunately, the scientists studying this vital topic for us are uncovering data that offers hope to the 160 million or more overweight US citizens.  

For example, the experts are saying that exercise is great and an important part of good health. However, it’s not the best way keep off body fat in a sustainable way. And we all know the math equation when it comes to calories eaten versus calories burned. But it turns out there is more to it than that.

WHAT a person eats is more important on many levels than just HOW MUCH they eat when it comes to burning calories with a work out for sustained weight loss.

We have also learned that what is best for you is probably not the best diet for the person next to you. Individual responses to different diets vary wildly whether it is low fat, low carb or intermittent fasting. One person can lose weight on the same diet another person gains weight with.

While it seems that for some people weight loss will never be easy to accomplish, it’s still possible for anyone to reach a healthy weight goal if they find the best way for their individual needs.  Leaning toward what is most trendy is probably not the answer.

 

In the 1960's most diets were based on the idea of just eating fewer calories. In the 70's, the popular notion was simply that fat made you fat. So low fat foods began to abound.  Sadly, the low fat trend caused a surge in weight gain.  20 years later about 15% of the U.S. adult population was obese population.

By 2010, obesity was at 25% and now today it's closer to 40% of the adult population.  Now we are even collecting stats for kids and teens for obesity. 

Now we know that metabolism plays a huge role in this puzzle. This means that our biology is what we need to look at more than willpower.

A recent weight loss study of more than 10,000 people from across US reveal some interesting, but common sense conclusions.

First everyone in the study that lost significant did so in different ways. About half followed various diets they put together on their own and the other half used a structured program. 

But what was common to almost all of the (98%) was that they all made changes to their eating in some way. 94% increased their physical activity and most of that was by simply walking.  Most of them also claim they started weighing themselves at least weekly.

For the most part, no two people were successful with weight loss in the exact same way. It is a highly personalized endeavor.

These are simple common sense factors that we all probably already knew.  Maybe these principles are hard to sell to a culture that's looking for the magic plan of attack on fat.

One thing we have learned for sure is that losing weight and keeping it off is difficult for almost everyone. But also know that it is possible, and life changing when we do it. 

And more good news is that most of us would improve our health significantly with just a 10% weight loss. Thinking in those terms, might make losing weight sound like a easier pill to swallow.

 

 

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