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This Month: The Biggest Winner

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After the release of my May e-newsletter, From The HealthShrink, I received the following note from a dedicated reader, Anne. She was inspired to write after reading a front page article in New York Times on 5/2/16, entitled, “That Lost Weight? The Body Finds It,” by Gina Rolata.

Here’s Anne’s note and my response:

Hi Susan.
Thanks for the newsletter, which I look forward to reading.  Did you see the article in today's Times about how difficult it is to keep weight off?  Quite depressing, actually.  A topic for another edition!

Anne L.

Good Morning Anne,

Nice to hear from you! Yes, the article in the Times is telling the truth. It’s what I’ve been saying all along; stats show 97% of us who lose weight will gain it all back and more usually within 2 years. The Biggest Loser is no exception. The reason for that is fairly simple.

This reality show, like most of us, continues to operate under the misguided weight loss guise of calories-in /calories-out and excessive exercise. The truth is, this is a trick. We can very, very rarely maintain weight loss acquired this way. Restricting our food and calorie intake is an unnatural and even punishing way to live. Eventually our brain will send out very strong hunger messages and craves for food. Most of us become miserable and ultimately, we give up, give in and eat. Then, quite often, we start to feel guilty, angry, and hopeless.

As long as we’re alive, eating is actually normal. Self-induced starvation is not. In reality, our brain is just doing its job when it makes our metabolism sluggish to counteract the reduction in food consumption. This is the brain’s way to protect us and our survival.