What Happens When you Lose Weight Only to Find it Again?
I stood on the scale and saw that I had finally gotten below 200 pounds. “Finally!” I thought, “I never have to see a 2 in front of my weight again…”. Such an amazing feeling and filled with the confidence that this was it. I was losing weight for the last time.
That first time of getting under 200 pounds was in medical school and I would love to tell you that I never left wonderland again.
But alas, the 2’s came back and they brought some friends. Not only did I get into the 200’s again, I kept going.
The shame of going from feeling so confident in my ability to keep losing weight and the defeat of feeling like I had no ability to stop the regain was huge. It was something that weighed on my mind nearly daily for years and years until I finally found the tools that would allow me to lose the weight and keep it off.
That baggage I carried for all those years was exhausting. It was a weight I carried around through my days in the hospital, social activities with friends and my R&R time. The “I can’t control my weight baggage”. And you know what? Looking back, I can see that carrying that baggage was part of the reason that I struggled so much with my weight in those years.
Why Does Weight Regain Happen?
When you look at the evidence for what happens when people lose weight, it can be sobering. There is very little evidence that on a population basis, we are good at losing and maintaining weight loss. There are a lot of reasons why that happens.
- When you lose weight, your metabolic rate decreases. This means at a lower weight, you need less food to maintain that weight than you did at a higher weight.
- Hunger hormones (ghrelin) have been shown to increase with weight loss meaning you may feel hungrier at a lower weight.
- Thought patterns start to sneak in that contribute to going back to old ways of eating and small inconsistencies in eating.
There are things in this list that you have no control over. If your metabolism drops or your hunger hormones increase, you can’t really stop them. There is some evidence that the metabolism drop is less with weight loss through lower carb eating compared to low fat eating. From a personal and professional standpoint, it is my experience that the increase in hunger is also less when using a lower carb approach. So this may be one place to intervene.
Focus Where You Have the Most Control
I like to focus energy where it will have the most impact and in this area, focusing on your thoughts around weight loss and weight regain is the most impactful place. Can’t change your metabolism or your hormones, but you can change your thoughts.
I would suggest that you start by working on your thoughts about any weight regain. If you are dragging that monster sized suitcase of failure with you like I used to, it is time to set it down. Weight regain is not your fault. Nor does it mean anything about your future weight loss attempts. But that baggage can weigh you down and make you more likely to regain the weight.
This week in the podcast, I am going into detail about how weight regain baggage can slow you down and trip you up. I see this all the time with physicians I work with. Learn my tips to let go of this baggage by listening below.
Tired of the Yo-Yo?
You can lose weight for the last time. Coaching is the most efficient way to get you there. To learn more, click the button below.