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why do 95%of people put weight back on, ugh



  • BlueObsidian
    BlueObsidian Posts: 297 Member
    I've lost and gained many times. It was always because I went right back to my previous eating habits and never dealt with my emotional issues with food and binge eating. If you go back to doing the same thing you did before, you'll get the same results you had.
  • dakotababy
    dakotababy Posts: 2,406 Member
    I have definitely thought about this. I have heard you have to work on the "mental" side of things as well...why did you become obese in the first place? was it because you were eating your emotions? then a person would need to figure out a way to express feelings without example.

    I understand needing to be realistic long term. My plan is once I get down to my goal weight - I plan to maintain that weight within 5 lbs, and my measurements within 2 inches. So if there is a month weigh in - measurements...and i see I'm slipping - its time to start logging again, exercising to work it off, and figure out what was going wrong.
  • Ed98043
    Ed98043 Posts: 1,333 Member
    Because the body wants very badly to return to the higher weight and does everything it can to get there. Increased hunger signals, hormonal changes, lowered resting metabolism, you name it. Leptin, ghrelin, peptide YY all increase to levels that are actually higher than they were before you lost the weight (so appetite is even greater and metabolism is even slower than when you were fat). Until science comes up with some kind of pill to counteract these things, maintaining weight loss will be a daily struggle and very few people can keep up the fight forever.

    I just wish the body tended toward a healthier weight and did things like increase metabolism and decrease appetite if the weight strayed too high. Why does it want to kill itself with obesity? It makes no sense, really.
  • monaattard1
    If one loses weight by reducing calories and exercising without paying attention to where the calories come from and how their diet affects their hormones, they are not training/ preparing their bodies to continue burning fat. If you do a Google search for a site called Peertrainer, they provide a lot of good information on the role of hormones and weight loss.
  • alienrite
    alienrite Posts: 314 Member
    I've gained back in the past because after losing weight and feeling comfortable again, I go back to eating too much and not exercising enough. Nothing magic, if I eat like I did when I was putting on weight, I'll put it on again. Maintenance doesn't mean you can stop watching what you eat. I've finally come to terms that my body is a reflection of my chronic choices. Nothing magic
  • phoenixgirl81
    phoenixgirl81 Posts: 309 Member
    I can only answer as to why every other time I put on all the weight I lost in the past.

    1) I saw myself as being "on a diet" - A diet implies it has a start and an end date. A diet is unsustainable. A diet is restrictive and full of "no" foods that you have to avoid (and if you eat them that implies you've cheated on your diet). A diet is something you don't have to worry about once you've reached goal and you can go back to eating normally once the diet it finished. This time around I actually see myself "changing my life and my lifestyle" - the changes I have made are sustainable because they are really no effort at all. They have become my go-to solution. There are no "no" foods on mfp. I can have whatever I want to eat, as long as I can fit it in to my day or I work it off.

    2) Exercise used to be done so I could eat more, not to be healthy or fit - When I was doing weight watchers, they always told us we could "cheat" and get 2 more points to eat by doing 30 minutes of exercise. Almost every week we were told we could use those 2 points for the naughty foods we'd been avoiding on our diet (see point 1). Once I gave up on my diet, I gave up on exercise because there was no more point as I was no longer restricting myself. Vicious cycle. This time around, exercise has become a part of my daily activities. I see exercise as keeping me healthy, helping my mental health, stress-relief, time-filler (as opposed to eating to fill time), body sculpting (in terms of strength training) and just damned good fun. If I don't do exercise on any given day, I get antsy, I get fidgety, I get stressed. I am still shocked every day about this change in my relationship to moving my body. I don't see exercise as a way to eat more food, I eat food to fuel my exercise now.

    3) Pre-packaged/pre-prepared food does not teach you how to eat healthily - Things like Lite n Easy, Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers frozen meals, etc...anything that delivers the exact quantities they say you need to eat and you don't have to actually choose anything or cook anything...that doesn't teach you how to eat healthily after you stop buying their food because you've never had to choose the size of your bread roll, the amount of pasta, the weight of your protein, the amount of sauce, etc. You've only ever been told "eat this and you will lose weight". You've learned nothing. The exact same thing goes for shake diets or meal replacement diets.

