Why You Regain Lost Weight
An estimated 80 percent of people who manage to lose weight gain it back, plus a few additional pounds. Worse, a new study from Korea suggests that weight cycling – repeated losing and gaining – presents an increased risk of death. On the upside, this study showed that losing and gaining weight appears to reduce the risk of developing diabetes among the obese. A scientific statement from the Endocrine Society on the causes of obesity holds that once an individual loses weight, the body increases hunger but reduces the amount of energy expended at rest, during exercise and as a result of daily activities. The statement maintained that this combination of hunger plus lower energy expenditures creates “a perfect metabolic storm” of conditions for weight gain. The 16-year Korean study included 3,678 men and women, and while it found a link between weight cycling and a higher risk of death, it also showed that the overall health benefits of weight loss may overshadow the downside of weight cycling for people who are obese and trying to reduce their risk of diabetes.
My take? If you’re overweight, don’t give up on attempting weight loss. True, many people regain the pounds they’ve lost, but research from Boston’s Children’s Hospital published in 2012 suggests that you can help maintain your losses by following a low-glycemic index diet. This eating strategy emphasizes fiber-rich, natural carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, including nuts, avocados and olive oil, and still enables you to enjoy satisfying meals. You could also consider an anti-inflammatory diet, which emphasizes the same low-glycemic index foods, gives you lots of variety and provides healthy carbs.
Also in this week’s bulletin: