The Real Deal on Maintenance After a Large Weight-Loss
- POSTED ON: Apr 12, 2015

My own lifetime of observation and personal experience tells me that the following article is “The Real Deal” on the issue of maintenance of a large weight-loss - including long-term maintenance. 

By “The Real Deal”,  I mean genuine, authentic, true, exact, trustworthy, and clear.

For those who don’t know, for the past 10+ years I’ve been successfully struggling to maintain my 5 ft 0 inch elderly body at a “normal” BMI after years of “morbid obesity”, through a great many different dieting methods.  More information is in  ABOUT ME as well as in many articles about my Status in the ARCHIVES.  I will be writing more about my personal weight and calorie details at the bottom of the following article:

You Should Never Diet Again:
The Science and Genetics of Weight Loss

To maintain a new weight,
you have to fight evolution.
You have to fight biology.
And you have to fight your brain

         by Dr. Traci Mann  .. Excerpted from "Secrets From the Eating Lab". (2015)

I’ve given you the bad news: diets fail in the long run. Now, let’s try to understand why.

In social psychology we often say that if you find that most people behave in the same way, then the explanation for their behavior has very little to do with the kind of people they are. It has to do with the circumstances in which they find themselves. For example, most students in class raise their hands and wait quietly to be called on before speaking. It’s not that they are all timid or overly polite types of people. It’s that the classroom setting is sufficiently powerful that without really thinking about it, nearly everyone ends up following the same unwritten rules. When we think about people who regain weight after dieting, it’s a similar principle. It’s not that they have a weak will or lack discipline, or that they didn’t want it enough, or didn’t care. It’s about the circumstances in which they find themselves, and the automatic behavior that is provoked by those settings. In other words: if you have trouble keeping weight off, it is not a character flaw.

When it comes to keeping weight off, a combination of circumstances conspires against you. Each one on its own makes it difficult, but put them together and you are no longer in a fair fight. One circumstance that makes things hard is our environment of near-constant temptation. Two others are biology and psychology. I realize it may seem odd to you that I am calling these things “circumstances,” but, like a classroom setting and the behavior it produces, we need to acknowledge the context in which...

Biological Adaptations that Promote Weight Regain
- POSTED ON: Mar 04, 2015

There is a “widespread misimpression” that weight-loss and maintenance for bodies which have become and stayed obese for more than a couple of years, is essentially the same as that for bodies which always have been:

  • normal weight (BMI between 18.5-24.9);
  • overweight (BMI between 25-29.9); or
  • have spent a brief time within Grade 1 obesity (BMI between 30-34.9).

In a commentary published February 26, 2015 in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, four weight-loss specialists set out to correct what they view as the widespread misimpression that people who have become and stayed obese for more than a couple of years can, by diet and exercise alone, return to a normal, healthy weight and stay that way.

"Once obesity is established, however, body weight seems to become biologically 'stamped in' and defended," wrote Mt. Sinai Hospital weight management expert Christopher N. Ochner and colleagues from the medical faculties of the University of Colorado, Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania.  

“Few individuals ever truly recover from obesity.” Those that do "still have 'obesity in remission,' and are biologically very different from individuals of the same age, sex and body weight who never had obesity." They are constantly at war with their bodies' efforts to return to their highest sustained weight.

That February 2015 commentary together with the August 2013 research article below explain many of the things that I have experienced personally, and that I have personally observed.

An additional article dealing with this issue is located HERE in the DietHobby Archives.


Biological Mechanisms that Promote Weight Regain Following Weight Loss in Obese Humans
          by Christopher N. Ochner; Dulce M. Barrios; Clement D. Lee; F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer
                     Published August 2013


Weight loss dieting remains the treatment of choice for the vast majority of obese individuals, despite the limited long-term success of behavioral weight loss interventions. The reasons for the near universal unsustainability of behavioral weight loss in [formerly] obese indiv...

Shrinking Fat Cells: What Happens When Body Fat is Burned?
- POSTED ON: Jan 12, 2015

The fat burning process is a complex biochemical process.

When you “lose” body fat, the fat cell (also called an adipocyte) does not go anywhere or “move into the muscle cell to be burned”. The fat cell itself, (unfortunately) stays right where it was – under the skin in your thighs, stomach, hips, arms, etc., and on top of the muscles – which is why you can’t see muscle “definition” when your body fat is high.

Fat is stored inside the fat cell in the form of triaglycerol. The fat is not burned right there in the fat cell, it must be liberated from the fat cell through somewhat complex hormonal/enzymatic pathways. When stimulated to do so, the fat cell simply releases its contents (triaglycerol) into the bloodstream as free fatty acids (FFA’s), and they are transported through the blood to the tissues where the energy is needed.

A typical young male adult stores about 60,000 to 100,000 calories of energy in body fat cells. What triggers the release of all these stored fatty acids from the fat cell? When your body needs energy because you’re consuming fewer calories than you are burning (an energy deficit), then your body releases hormones and enzymes that signal your fat cells to release your fat reserves instead of keeping them in storage.

For stored fat to be liberated from the fat cell, hydrolysis (lipolysis or fat breakdown), splits the molecule of triaglycerol into glycerol and three fatty acids. An important enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) is the catalyst for this reaction. The stored fat (energy) gets released into the bloodstream as FFA’s and they are shuttled off to the muscles where the energy is needed. As blood flow increases to the active muscles, more FFA’s are delivered to the muscles that need them.

An important enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), then helps the FFA’s get inside the mitochondria of the muscle cell, where the FFA’s can be burned for energy. If you’ve ever taken a biology class, then you’ve probably heard of the mitochondria. This is the “cellular powerhouse” where energy production takes place and this is where the FFA’s go to be burned for energy.

When the FFA’s are released from the fat cell, the fat cell shrinks and that’s why you look leaner when you lose body fat – because the fat cell is now smaller. A small or “empty” fat cell is what you’re after if you want the lean, defined look.

The Sound of Wrong
- POSTED ON: Sep 24, 2014


Mathematics of Weight-Loss
- POSTED ON: Aug 22, 2014


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