    4) Magic formulas don't teach you about nutrition - Weight watchers points, SureSlim's no carbs, protein:vegetables ratios, shakes, VLCD, etc - they don't teach you about the food you're putting in your mouth - WW has some magic formula that works out your food - you can't tell by just looking at the packet how good or bad it is for you - you need to use their points book, or their points calculator...basically you never really know what's going in your mouth without them. SureSlim - You're not allowed to eat carbs at all (why not? Why am I allowed to eat THESE carbs, but not THOSE carbs? Why am I allowed to eat THESE vegetables, but not THOSE vegetables - oh...that's right...because it's not on your highly restrictive allowable foods list - and there is practically NOTHING on those lists - and why am I not allowed to eat outside of every 5 hours?). Add to it WW's "free foods" doesn't make any sense because food is's still going in your's still going to have an impact on your body. MFP and calorie counting is easy and highly accessible. I understand calories in vs calories out. The information is readily found on every packet or easily found out (in the case of fresh fruit and veg). There is nothing hidden. It's all out there in the open. It totally makes sense.

    These are the things that come to my mind. This is the first time that I've maintained losing weight for so long (nearly 12 months) - all the other times I've tried I've lasted a couple of months or even just a couple of weeks before I couldn't stick it out any longer. I don't feel restricted. I eat what I want when I want it. I now understand what food does to my body - I understand that sodium can cause a temporary blip on the scales (When I was on WW - NONE of this was explained to me. I have a very vivid memory of being called out by the leader for putting ON weight that week, despite following their points plan exactly). I understand that eating too little is bad for me in the long run. I understand that food = fuel, and not a means to satisfy my urges. I feel in control of my life for the first time. I have support for the first time. I understand caloric deficits and the amount I have to eat to maintain (and the amount I have to eat to gain) for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. With everything that I have learned on MFP, there is no way I can put weight on. I have completely changed my life.
  • poppogirl123
    I was about 200lbs and got down to 143 now I am going back up I am currently at 155. I don't know what to do to go back down I keep eating salads and am gaining.
  • symonspatrick
    symonspatrick Posts: 213 Member
    Eat more calories than you burn, gain weight. Seems simple enough unless I am missing something.
  • Pinkigloopyxie
    95% is not an accurate number and spreading this false statistic is dangerous for people. Small seeds planted grow trees of doubt or something.

    Anyways, HUGE LIE. Don't believe it or perpetuate it, it only hurts yourself and others.
  • Pink_turnip
    Pink_turnip Posts: 280 Member
    I gained again after losing because I stopped working out, and I started eating more / unhealthy
  • Shadowknight137
    Shadowknight137 Posts: 1,243 Member
    Because they go n stupid, very calorically restricted diets, lose weight in the form of both fat and muscle mass, thus once they started eating normally their TDEE has been drastically lowered - due to lack of LBM, so they regain all their weight and more.

    Basically, people end up getting fatter and less-muscled than when they started. It's kind of hilarious when you think about it.
  • nehushtan
    nehushtan Posts: 566 Member
    why do 95% of people put weight back on, ugh

    This is the most significant question that can be asked on this web site. I don't have "the answer" but I have some thoughts.

    Losing weight is hard, and few will do it with significant success. Keeping it off is harder and fewer still will achieve that.

    But though many have failed, many have also succeeded. Our job is to learn from them. More on that later.

    Though I've had some success using calorie budgeting, I don't consider myself a true success story yet because I haven't reached five years of maintenance (only a year and a half so far). I've lost weight a number of times in the past only to regain it and so I don't trust what I've achieved by this point.

    Maybe repeated failure is the only way to learn... for me it was. Hopefully the statistic you quote is an alarm bell for everyone in the fat countries. Maybe we can learn from the failures of others and not just our own.

    I think a lot of people re-gain their weight after successful loss because they do not know the strength of their enemy. If you've been significantly overweight, obesity stalks you like booze stalks an alcoholic, and everywhere Everywhere EVERYWHERE food is crouching to pounce into your mouth.

    One of the things that haunts me is the fact that maintaining a healthy weight is not really central to the meaning of life, and so its significance can be, over time, something to dismiss. By this I mean once you've been obese and then through tremendous daily or even hourly meticulous effort have lost a significant amount of weight, fought off the tsunami of food, learned to incorporate exercise, gotten the attaboys and celebrated your success for a while, you may keep at it for another few months or so and then realize that...

    HEY! This business is requiring a GREAT DEAL of attention and effort and WHAT IS THE POINT? You may start asking questions like.. Can't I focus on OTHER THINGS now? Aren't there more significant issues in life? Am I continuing to do this because I've developed an UNHEALTHY OBSESSION with heath and fitness? Am I being too VAIN and SELF-CENTERED? And what about the other people around me? ... they don't seem to be having too many problems in life... sure they're a bit paunchy but they're having a grand old time at barbeque cookouts, beer pong, pizza buffets, etc. Plus my friends and family are all dogging me for not joining in the party full-tilt. Aren't I allowed to have ANY FUN with eating? Is this going to be a nagging responsibility the REST OF MY %#$&@ LIFE?

