Why it’s difficult for those that go on a diet to then keep their weight off

As January rolls around, many of us start the new year with our annual resolutions.  Weight loss and associated behavioral changes are one of the most common resolutions.   Shows like The Biggest Loser present some impressive results in a relatively short span of time, but research shows that in many cases the lost weight is regained soon afterwards.

In addition, a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine (highlighted in a New York Times article) found that weight loss in obese individuals lead to hormonal changes that make it difficult to keep the weight off.  Although further studies are needed, it suggests that there exist physiological hurdles that make it difficult – once we become overweight – to lose the weight.

Of course, there is much left unexplained in obesity and weigh loss research.  It is still unquestioned that controlling your caloric intake and exercising regularly are key to maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight for those that are overweight.  And now there is even more reason to make sure our children eat healthy, as staying healthy – and maintaining a healthy body weight – is much easier than losing the pounds later in life.

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