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Fast Answers about Losing Weight

Tim Boyer's picture
Maintaining weight loss remains problrmatic for dieters

Here’s a recap of fast answers about losing weight published in the New York Times recently to help readers understand what is currently known about weight loss.


According to a recent news article in the New York Times by writer Gina Kolata, the recent news about how that “The Biggest Loser” winners tend to regain some if not all of their lost weight demonstrates that we are still in flux when it comes to knowing what works toward losing weight—and just as importantly—how to keep it off when it does.

As such, here is a summary of fast answers she offers on common weight loss questions:

Weight loss question #1: Are you more likely to maintain weight loss if you lose weight slowly?

According to Ms. Kolata, whether compared study groups lost weight quickly with a restricted calorie diet; or, more slowly by cutting fewer calories daily, participants in both groups regained all of their lost weight within 3 years after their respective study began.

Weight loss question #2: To maintain weight loss, should you avoid snacks?

Although it seems to make sense that snacks can pack on the pounds, Ms. Kolata writes that thus far there has been no clear data to demonstrate that this is true with respect toward undermining a dieter’s weight loss results.

Weight loss question #3: If you build muscle with exercise, including weight lifting, will you be able to maintain a higher metabolism?

Studies indicate that building muscles has almost no effect on a person’s resting metabolism and that muscles have a low metabolic rate while at rest. Therefore, you would have to either bulk up like the Hulk or be much more active to reap a significant calorie burn from added muscle throughout the day.

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Weight loss question #4: Can you defeat your body’s slowed metabolism after weight loss by doing vigorous cardiovascular exercises?

Yes…but it turns out that for most of us that added vigorous exercise also increases cravings and leads to overeating―a major reason why exercise alone generally fails when it comes to losing weight. In fact, Ms. Kolata refers to a study that found that after you lose 10 percent or more of your weight by diet alone, your muscles start using genes that make them more efficient and thereby leads to fewer calories burned for the same amount of exercise.

Weight loss question #5: Is there a type of diet that helps keep weight off?

In spite of the low carb versus high protein or low fat debate, some experts admit that there is no diet or weight-loss regimen that is guaranteed to work (for everyone), but that people can often maintain a loss of 5 percent of their weight, which is enough for health benefits to kick in. The recommendation here is to find that weight loss program that will work for you, but not necessarily will work for your friend next door.

Weight loss question #6: So what hope is there for weight maintenance?

One common theme appears to work for those who successfully avoid regaining weight: constant vigilance, keeping close track of weight, controlling what food is eaten and how much, exercising often, putting up with hunger and resisting cravings to the best of a person’s ability.

For more about the confusion that surrounds weight loss, here is an informative article on The Biggest Fat Burning Myths You Have Been Fed.

Reference: The New York Times―”Short Answers to Hard Questions About Weight Loss

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