Who Loves a Good Mystery?

One mystery scientists continuously attempt to solve is the dilemma of managing weight. Specifically, a tremendous amount of research focuses on the fact that maintaining lost weight is so incredibly challenging. Even in very tightly controlled multi-year inpatient research, the study subjects began regaining while still in the hospital setting with those rigid conditions. The difficulty in maintaining the weight lost in the study is keenly interesting.  The challenge and finding solutions is also immensely important to ANYONE who has embarked on a diet and lost weight.

Max Brooks said “Sometimes you find your path. Sometimes it finds you.” This rang true in my life.  I got to that exciting pivotal point in my quest for a Master’s Degree when it was time to select an area of research.  By this point in my life, I had dieted several times (MY path). One of my professors approached me to inquire if I would be interested in designing a study of yo-yo dieters and the effect on energy used during exercise (my NEW path found me)!

The concept of on-again-off-again dieting or yo-yo dieting is now fairly common. Have you ever thought that yo-yo dieting could affect how many calories you burn not only during rest, relaxation and a desk job but also exercise? (Caveat: I don’t advocate the role of exercise as a calorie burn but as a worthy habit for a wealth of other reasons).

While a super efficient car is desirable, most of us want the opposite for a body.  Dieting makes your body more efficient! The more efficient your body, the less you can eat to maintain your weight.

At the end of my research when the results were analyzed dieters in my study had significantly:

  • Higher Weight
  • Higher Body Fat (using the Gold Standard – Underwater Weighing)
  • Less energy burned during exercise
  • Less energy burned at rest

Now you know some of the reasons maintaining weight loss is so very elusive. You burn less energy per pound when you diet repeatedly. Spending months conducting this research and analyzing the results definitely put me on a new, exciting personal and professional path.  Who wants to diet and regain the weight? Not me!

What experiences have you had with yo-yo dieting and climbing weight? Have you observed that the weight regain after each diet is a little more than the last one?

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