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Why is my Weight Loss so quickly followed by Weight Gain?

Everyone suffering from overweight wants to lose weight and maintain it. Why do so many overweight people gain the lost weight again? Is it because the overweight have trouble maintaining the good habits – psychological explanation? Or is it because their fat cells function particularly inappropriate – biological explanation? The two explanations are not opposites; most likely they supplement each other.

The psychological explanation assumes that the overweight falls back into the old bad habits. The weight loss is gained through a strict diet and plenty of exercise lead by an iron will.

When the desired weight loss has been achieved the person cannot withstand the pressure of the growing appetite and falls back into the unhealthy life with a following weight gain.

The biological explanation assumes that the intake of calories over a longer period corresponds to the combustion of calories. This means that if the overweight people eat fewer calories the combustion will also reduce. This means that the body’s fat deposits remain constant even though the overweight people eat fewer calories.

It is likely that the cause of why you risk gaining your lost weight again is a combination of psychological and biological conditions. Our knowledge of the complicated mechanisms is not complete. It is possible and desirable that diet over a longer period, exercise and weight loss can lead to changes in the regulation of fat cells, combustion and appetite.

However, no matter the explanation, there is only one way forward towards a lasting weight loss and that is changing your habits for life. Nobody goes to sleep skinny and wakes up overweight the next morning. Most people gain weight or lose weight gradually year for year without really understanding how it happened. They do not appear to have changed their habits of eating or exercising.

Since the feeling of want can lead to ‘falling off the wagon’ it is a bad idea to start with a strictly restrictive diet where you only eat certain foods. Often, the problem is not what type of food you eat but the amount you eat. This is also called the unconscious margin. There is nothing odd about that because the body cannot feel whether it has had 50 or 100 calories too much during a day – this is called the unconscious margin or boundary.

You have simply eaten too much without noticing it. If you however had an intake of 1000 or 2000 calories more a day the body would immediately react and we would feel a bit dull, tired and stuffed. There is a serious danger to the calories that sneak up on you because in a couple of years they take form as extra kilos that are hard to lose again if you do not try to change your habits. Experience shows that it is the people who eat low-fat foods, eat breakfast, finds joy in exercising and exercise more than 1 hour a day together with keeping a journal over you habits of eating who lose a lot of weight and can keep the weight loss over many years.

Further reading on Myths and untruths