So there is something called set point theory.
This theory suggests that each of us has a natural set point of weight maintenance in which the body always tries to return. Research suggests that the body has feedback mechanisms which adjusts the metabolic rate, so that fat stores are maintained at a consistent level.
Weight cycling is described as losing weight by dieting, then regaining that weight, then dieting and losing weight again and then putting the weight back on, also termed yo-yo dieting. There are three categories of weight cyclers; a mild weight cycler loses between five to ten pounds three or more times, a moderate weight cycler has lost between ten to twenty pounds and a severe weight cycler has lost more than twenty pounds over and over again. There is a huge return rate in regards to people who try to lose weight by going on a diet. The number of people who can keep weight off for more than a year is a very small percentage.
On the show ‘Fat and Back’, a professor stated that there was a 95% return weight rate and he suggested that those who actually can make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep weight off for more than 5 years is less than 10%. It is suggested that weight cycling is due to the constant cultural pressure to be thin, and that more women than men are weight cyclers. Most research on weight cyclers has been done on adolescent girls and many studies have found that binge eating is fairly common among weight cyclers.
There is a series of issues that lead to weight cycling.
The first is to do with genetics, researchers have found around three hundred genes that play a role in determining weight, helping to explain why some people gain weight more easily than others and have more difficulty keeping the weight off that they lose.
Hormones are another factor, ghrelin in the stomach stimulates appetite, this hormone increases before meals and decreases after meals, and leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells which tells the brain that enough food has been consumed and to stop eating. Differences in the levels of these hormones and in the bodies responsiveness to them plays a roll in losing and regaining weight.
Emotional factors: some people when they feel stressed or upset cannot eat, while others feel the opposite, turning to food for comfort instead of addressing the situation that is causing the emotion. Boredom, loneliness, and frustration are other feelings that cause people to eat when they are not truly hungry starting the yo-yo cycle.
Psychological factors: unrealistic expectations of how much weight can be lost how fast as well as how much effort it will take and how many permanent lifestyle changes will have to be made also attribute to the weight cycle. People who weight cycle are more likely to have depression, binge eating because of impulse control issues.
While another contributor are social factors; social events, as well as peer pressure, eating to please others, or having impulse control difficulties often lead to eating more than intended in social situations.
Activity level: people who are dieting consistently underestimate how many calories they burn in exercise, ending up out eating their exercise. Lack of education about food; people underestimate how many calories they eat and over estimate the amount of food that makes up a portion size. As well, they do not pay attention to the nutritional information and become confused as to what is healthy and what is not when making their food choices.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.