Why willpower isn’t enough to keep the pounds off

Source: why-willpower-isn-t-enough-to-keep-the-pounds-off

Have you been dreaming about that second helping of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy? Are you planning to eat chocolate now and diet later? You might want to think about this first.

The overwhelming majority of dieters fail. Depending on which study you look at, between 80 and 95 percent of people who lose weight put it back on within two years.

The reason: most people’s bodies fight weight loss — fiercely. And if you manage to lose weight, it fights — fiercely — to get you to put those pounds back on. To boot, it does this in ways you have little or no control over.

One of the most powerful mechanisms your body uses is your resting metabolic rate.

That’s the number of calories you burn at rest — to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing and eyelids blinking, etc. And depending on how much exercise you do, it can be between half and three-quarters of the total number of calories you burn in a day.

Biggest Loser effect

But when you diet, your body becomes more fuel efficient, burning fewer calories to accomplish those same tasks. It goes from being a Hummer to being a Honda Civic, in terms of fuel consumption. And that fuel efficiency can be permanent. That’s what scientists found in the now well-known Biggest Loser study.

Six years after the show ended, the contestants in Season 8 found that their metabolism was still down an average of 499 calories a day. One man — Dan Cahill — saw his drop by 800 calories a day, even after he’d regained 100 pounds.

Everyone’s resting energy expenditure drops while they’re dieting, says York University’s Jennifer Kuk. But for about 50 per cent of people, that drop becomes permanent, making it harder to burn calories. (Laura Carlin/CBC)

Jennifer Kuk studies this phenomenon at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at Toronto’s York University. She says everyone’s resting energy expenditure drops while they’re dieting. But for about 50 per cent of people, the drop becomes permanent.

The average is about a 200-calorie-a day drop. In extreme cases, it can be four times that much. If you’re in the unlucky half of the population, keeping lost weight off is much harder.

“You have to make sure that you do that much more physical activity, that you have be that much more careful when you do consume your food because you have a smaller window in terms of how many calories you can eat before you potentially store.”

The science of hunger

And metabolism isn’t the only trick your body uses to prevent weight loss. There are dozens of hormones and peptides that affect what and how much you eat. Scientists are just beginning to unravel the complicated ways they interact.  But the effects of two are pretty well understood.

Dr. Arya Sharma is an obesity specialist, a researcher at the University of Alberta and the science director for the Canadian Obesity Network.

Sharma says one of the first things your body does when you go on a diet is raise the level of a hormone called ghrelin. Its job is to make you hungry.

There are dozens of hormones and peptides that affect what and how much you eat. Ghrelin, in particular, is known as the hunger hormone. (Canadian Obesity Network)

“Ghrelin always peaks just before a meal. It actually induces your eating behaviour. And there’s research showing that if you’re not eating [dieting], ghrelin levels go up.”

The other hormone — leptin — does the other job. It’s created by fat cells and tells your body to stop eating because you’ve had enough. If you go on a diet, you shrink some of those fat cells and produce less leptin. The “stop eating” message gets weaker.

And your brain joins in on the fight, too.

Test of willpower

Stephan Guyenet, a Seattle-based neuroscientist and author, says it is possible to white-knuckle your way past the pastry tray and not eat something — but the strategy doesn’t work in the long term.

“The problem with willpower is that it’s a limited resource. It’s effortful,” he says.

“If you have to do it on a constant daily basis, which is what you have to do if you’ve lost weight and your hunger circuits and your food-seeking circuits are activated, you’re going to have to exert that willpower on a continual basis to restrain yourself from eating food.”

That’s difficult for most people to do, Guyenet says, pointing out you’re often using your willpower for other things, like going to work, running errands and looking after your family.

“Those are things that deplete your willpower reserves, such that, at the end of the day, you might not have what it takes to fight those impulses.”

The consistently dismal outcomes from diets have a growing number of researchers, like Sharma, coming out strongly against fat-shaming.

They’re actively trying to debunk the commonly held idea that people with excess weight are undisciplined or lazy. In fact, science shows they’re trying to accomplish something their own bodies don’t want them to do.

Hitting the Gym but Not Losing Weight? Here’s Why

Source: Popsugar

Have you been working out, eating right, losing weight — then suddenly you hit a wall? Perhaps you’ve been doing all the right things and still not seeing any results. This plateau might feel like a dead end in your weight-loss journey, but there’s hope in the form of new research.

