Whether you love The Biggest Loser or think it’s a terrible television program, some of the contestants have been very helpful when it comes to certain kinds of research into how to lose weight and keep it off.
This is a great article about a new study involving past contestants, but we have to warn you that there are some anecdotes you may find depressing. It turns out that if you have lost a significant amount of weight, it is incredibly difficult to keep that weight off because when your body realizes it is losing weight, your metabolism bottoms out as it struggles to get those pounds back. The basic conclusion: If you reduce your caloric intake, you will lose weight. But you will not keep the weight off UNLESS you exercise. Frequently.
If you truly are looking for a long-term solution to keep your weight low, there is a new exercise regimen to consider:
On average, those who managed to maintain a significant weight loss had 80 minutes a day of moderate activity, like walking, or 35 minutes a day of vigorous exercise, like running.
This is based on studies with 14 of the Biggest Losers, including some who gained all their weight back and others who successfully kept it off. The researchers paid attention to how many calories they were consuming and how many they were burning – including data from before they were even on the show up to six years after they left the show.
And though it’s a small study the facts are pretty black and white; if you have lost weight, you can keep it off but you can’t slack. You need to maintain a healthy diet, but most importantly you need to exercise more than if you had never gained weight in the first place.
We know, this is not good news. There is no magic pill. This will be a struggle for some people. But it is not impossible. The key is finding exercise and movement that you find enjoyable, so you’ll stick to the program.