Regaining Lost Fat Weight

Article by Dr. Paul Kennedy
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Doctor Paul Kennedyby Dr. Paul Kennedy, Wellness Outreach Doctor – October 2013 Topic of the Month

We’ve all heard the term “yo-yo” dieting and many of us have probably had an experience in re-gaining weight (specifically fat weight) as a result of additional unwanted pounds gained soon after a “diet” is abandoned. I have written before about the reason that “diets” don’t work and the main reason, of course, is that they are generally too severe in terms of calorie restriction and poorly balanced in terms of nutrient content. In other words, they are UNsustainable. It is my view that the calorie restriction component of most “diets” is the major reason that failed attempts at losing weight are common and lead to futility—not to mention that future attempts will be less likely to happen once severely restricted eating plans are experienced.

I have written before about the fact that no weight loss eating plan should restrict calorie intake by more than 10-15% unless the current calorie count of the dieter is vastly greater than the normal range.

It is well accepted that severely restrictive eating plans (“diets”) can and will cause the body’s natural metabolic rate (the rate at which it burns calories even at rest) to be reduced –in many cases significantly. But the real danger of regaining lost weight is that the body’s metabolic rate may REMAIN depressed even after the “diet” or calorie restricted eating plan has ended. In other words, unless the eating plan is sustainable for a lifetime, they (the “diets”) will end sooner rather than later. This predictable lack of sustainability is currently considered the main reason for regaining lost weight following a well-intentioned but severely restricted “diet”. And yet, these severely restricted “diets” continue to be the rage and are even suggested by some professional as a reasonable answer to fat weight loss. One must remember, however, that the research literature has continually shown that weight loss exceeding more than 1 to 1 ½ pounds per week is likely far more likely to be regained. This factor seems to support the idea of less severe dietary restriction as a long-term program with a greater chance of success–now AND later.

But there’s more! It also appears that the amount of fat in the “diet” will not only provide twice the unwanted calories as compared to protein or carbohydrates, but it may also have a negative effect on the sensory response in the stomach that triggers the sensation of “fullness”. A recent study published in the Journal of Obesity showed that a “high fat” diet blunts the ability of the internal lining of the stomach to perceive or signal “fullness”. This indicates that the urge to overeat MAY be a result of too much dietary fat. Part of the body’s way of regulating food intake and limiting excess calories via the “fullness signal” comes from the hormone called leptin. In normal conditions, leptin works just fine as a “stop” signal but in eating plans that include high levels of fat (and, therefore, higher calorie counts), the increased leptin production de-sensitizes those nerves that detect fullness. The research referenced above was unable to determine whether this fullness signal “blunting ” has a short-term or long-lasting effect. Further research will make this clearer but, in the meantime, it stands as just another reason to keep dietary fat consumption to a minimum as well as moderating total calorie consumption to a reasonable yet sustainable level.

Also, remember that permanent weight loss is far more likely in a comprehensive program that includes some form of cardiovascular training (a brisk walk a few days per week would be a good start) and a strength training program to help regain the muscle tissue that is lost with age and/or inactivity. As our regular readers may know, our muscle tissue is a major driver of our metabolic rate—the rate at which we burn calories even at rest and, therefore, is also an effective way of keeping unwanted fat weight from returning in addition to the calories used or “burned” as a result of the strength training routine itself.

  3. HEALTHY EATING PLAN (Here’s a fun & healthy smoothie recipe from Dr. Paul Kennedy – Smoothie Recipe Video)
  4. I’m Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the “Be Fit, Stay Fit” Topic of the Month for October, 2013. Good luck with YOUR program! I KNOW you can do it!

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