It’s the New Year and you, and millions like you, have goals and resolutions to lose weight. 

It’s no secret that keeping the weight off is just as hard as tackling the initial weight loss

You’re reminded of this on TV, in magazines and tabloids that talk about celebrities and how they regained weight after dieting.

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The fear and frustration sets in fast because you have been down this road before.

You’re tired of the roller coaster!  

You’ve had this same goal year after year and you’ve lost and regained the weight.

Why is it so easy to regain weight and what can you do this year to make sure that it doesn’t turn into groundhog day?

The Usual Reasons for Regaining Weight

Up to 80% of people who lose weight regain all or some of it back. So, you’re not alone. Why this happens may be multifaceted. It could be related to:

– Being on a diet that is too restricted in calories

– Exercising less after you’ve reached your goal while still consuming the same amount of calories.

– Emotional eating.

– Eating too much overall.

New possibilities for regaining weight

There are so many factors as to why you regain weight. Here I will discuss the five most common reasons:

1. Different kinds of fat

You might have heard of the term “brown fat”.

This type of fat is different than the fat you normally think of.  Brown fat is more metabolically active and is found with increased exercise.

We know that if you exercise, you can lose weight easier.  

Not because you’re burning off fat cells, but because you are creating an environment within your body that boosts metabolism and therefore burns more fat.

2. Hormones

New studies have found that it may not just be calories in vs calories out.  Researchers are looking in depth at our hormones and how they play a part in the weight loss cycle.

They’ve found that leptin and ghrelin regulate appetite and therefore influence weight.

Leptin decreases hunger and ghrelin increases hunger.

They’ve found that resistance to leptin can take place in people with higher abdominal fat. The organs responsible for secreting leptin can also get confused depending on the composition of your food intake.

The composition of your food intake also affects the hormone insulin.  Your body’s response to insulin, another very important hormone that contributes to fat development.

To best regulate these hormones, it’s important to get adequate, high quality sleep, manage your stress and eat a healthy, high fiber diet.

weight regain_23. Your gut

There have also been a lot of new studies done on the microbes in the gut. This is the most interesting new area of discovery in my opinion.

They have found that our microbes are like a whole “forgotten” organ and contain 90% of the DNA in our body.  Wow!

They’ve found that your microbes affect everything from your personality to the way you look.

 They can affect how you tolerate food, if it’s going to be hard for you to lose weight and if you’re more at risk for gaining back the weight.

The microbes or bacteria in your gut can become unbalanced due to a multitude of reasons including an unhealthy diet.  When comparing thin vs obese individuals, they have found different kinds of bacteria inhabiting the individual’s intestines.

To balance your gut health, eat a well-balanced, high nutrient diet. Eat high fiber and fermented foods for your prebiotics and probiotics.

Inflammation

Inflammation is an area where only the tip of the iceberg has been studied. We know there are two kinds of inflammation, acute and chronic.  

It’s chronic inflammation that is troublesome and can lead to an increased risk for chronic disease including obesity.

There are ways to decrease chronic inflammation through stress management, a healthy diet, adequate sleep and exercise.

Diet and Individuality

Washington Post recently reported the results of the Healthy Food Study. Researchers Eran Segal and Eran Elinav discovered different people react one way to a meal while others react different.

Elinav stated in the study “We cannot think healthy meal choices are one-size-fits-all anymore.”

Although these researchers developed an algorithm that is supposed to create a diet that works for you, it’s lacking vital information such as the level of inflammation in your body and the kind of bacteria in your gut.  It does look at the microbiome features however only in how they enable glucose response.

While it’s always a good idea to eat clean, what is healthy for you may not be healthy for the next person.  While “superfoods” are generally higher in “good” nutrients, they may not be good for you.  We are all biochemically different.

How to Avoid Regaining Weight?

What studies have found important in keeping weight off is to have support and guidance for at least a year during your weight loss efforts and after losing the weight.

You’ve probably noticed a trend in how to avoid regaining weight in the information above: manage your stress, eat healthy, get adequate sleep and exercise.

It’s not one thing that causes you to keep the weight off.  It’s an all-inclusive lifestyle.

Connect with Expert Lisa Meisels

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