Last week, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) published a 13-week study with new research about subjects they call “non-responders.” The conclusion: you need a personalised balance of cardio and strength training to see results.

If you suspect you are a “non-responder” and your body isn’t budging despite your healthier choices, you’re not alone. A separate study from the Cooper Institute found that many people — “20 to 45 percent of some populations,” according to a press release — are in the same boat. ACE’s study suggested that “considerable heterogeneity” in exercise can lead to “adverse effects.”

Think back to your exercise schedule. Is there enough variety? Is it personal to you? If the entirety of your fitness routine is purely group cardio classes, it’s time to break the cycling cycle! ACE’s research showed that “a unique combination of functional fitness, resistance training, and cardio workouts eliminates the non-responder phenomenon.” This means the only way to break through a rut, wall, or plateau in your fitness journey is to mix it up; individualised programs are imperative if you’re not seeing progress.

Here’s how the study went: exercises were split into two groups of exercisers (it was a small group — 46 subjects in total). One group was put into an “individualised training” group, while the others were in a “traditional exercise” group. “Between two groups, 100 percent of participants with individualised training saw positive results, while 35 percent of the traditional exercise group showed no significant health improvements.”

The “traditional exercise group” was the control group; they were “not instructed to not do any formal exercise.” The individualised group received more instruction, which was a balance of functional movement, resistance training, and cardio. We’ve heard before that a combo of cardio and weight training is the best way to lose weight via exercise, and this is more evidence.

“The individualised group saw more significant health improvements in almost every metric,” ACE said in a press release. This included an improvement to “VO2 max” (your lung capacity and performance ability), as well as “muscular fitness and key cardiometabolic risk factors.”

It’s important to note that in addition to a balanced routine, each participant in the individualised group received a plan that was specific to their bodies and abilities in order to optimise their results. While movement of any kind is important for your health, if you’ve got fitness goals and seem to be hitting a roadblock, it’s time to consider a plan that is more tailored to you. At the very least, start mixing up your workouts with both cardio and resistance training.

Exercising Gives You More Than Just A Nice Body

Yeah it’s nice to be strong. It’s nice to look good. The most important thing that exercising does for a person is it makes you FEEL good. As humans, we are feeling creatures. Without feeling we wouldn’t exist. I could go into a bunch of scientific stuff that exercising does for your brain and all of that, […]

http://th3goodlife.com/2015/12/15/exercising-gives-you-more-than-just-a-nice-body/

So, What’s Keeping You From Starting?

In one of my fitness groups on Facebook, someone posed a question. So what’s keeping you from starting? It’s a really big question because you have to be completely honest with yourself. Below is part of my response… “My relationship with myself. Thinking I am not worth it. Not truly believing I can lose the wieght. […]

https://marjoriesophia.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/so-whats-keeping-you-from-starting/

Shonda Rhimes weight loss motivation

Shonda Rhimes’ stint as a candy striper while attending high school in Chicago Heights inspired her to create “Grey’s Anatomy”, she told in an article posted online Friday. “But I was like, “This isn’t ever going to be any fun, but you’re just going to have to do it anyway”, Rhimes said. On November 10 she will be releasing her new memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Or nicely plus size. “Her pioneering work on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder has redefined the role of women in media and spurred the debate about diversity in television”.
It’s Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and she’s not letting anything hold her back. “Food makes you feel better. And then I put her down for her nap”, Rhimes said. “I have a 3-year-old and a 13-year-old and a 2-year-old, and I wanted to be around for them, be healthy”. For a long time, Rhimes said, she thought wanting to be “thin” felt amost anti-feminist, even “shallow and misogynistic”. As anyone who thinks in storytelling format for a living might have done, she decided she simply had to try spending a whole year saying yes to all the opportunities she normally would say no to and see where it led. Rhimes, 45, doesn’t have a particular end goal in sight; however, she likes seeing the numbers drop on her scale. “I realized that I could spend my life thinking, ‘I wish I could lose weight, ‘ or ‘I’m going to, ‘ or ‘I’m trying to, ‘” she adds. In the book, she shared about her last serious relationship with a man who cared for her. She, however, realized that being married to someone is something out of her priorities. Tribble Agency http://tribbleagency.com/2015/11/09/shonda-rhimes-reveals-the-motivation-behind-her-127-pound/