    Honestly I can't recall if these are the thoughts that caused me to backslide in the past. Most of the problem I'm sure is just the nature of what we unconsciously accept as "normal" ... if eating a lot and being inactive has been the norm most of your life it will take a permanent revolution, not just a year of weight loss effort, to avoid slipping back to the old ways.

    New norms are hard. Some people say it takes 30 days to break and old, or establish a new, habit. But significant weight loss for someone who's norm is obesity is more than that -- it is truly at least a dozen new habits and the crucifixion of at least a dozen bad ones. My judgement is that food-related habits are harder to break and establish than other kinds (for example, nail-biting), because food is more deeply ingrained our biology, emotions, cultures, families, etc. And in addition to new things to do and old things not to do, there is a lot to learn -- which is also outside of many folks' comfort zones.

    And then -- after the weight loss -- comes the maintenance, which in my opinion requires continuing to learn new stuff and the creation of even more new habits.

    Basically it's a war. It's a war to lose it and it's an on-going war to keep it off. Hopefully that's not too depressing.

    On the bright side, there IS something called the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which is an on-going database of people who have lost weight and kept it off, and some studies have been done to determine what makes them successful.

    See these site for articles about findings from the NWCR:

    All the best!
  • phoenixgirl81
    phoenixgirl81 Posts: 309 Member
    nehushtan, I think you've really explained it well. Thank you.
  • nehushtan
    nehushtan Posts: 566 Member
    95% is not an accurate number and spreading this false statistic is dangerous for people. Small seeds planted grow trees of doubt or something.

    You're right....

    The actual statistic is hard to come by because it's hard to determine the boundaries of what the question means and to get good data to answer it. So there will be different studies & results out there based on how the question is framed (e.g., how much weight is considered weight loss, how much time after the weight loss do we check back on the participants, etc) and how much data can be reliably captured (do we rely on self-reporting, have people check in to be weighed, do a control-group vs. test group, etc).

    ... but it almost doesn't matter. However you slice it, there is still a large chunk of those who've lost it who will regain it.

    So it's bad news anyway.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,750 Member
    95% is not an accurate number and spreading this false statistic is dangerous for people. Small seeds planted grow trees of doubt or something.

    Anyways, HUGE LIE. Don't believe it or perpetuate it, it only hurts yourself and others.
    It's actually closer to 90%. But that's still way over the majority.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • quill16
    quill16 Posts: 373 Member
    They haven't learned to live a new lifestyle. I have maintained my loss for more than 6 months and I STILL count my calories, exercise everyday, and live a new healthy lifestyle.I have all new clothes size 28 down to 8 and am NEVER" going back". It is just as hard today as it was the day I "started my diet". I want to be fit more than I want to satisfy my food addiction. A choice. There is a group called The National Weight Control Registry and they have been tracking successful weight loss cases and have information as to what those who have been successful are doing.
  • MaraDiaz
    MaraDiaz Posts: 4,604 Member
    As a species we evolved to survive in spite of extreme scarcity. Now we have an abundance of foods, even if those of us who are poorer don't have an abundance of healthy choices all the time.

    Therefore it takes effort to maintain weight loss for many people because we are fighting biology. Just like it takes effort not to pick up the nearest stick and club rude people over the head with it.

    But it's worth it. It's worth the effort to be thin and also not be in jail for assault. :laugh:
  • MyChocolateDiet
    MyChocolateDiet Posts: 22,281 Member
    Is that the real statistic? 95%? It seems kind of high. I know putting weight back on is a risk but I don't know if it's the norm. By the time you lose lots of weight I don't think you have to eat exactly diet style. I think you can eat healthier than you were but following your urges and be okay. If you had healthy habits to begin with and only gained weight as the result of some real reason then you should be able to keep it off. If you had terrible eating habits, you might not be able to go back to that kind of eating, but you should be able to relax a little from diet mode and just feel comfortable and okay with your eating style and weight maintenance. I'd just hate for you to be discouraged thinking weight loss mode is something you will have to do forever because it's not always the case. Why don't you have high hopes lose all the weight and then see if it's easier for you to maintain than you predict.
  • marand94608
    marand94608 Posts: 67 Member
    nehushtan, I think you've really explained it well. Thank you.
    Agree! & I liked your reply too phoenixgirl. TY both.
  • kcoftx
    kcoftx Posts: 765 Member
    For me, I found it fairly easy to maintain when my life was relatively the same as during the weight loss period. I leaned an important lesson. When life changes, I need to monitor. Since we are a military family, this means transition will come again. Changes doesn't just apply to moving though.