I see that activity/exercise were key to maintaining wt. loss. And look at that they even ate carbs lol.
How To Maintain The Weight Lost
January 16 2010
We now know that 70-80% of the people who lose weight gain it all back. That being said, what are the characteristics of those 20-30% of people who lose weight and maintain the weight lost?.
Why is it hard to maintain the weight lost?
Genetics: 70-80% of your weight is determined by your genes. Though calories in and out is thought to be consciously regulated, there is a powerful, unconscious biological system that tries to maintain your genetically determined weight.
Interestingly,your height is the only heritable trait that is more dominated by your genes than obesity.
So how can you maintain the weight lost?
If genetics plays such a big role is obesity, is it really possible to lose weight and keep it off? To answer this question, The National Registry of Weight Control - the largest prospective study of long-term successful weight loss maintenance- has been tracking people who
- Lost at least 30 pounds, and
- Maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for one year or more
So how did the majority of participants maintain the weight lost:
78% eat breakfast every day: Eating breakfast probably helps in preventing having a big meal later in the day or snacking before lunch.
75% weigh themselves at least once a week: This is pretty interesting considering how people are often advised not to check their weight and go by dress sizes. And there is a few more studies to support frequent weighing to catch weight gains before they escalate and make changes to prevent additional weight gain.
62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week:Most people think this to be pretty straightforward. But most people tend to snack when they watch TV.
This is an example of classical conditioning effect: It holds that stimuli repeatedly presented before or simultaneously with a given behavior will become associated with that behavior. For example, after repeatedly eating salty snacks while watching TV, simply turning on the set may trigger a craving for potato chips.
90% exercise about 1 hour per day:This seems to be one big factor since we know exercise plays a big role in preventing weight regain than in weight loss. The most frequently reported form of activity was walking .
Most continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet: The low fat is understandable considering how hard it is to maintain a high fat diet diet and at the same time keep it low calories. Studies do tend to show people who start with a low carb diet moving towards a moderate carb diet as the study progresses.
The major limitations of the study are:
- subjects are self selected.
- Observational study.
- The subjects themselves report all data.
So we really don’t know which habit contributes the most or if these habits are even really contributing much. You can read more about the study here: National Weight Control Registry
Anoop | Thu January 21, 2010
Exactly and not just carbs, it was “high” carb diet.
I think the weight thing is pretty important. Most people still go by dress sizes. I think that’s a poor way of measuring changes. You can be very well losing 1 lb a week, but you wont see a dress size change unless you lose 5-10 lbs.So people get dissapointed and feel like things aren’t working and do something drastic.
One of my concerns, particularly on no-carb diets is muscle loss. A person can be lighter and smaller, yet maintain a similar body fat % even at a lighter weight.
correct me if i’m wrong but the only (main) things you can do to spare muscle loss during a diet are:
1) consume adequate protein
2) undergo a high intensity training regimen
Anoop | Sat January 23, 2010
That’s pretty much it. The lower the calories, the greater the muscle loss and higher your needs for protein.This is why you take high levels of protein in diets like very low calories diets (VLCD).
And high carb phases (carb cycling) help to bring about an anabolic environment acutely.
You wrote genetics is 80% of the problem. Anoop are you saying if you are over weight or obese, there is no hope for you?
Anoop | Fri January 29, 2010
You can, but you can only go so far from your biologically set weight. And they call it the “settling zone concept” . There is range of body weight values (+ or - 20-30 lbs) within this zone. That’s one reason people can lose 10-15 lbs and keep it off without much effort. The further they lose or gain or when they cross the settling zone, the body fights back really hard to bring back the weight to the zone.
And this may be more tightly controlled in obese people than lean individuals. But the fluctuations in the settling zone is determined by the external environment. Hence the reason why you see the freshman 15 or people losing or gaining weight when they move to a different country and so on.
As an academic researcher in the field of obesity, I have to take issue with the idea of obesity being 80% heritable/genetic. The highest percentage found has been 70% and even this is challenged. Some studies have found the heritability factor to be as low as 30 or 40% (which, lets fact it, is still a significant factor). YOur genes can make it harder, but weight, at the bottom line, is a result of a number of factors including calories in and calories out - it’s not as simple as some people think but then again, losing weight isn’t rocket science. I’ve lost 140 lbs myself and kept it off for 3 years now.
Anoop | Tue February 02, 2010
The 70-80% is from Jeffri Friedmann - the guy who discovered Leptin (one of the greatest nutritional discovery). I will copy the portion from his recent article below:
What is the evidence for a biological
basis for obesity?
