Why It’s Hard to Lose Those 10 or So Pounds
It seems almost everyone I know always wants to lose 10 pounds. Some more. Part of it is that we’re never satisfied with ourselves. We remember how svelte we were in our youth and always see ourselves as that person. But nature has a different idea.
A recent article in the New York Times shed some light on this with a study of the winners from the t-v show The Biggest Losers. Researchers followed these people, who lost hundreds of pounds on the show, for six years to study their body composition and see if they were able to keep it off. Unfortunately most struggled and gained most and sometimes even more weight back. The biggest problem they surmised is the slowing of the metabolism.
It seems once you restrict your diet and even though you’re burning more calories your body goes into the self-preservation mode and slows the metabolism down. The metabolism converts food to energy to build cells and sustain life not shed pounds.
They found that despite their best efforts to stay active and keep weight off the contestants’ metabolism slowed down permanently, or so it seems. Their bodies didn’t even burn enough calories to sustain their new weight. In other words their bodies fought to return to their original heavy weight. To make matters worse a hormone called leptin, which controls hunger, significantly dropped. Researchers say that is probably why the contestants constantly battled hunger cravings.
This made me think of another article I read about fat cells (see link below). Scientist think that once we reach adulthood the number of fat cells we have is fixed. They don’t know why some people have more or less. But when the fat cells shrink they produce less leptin, which signals the body to eat more. Fat cells want to be bigger so they can carry more energy storage.
This all makes sense to me as I recently eliminated sugar and alcohol from my diet for several weeks.
- First, I noticed that I over-snacked on nuts to make up for the foods I was avoiding.
- I also probably ate more fruit and meat than I usually do.
- Secondly, I thought I’d lose those elusive 10 pounds we’re all trying to get rid of.
- I did not.
- I probably lost two. (Fortunately weight loss was not why I changed my diet. I was hoping it might be a bonus.)
So, it seems avoiding weight gain is a constant battle especially as we age. If you won the lean body lottery, feel grateful if that’s important to you. If you’re healthy be happy.
If you’re struggling with both of these here’s what I can tell you about shedding pounds:
- Stay active and make healthy food choices.
- It’s the very least you can do to try and maintain a healthy body.
- If you have children it is important to model this good behavior so they will have a good start in life.
- Maybe this will help them develop the right number of fat cells and start with a weight their bodies will fight to maintain.
To Boost Your Metabolism Build Muscle: Muscle burns more calories. At rest a pound of muscles burns six calories a day verses a pound of fat burning only two calories. This is while you’re sleeping!
Sweat Hard: If you’re looking to drop the few pounds you gained over the winter find a class or trainer that will push you through an aerobic workout where your heart rate peaks and you sweat a lot for an hour. Do this three to five times a week at least. This will significantly raise your metabolism in the hours following the workout and it’s good for your heart.Talk to your doctor before engaging in any exercise program!
Drink water and eat lean protein: Dehydration can slow your metabolism. Digesting protein burns more calories. Research also finds coffee and green tea can give your a metabolism and energy a temporary boost. Tea has more benefits than coffee.
Meditate and be happy: Meditation can help you calm your mind so you can see the bigger picture and not worry so much about ten pounds or beat yourself up because you’re fighting your body’s urge to be heavy.
Love yourself enough so you can find the right balance in your life to be healthy and joyful.
Study on Biggest Loser: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=nytmm_FadingSlideShow_item&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
How Fat Cells Work: http://qz.com/654647/everything-you-need-to-know-about-fat-cells/