Temporary Weight Loss Easy, Permanent Weight Loss Difficult

If your resolution for 2012 is to lose weight, your success depends on more than just your will power.

In an eye-opening story in the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope, one learns that permanents weight loss largely depends on how long you have been carrying around that extra weight.

The longer you have had it, the more your body will try to defeat your attempts to lose it.

“Anyone who has ever dieted knows that lost pounds often return, and most of us assume the reason is a lack of discipline or a failure of willpower. But Joseph Proietto,” physician at the University of Melbourne who specializes in helping people lose weight, “suspected that there was more to it, and he decided to take a closer look at the biological state of the body after weight loss.”

A small scale study he and his team set up showed that even under strict controls, regular exercise, patients in the study slowly began to put in weight after the 10 week diet, where the average person lost 30 pounds.

“While researchers have known for decades that the body undergoes various metabolic and hormonal changes while it’s losing weight, the Australian team detected something new. A full year after significant weight loss, these men and women remained in what could be described as a biologically altered state. Their still-plump bodies were acting as if they were starving and were working overtime to regain the pounds they lost. For instance, a gastric hormone called ghrelin, often dubbed the “hunger hormone,” was about 20 percent higher than at the start of the study. Another hormone associated with suppressing hunger, peptide YY, was also abnormally low. Levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger and increases metabolism, also remained lower than expected. A cocktail of other hormones associated with hunger and metabolism all remained significantly changed compared to pre-dieting levels. It was almost as if weight loss had put their bodies into a unique metabolic state, a sort of post-dieting syndrome that set them apart from people who hadn’t tried to lose weight in the first place.

“What we see here is a coordinated defense mechanism with multiple components all directed toward making us put on weight,” Proietto says. “This, I think, explains the high failure rate in obesity treatment.”

I encourage everyone to read the full article.

A couple of take aways for me:

Don’t assume that everyone who is obese simply lacks will power.

Make sure your children eat properly so they don’t grow up overweight.

If you start putting on weight, that is the time to bump up for exercise level.



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3 Comments on "Temporary Weight Loss Easy, Permanent Weight Loss Difficult"

  1. A year ago last September I was placed on HCG hormone drops by my doctor I lost 30 pounds and as so excited in less then 45 days. Sadly, when I went back to him, he wanted me to take the HCG pellets which was more then 2x the cost and I did not want or could afford the pellets. He refused to give me a script tp take to a compound pharmacy so that was the end.

    I did go on the recently BANNED HCG and lost and additional 20 pounds, but for me the drops did not work like the regular hormone.

    Due to a medical condition that caused stress I began eating and though I have not put on all the weight back, I wanted to try the other drops again which now are banned.

    I had kept the weight off but it was the medical stress that made me eat off balance again. I was doing fine and keeping my weight n check.

    I am furious that with all the drugs out there that should be banned and are not that the FDA has banned the HCG.

    Sadly, unless you pay a weight loss clinic big bucks reg doctors do not want to write a script for HCG.

    I thought this was the land of freedom and the FDA should allow us to take HCG. Yes, any drug, OTC can be dangerous but HCG in itself is not! WAKW UP FDA!

  2. Bev Gorlach | January 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    I used HCG as well thru my doctor back when we were given injections (self administered); did very well on it too and continued my gym workouts while I was doing it. There’s a great article in the January issue of Natural Nutmeg about it by ND Helene Pulnik who uses it in her practice.

  3. I take great umbrage at the title of this article: “Temporary Weight Loss Easy, Permanent Weight Loss Difficult”… it’s takan me 6 weeks to lose a mere 10 pounds, so I don’t call”weight loss” EASY! So there. Take that. HA

    P.S. Happy New Year to all potential weight losers!

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