Wow. The New York Times has an article about contestants from the Biggest Loser show. And it turns out I was right all along: if I manage to lose weight, my body really does slow down the metabolism and hangs onto calories, and it doesn’t get better. It stays bad or gets worse. This is a big reason people can’t maintain weight loss.
I always say I have no will power, and that’s partially true. I love food. But if I eat around 1000 calories a day, I will not lose weight. I’ll maintain okay, but the truth is, I am consistently unsuccessful at eating only 1000 calories every day. I’ll do okay for a day or two, then eat 1500 calories the next day. I gain a pound, maybe two. So I force myself back to 1000 cals or less, and the weight goes back down a pound. But if I want to actually lose say, 5 pounds, I’d have to eat less than 800 calories every day.
In addition to a slower metabolism, our bodies reduce hormones that help us feel full, and increase a hormone that makes us feel hungry. This is not because starving ourselves and are dangerously underweight. This happens to anyone who has lost weight, even if they are still overweight.
Back when we were doing the intermittent fasting, I got down to 122 pounds, for about 5 minutes. That was the lowest point. Now I hover between 128 and 130. Which is about 15 pounds more than I should weigh for my height and build. But the pounds are not going anywhere.
Have any of you experienced this? Do you feel that your metabolism is slower than it was? Do you constantly want to eat one more thing?
6 thoughts on “Keeping Weight Off”
I lost a lot of weight just staying away from processed food. It’s funny, I ate just as much, but not anything processed. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. BTW…I’d kill to be 125. 😛
Yeah, I know. But how tall are you? I’m only 5 feet.
I think you’re on to something with the processed food thing. When you start eating real food, you have far more control over what you put it in. Real food can make a big difference in how your body handles it. You get more fiber and more nutrients. Your gut biome improves. All of this helps digestion and nutrient absorption. I think it can help you lose weight, although like everything else, it reaches a point of saturation.
I’m 5′ 2″, and yeah, that was the first I noticed too. When I cooked meals at home from scratch, I could eat more and I still lost weight (with exercise too, of course). In one year I’ve gone from a size 12 to 10. I’ve had to cut way back on bread, it’s bothering my stomach, and I’m wondering if I made bread at home, control the ingredients I put in, if that might fix the situation. I love bread. 😦
I just lost 5 lbs on WW. It works for me every time I creep up. The trick for me, at least, is to get back on the plan early before I’ve put on too much. For me, it’s all about vigilance. I’m not a foodie, but I do love to snack. Tracking what I eat, even if just in my head, helps me. And I tell my husband I have to stay just ahead of the hunger.
That’s what I experience too, Camille. It takes constant vigilance to keep the weight from going too far. It’s easy to get tired of it – sometimes I just want an ice cream cone, damn it – or even just a second slice of pizza. I can do that once in a while, but not as often as I think I should be able to.
We just didn’t pick our ancestors wisely for current preferences. My Russian relatives all end up being little 5′ cubes, but they’re healthy as horses. The more I eat real food, the easier it is to keep my weight from ballooning, but losing weight seems to depend on the whim of the gods.
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