Classically, a genetic contribution to a human
trait is quantified by comparing the trait’s
variation between identical and non-identical
twins. Using this approach, the heritability
of obesity — percentage of variation
due to genetic factors — ranges between 70%
and 80%. These values exceed those for most
other traits that are commonly accepted to
have a biological basis, including diabetes,
heart disease and cancer. Indeed, the only
trait with consistently higher heritability
than obesity is height. Adoption studies also
support the contribution of genes to obesity:
adopted children’s weight more closely
resembles that of their biological, rather than their adoptive, parents. Nonetheless, no study can completely attribute obesity to
genes. Because no one becomes obese if they
are starved, the environment — primarily, free
access to calories — is probably a permissive
factor that sets the stage for the genetically
predisposed to become obese.
And as a researcher you should know better that what you lost or personal anecdotes and testimonials doesn’t matter. That’s not how science works.
Also you can lose a lot of weight and maintain it. That’s what the whole article is about. But these are people who are extremely motivated and hence the exceptions.
Hey up, Anoop
I think you will find that it was Coleman who actually discovered Leptin (with his ob and db mice), Friedman was just one of the guys who worked on finding out what the function was - and named it I beleive (leptos meaning thin in Greek).
It would be interesting to know which studies he is citing - from whence comes his top figure of 80%. Does he cite them?
Interestingly, there seems to be an inordinate interest in the “set point” amongst the weight concerned public whilst most of academia is now more focussed on the “settling point” - the difference being that the settling point is the point at which appetite and environment produce a weight at whichthe individual tends to settle, rather than a biologically determined “set point”.
And in response to you comment on how science works, it is interesting how often personal anecdotes are central - think of all the overweight and obese individuals who have relayed the info that they don’t eat very much, certainly no more than their normal weight peers - which led to the social formulation of the set point theory so popular amongst so many (even some people who should know better).
Indeed, there is a whole drive of holistic science (not my own branch, admittedly) who rely upon discourse analysis - and therefore upon personal exepreince in order to produce data for consideration.
And finally, let us remember that at the top of any area of science, above the accepted “givens” and received truths, there is always a host of disputed theories and new ideas which are yet to pass into general agreement and concurrence. Leg ulcers were once commonly treated with egg white and oxygen, the treatment for TB was once sea air and pregnant women were once advised to drink stout. Accepted wisdom does change - and we rarely agree on the big stuff.
Anoop | Wed February 03, 2010
Thanks for commenting.
Nope. Colemann identified that there is a blood factor that is causing the ob/db mice to overly obese. Friedmann discovered the gene (using new gene mapping techniques) encoding the protein and named it leptin. Recently they shared the shaw prize for the discoery of leptin.
He quotes studies from twins and adoption studies.These are the usual studies quoted when they talk about the genetics of obesity. I can find them for you if you you cannot find them.
Yes I agree. And I wrote that in the forum about settling zone concept. Hence my comment in the article about + or 1 10-20 lbs.
I am not sure if the errors in self reporting defined the set point theory. I think it was the discovery of leptin and how it affected body fat framed the set point concept.
And personal experiences and testimonials are great just for a hypothesis. Science has to prove the hypothesis even if people think it “works”.
And what’s you focus in research if I may ask?
Hello again (I must be quick - I’ve always got work to do). Thanks so much for your offer, but I think I have copies of the papers - I seem to disappear under a deluge of twin studies sometimes.
Yes, you are right, Friedman and Coleman did share the prize and yes Friedman was the one who identified the gene, but it was Coleman who first noted the existence of a chemical at work in his parabiosis studies. The db wre found to have an insensitivity to leptin whilst the ob mice were found to be unable to produce it - hence the mortalityof the parabiosed ob mice. But this is all immaterial. I think we are probably reading from the same hymn sheet -albeit in different lights. Friedman, apparently, hesitated to enter the research field because he had previously been a student under Yalow who was an advocate of CCK.
My main focus for the last 2 or 3 years has been nutrition transition and the explosion of obesity in the developing world - where the socioeconomic factors accepted in the developed world are turned on their heads. My own conclusions are that whatever factors influence the weight of the individual - we can only do anything about those under our influence i.e. the behavioural aspect of putting hand to mouth and the frequency, duration and instensity of the exercise one chooses to fit into ones lifestyle.
Anoop | Wed February 03, 2010
And I completely agree with you. All this physiological equations will only help in discovering a drug which can help the morbidly obese.
For the population as a whole, behavioral aspects in the this environment can only help us.
And obesity is not real my interest so I am not quick to quote studies or give the full scoop. Thanks for all the contributions & corrections. And hope you get time to comment here every now and then.
Modern Science vs the Stigma of Obesity (Friedman). this study has all the references he quotes.