What’s Up with the Weight Gain Yo-Yo?

Many of us who have struggled to lose weight have experienced the Weight Gain Yo-Yo. It is the frustrating experience of losing weight, only to gain it back and more. Why does this happen?
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As we begin to lose weight through the combination of diet and exercise, we of course lose fat. Believe it or not, losing weight actually starts the process of regaining the weight we lost in the first place. Medical studies have shown that a hormone called Leptin, produced primarily in the fat cells helps regulate hunger, and is received by receptors of the hypothalmus. The more leptin we have in our blood (serum leptin), the less hungry we feel. If leptin is absent or blocked from the receptors, we eat uncontrollably. Thus, as we lose fat, our ability to produce leptin is diminished, and we become more hungry, thus eating more, and the cycle to gaining weight begins. There are also other factors involved that affect leptin and hunger.

Our bodies can develop leptin resistance. This can be cause by several factors, but the two biggies appear to be over consumption of fructose, and stress induced from a lack of sleep. Fructose is a sugar found in fruit, and almost everything else we consume in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). The largest source of HFCS are sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, punches, electrolyte replenishing beverages, etc. Today the average American consumes about 44.7 gallons of soft drinks in a year. Short sleep cycles have also been associated with reduced leptin. With the internet being a 24/7 form of entertainment/source of information, more and more Americans are getting less sleep.

One other factor that appears to affect serum leptin levels is severe calorie restriction. In fact, drastic reductions in caloric intake reduce leptin levels, faster than could be explained by body fat losses.

You can see where I’m going with this. To help end the Yo-Yo effect of weight loss:

1) Cut back on the consumption of soft drinks, and other sweetened beverages, as well as not over-doing it on fruit, and juices.

2) Get adequate amounts of sleep (about 8 hours)

3) Find foods that satisfy hunger better like proteins, and reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Try adding foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, as these tend to increase leptin production.

4) Don’t go overboard cutting calories. You should cut back no more than 500 calories below your normal caloric requirements for all activities, and necessary daily bodily function needs to maintain a slow steady state of weight loss.

Science is still uncovering more information on the important role hormones like leptin play in how our nutrition affects obesity more than simply calories consumed. For now this appears to be a good start.

Thanks for dropping by!  I hope you found this post informative.

Be Fit and God Bless!

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P.S.:  If you found some useful ideas in this post, please feel free to share is using the social media buttons on this page.  I would also like to hear any suggestions, questions or comments you have below.

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