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Biology's A B*tch: 5 Reasons It's So Hard To Keep Weight Off

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the biological factors that make it difficult to maintain weight loss, including a slower metabolism, hormonal changes that increase hunger, and the importance of exercise in maintaining weight loss.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Metabolism Slows When You Lose Weight

1. What are the three main ways metabolic energy burn occurs?

  • Resting metabolism - the energy used to keep your organs working and stay alive, accounting for 50-70% of total calories burned
  • Thermic effect of food - the energy used to digest and turn food into energy, about 10% of calories burned
  • Physical activity - about 30% of calorie burn, mostly from the energy used to move around, not just exercise

2. Why does metabolism slow down when you lose weight? Calorie burn is proportional to body weight, so as you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories to maintain itself, leading to a slower metabolism.

[02] Making Changes You Can Stick To

1. What is the key to maintaining weight loss long-term? Making changes to your diet and exercise that you can stick to permanently, rather than temporary "diets". Your body will fight to regain lost weight if you stop the changes that helped you lose it.

2. How does metabolism act like a "spring" when losing weight? The more effort you put into losing weight, the more you can "stretch out" your metabolism. But if you stop the changes that helped you lose weight, your metabolism will "spring back" and you'll regain the weight.

[03] Hormones Increase Hunger When Losing Weight

1. How do hormones like leptin affect appetite when you lose weight? As you lose weight, leptin levels drop, which acts like a "starvation signal" to your brain, making you feel hungrier and want to eat more to regain the lost weight.

2. What is the key takeaway about hunger and weight loss? Your increased hunger is not a moral failing, it's just your body's hormonal response to weight loss, so don't be too hard on yourself.

[04] Diet Matters More Than Exercise for Weight Loss

1. Why is diet more important than exercise for initial weight loss? It's easier to cut 600 calories by skipping a muffin than to burn that through an hour or more of exercise. People also tend to "reward" exercise with extra eating, negating the calorie burn.

2. How might excessive exercise lead to a slower resting metabolism? There is some evidence that if you do a lot of physical activity, your resting metabolism may slow down to compensate, though this is still a theory.

[05] Exercise is Key for Maintaining Weight Loss

1. What do successful long-term weight loss maintainers have in common? They report exercising for about an hour per day on average, with walking being the most popular form of exercise.

2. How does exercise help counteract the biological mechanisms that make it hard to keep weight off? Exercise helps fill the "energy gap" between how much you want to eat and how many calories you're burning, which is key for maintaining weight loss long-term.

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