Man interested in learning the truth about weight
Man interested in learning the truth about weight

Tug-of-War of Weight Management

Science now shows what many of us have long suspected: after losing weight, the body tries to put it back on. For people living with obesity, there is more to weight management than just the pounds you can see.

Tug-of-War of Weight Management

Science now shows what many of us have long suspected: after losing weight, the body tries to put it back on. For people living with obesity, there is more to weight management than just the pounds you can see.

What’s going on inside the body?

Weight management requires a balance between the food, or the calories, the body takes in and the calories the body uses for energy. By limiting the amount of food a person eats and increasing their activity, it’s possible to shift the balance towards weight loss, but there are many other factors that can affect weight management.

The Tug-of-War of Weight Management

While healthy eating and increased physical activity are important, for many people it may not be enough to keep weight off.

Why is it so hard to keep the pounds off? Well, there’s more to weight management than meets the eye. People may see results when they limit calories, by reducing the size of meals, for example. And find ways to increase physical activity, like taking regular walks around the block. But the body reacts to weight loss by trying to regain weight, making weight management a constant tug-of-war. Metabolism slows down and gets more efficient, requiring fewer calories to do its job. Hormonal signals can also change. The body increases a hunger hormone, called the ghrelin hormone, which tries to get you to eat more calories. And the hormones that tell the brain it's time to stop eating, the “feeling full” signals, decrease. These are just some of the factors that make weight regain so common.

More than meets the eye

Food is broken down into fuel for the body by a process called metabolism. After weight loss, metabolism slows down and gets more efficient, requiring fewer calories to do its job. Hormonal signals can also change.

The brain increases the hunger hormone called ghrelin, which tries to get you to eat more calories. And, the hormones that tell the brain it's time to stop eating, the “feeling full” signals, decrease. These are just some of the factors that make weight regain so common. Weight management is a constant tug-of-war inside the body. Watch the video above to see more.

Resting metabolic rate is the energy needed to fuel the body at rest. Your resting metabolic rate is unique to you, and it depends on how active you are and how much muscle you have. Talk to a health care provider about testing yours for more insight on how your metabolism may be affecting your weight-management efforts.

Resting metabolic rate is the energy needed to fuel the body at rest. Your resting metabolic rate is unique to you, and it depends on how active you are and how much muscle you have. Talk to a health care provider about testing yours for more insight on how your metabolism may be affecting your weight-management efforts.

Donna is living with obesity

Donna spent three decades trying multiple diets but would always gain the weight back. After a health care provider took the time to treat her with more than “eat less, move more,” she was finally able to manage her weight long term. Donna wants other people to know obesity is a disease that can be treated.

“I didn’t realize that there were other people that suffered like that, and I didn’t realize that there was something I could do about it. I’ve learned now that obesity is a disease.”

Donna is living with obesity

Donna spent three decades trying multiple diets but would always gain the weight back. After a health care provider took the time to treat her with more than “eat less, move more,” she was finally able to manage her weight long term. Donna wants other people to know obesity is a disease that can be treated.

“I didn’t realize that there were other people that suffered like that, and I didn’t realize that there was something I could do about it. I’ve learned now that obesity is a disease.”

Changing how we think about weight

Knowing that the body keeps trying to regain weight for so long is news to many people. It’s changing how the medical community approaches weight management. Be sure to work with a health care provider who treats obesity.

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