Obesity Research Saying That Long-Term Weight Loss is Almost Impossible

You know all of those stories about people losing a ton of weight through a strict diet and hours of exercise? Take those stories with a grain of salt, one obesity research says.  Apparently, after years of study, one research says that long-term weight loss is nearly impossible. At least, that’s what psychologist Traci Mann, who spent 20 years running an eating lab at the University of Minnesota, believes. We all know a person – a friend, someone’s kid brother, a neighbor, a sister or brother in law – that lost 50 pounds or so and seems to have really made it. But if we check in with them, say, five to 10 years in, chances are very high that they would have put the weight back on.

“It couldn’t be easier to see,” Mann says. “Long-term weight loss happens to only the smallest minority of people.”

Thanks to biology, it makes short-term weight loss fairly easily, but then the weight creeps on them after about a year, until eventually, the accumulation of pounds end up having the person back to their original weight. These days, researchers suggest using the terms “weight maintenance” and “weight management” instead of “weight loss.” However, health experts are also afraid that people will abandon all efforts to exercise and eat nutritiously, even if it doesn’t result in much weight loss.

Mann says that the emphasis should be on measuring health, not weight. After all, it’s better to be as healthy as you can possibly be rather than just a pile of bones. “You should still eat right, you should still exercise, doing healthy stuff is still healthy,” she said.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images


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