Well, Damn

New weight loss study results:

As we’ve seen in every weight loss study, weight regain is a biological reality for virtually everyone. Weight is not a matter of calories in-versus-calories out. Short term weight loss stunts are just that, temporary stunts. Sadly, unsuccessful dieters are typically blamed for “overeating” when they are not “overeating” as would be defined by any reasoned person, especially if nutritional health is our primary concern.

So what are people to do to maintain a stable weight after dieting successfully?

Oh, and like some other scientists I won’t mention (OK, I will: climate scientists), scientists who study weight loss have their own special definitions of everyday terminology. The object of the link above is the word “maintain.” They don’t define it like you’d think they’d define it.

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4 comments on “Well, Damn

  1. Rene says:

    The tiny (and I mean tiny) fraction of people who say the’ve “maintained” significant weight loss are mostly like this study (diet after diet, yo-yoing). The others are eating starvation level calories and exercising to extreme — they’ve taken on anorectic behaviors and made weight their life. Most people just diet as a hobby – losing and regaining the same 10-25 pounds, which doesn’t really have much to do with true obesity.

  2. Prudie says:

    It’s frustrating, even when you’ve got way more than 25 pounds to go before you feel like “maintaining” is even an option.

  3. pajama momma says:

    Yeah, I’m right there with you.

  4. Guilty as charged, sort of. I’m one of those “scientists” that studies weigh gain and loss.

    I deal with it from a cultural / emotional / psychological perspective. I have found what I call the Food Monster, it is that constant/frequent anxiety about food that has us eating when we promise we wont and makes dieting so ungodly miserable. It is either real big causing uncontrolled eating and obesity or rather modest causing some overeating and that 15 to 25 pound on going war.

    Ultimately, even though it may not even remotely feel like it, to be any amount of overweight there does have to be more calories coming in than going out. The issue is often that because we are eating at some emotional level we don’t feel like we are over eating.

    Until the underlying emotional stuff is taken care of, and that is in the subconscious mind, not where you can easily recognize it, those feelings are going to keep us eating more than we recognize and more than we want.

    Those few – that tiny fraction – who are successful at maintaining may have been modest or rather overweight, but almost always underlying it was a small Food Monster that had gotten out of control. Their ability to control their monster for a long time is usually because they had a small monster to control. If it is bigger, then it is usually too tough and the weight comes back even after a huge struggle to lose it.

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