The Way of the Turtle - The Slow and Steady Path to Better
Do We Yo-Yo?
who struggles with weight has been there. We put out a lot of effort,
lose weight, and then watch in dismay (or refuse to watch) as the
numbers on the scale go back to where they were to begin with -
or higher. Humorist Erma Bombeck once said that she'd lost so much
weight that by all estimations she should be hanging from a keychain.
Many of us can relate!
weight regain is discussed, the implication is that it is the fault
of the dieter, and we hear this so much that it's easy to believe
it. Plus, it makes intuitive sense - I mean, who's doing the eating?
Thus begins another cycle of demoralization and self-berating. However,
think about this: the percentage of people who regain after weight
loss is enormous - well above 90% - and the number who sustain a
substantial weight loss (more than 35 lbs) for more than 5 years
is vanishingly small (think about it: how many of these people do
you know personally?). Why do all these people, with great intentions
and all the motivation in the world, (most of whom succeed in many
other areas of their lives) fail at this one endeavor?
Much has been
written about the biology of obesity recently, and it's becoming
more and more clear that most of the answer rests there. But there
ARE life changes we can make that will help. This article will discuss
the common traps that keep us heavier than we need to be, and provide
some thoughts on how we might have a chance at preventing "The
In my studies
on this, I have grouped the reasons for weight regain into 6 main
factors. I feel that a complete understanding of all of them is
important before beginning on this journey. I have written a separate
article on each one:
- There isn't much we can do about them, but it's vital to understand
them, so that we can work with them, and don't unwittingly make
- The diet industry is at least partially responsible for most of
the expectations we have regarding weight loss. Many of these will
lead us astray.
Wrong Diet - The days of the "One Size Fits
All" diet are over. But how do we go about figuring out what
is the best way for us to eat?
- It is vital that we give up our sedentary ways. But too often
we doom ourselves to failure before we start.
- Time and time again it has been shown that getting support for
a new way of life is vital to sustaining it.
I believe that
it is extremely important, before embarking on a weight loss program,
to thoroughly understand the factors that contribute to regaining
weight. I also think that everyone has a weight range that it is
relatively easy to stay in - with reasonable attention to diet and
exercise we can keep ourselves at the lower end of that range. It
is when we attempt to go beyond that range that we must be extremely
careful. Often when weight is regained, we end up heavier than when
we started - it could be that repeated dieting drives the "natural
weight range" higher for some people.
The material on this page and Web site is for informational and educational
purposes only, and should not substitute for medical advice. Anyone having questions
about the application of information appearing here to a specific person or
situation should obtain advice from a qualified health care professional.