After A Diet Why Does The Weight Come Back

Before many Australians recently,​ a​ devastating story unfolded on​ a​ popular current affairs program. we​ watched with compassion as​ the​ fattest man in​ Australia told of​ his most recent,​ serious attempt to​ lose weight. Approximately 12 months earlier and weighing close to​ 300 kilos,​ he under went life threatening surgery to​ lose weight.

I doubt there would have been one person watching not moved by this man's depression and plight. Despite undergoing the​ surgery,​ today he could barely get through each day,​ both physically and mentally. He shared with us his sense of​ hopelessness and wanting to​ end it​ all.

It was not only his size that was causing his depression. He had to​ deal with a​ heart broken by disappointment.

You see,​ the​ surgery had been a​ success.

He soon lost well over 50 kilos post operation and he and his family rejoiced. But then the​ unthinkable happened.

The weight came back. Today he weighs well over 300 kilos - more than before the​ surgery.

This is​ an​ extreme case,​ but nonetheless raises a​ question that so many people continue to​ battle with.

After a​ diet,​ why does the​ weight come back so quickly?

To answer this we​ need to​ understand how much energy a​ body requires. For each pound you weigh,​ each day you need 12 calories to​ maintain your body weight. if​ you weigh 120 pounds you will need 120 x 12 calories,​ that is,​ 1440 calories per day to​ maintain that body weight. if​ you eat or​ drink more calories than your body requires,​ the​ excess energy is​ stored as​ fat. it​ takes 3,​600 excess calories to​ make one pound of​ fat.

In this example,​ if​ your typical daily calorific intake is​ 2000 calories,​ in​ around 30 days you would put on​ between 4-5 pounds of​ fat!

Let's say,​ you then decide to​ go on​ a​ restrictive diet and halve your calorific consumption to​ 1,​000 calories per day. You stay on​ this diet for around a​ month and lose 10 pounds and now weigh 110 pounds. You feel fantastic about losing the​ weight but can't keep up such a​ restrictive regime because you are irritable and have no energy.

So you go off your diet and go back to​ your usual routine of​ 2,​000 calories a​ day. Remember you are lighter now and your body requires less energy to​ maintain its new weight. You would now require 110 x 12,​ that is,​ 1320 calories per day.

In this instance,​ by consuming 2000 calories daily,​ because you are lighter than before,​ you would put the​ weight back on​ in​ just 24-25 days!

If you want to​ keep the​ weight off you must develop a​ consistent change in​ eating habits to​ ensure you do not consume more than your body requires. You cannot continue to​ eat the​ same quantities and/or combinations of​ foods that caused you to​ be overweight in​ the​ first place. This will require developing an​ understanding of​ the​ nutritional content of​ food and raising your body's metabolism through increased muscle mass and exercise.

(c) 2003 Kim Beardsmore

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