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"biggest losers" followed for 6 years post show.

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  • "biggest losers" followed for 6 years post show.

    this study and findings brings up a lot of questions


    partial cut and paste below to save click over...but it is not all of the article.

    Dec. 8, 2009, he weighed just 191 pounds, down from 430. Dressed in a T-shirt and knee-length shorts, he was lean, athletic and as handsome as a model.

    “I’ve got my life back,” he declared. “I mean, I feel like a million bucks.”

    Mr. Cahill left the show’s stage in Hollywood and flew directly to New York to start a triumphal tour of the talk shows, chatting with Jay Leno, Regis Philbin and Joy Behar. As he heard from fans all over the world, his elation knew no bounds.

    But in the years since, more than 100 pounds have crept back onto his 5-foot-11 frame despite his best efforts. In fact, most of that season’s 16 contestants have regained much if not all the weight they lost so arduously. Some are even heavier now.

    Yet their experiences, while a bitter personal disappointment, have been a gift to science. A study of Season 8’s contestants has yielded surprising new discoveries about the physiology of obesity that help explain why so many people struggle unsuccessfully to keep off the weight they lose.

    Kevin Hall, a scientist at a federal research center who admits to a weakness for reality TV, had the idea to follow the “Biggest Loser” contestants for six years after that victorious night. The project was the first to measure what happened to people over as long as six years after they had lost large amounts of weight with intensive dieting and exercise.

    The results, the researchers said, were stunning. They showed just how hard the body fights back against weight loss.

    “It is frightening and amazing,” said Dr. Hall, an expert on metabolism at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. “I am just blown away.”

    It has to do with resting metabolism, which determines how many calories a person burns when at rest. When the show began, the contestants, though hugely overweight, had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. When it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes.

    Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that “The Biggest Loser” contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended.

    What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.

    Mr. Cahill was one of the worst off. As he regained more than 100 pounds, his metabolism slowed so much that, just to maintain his current weight of 295 pounds, he now has to eat 800 calories a day less than a typical man his size. Anything more turns to fat.


    my questions are....

    1.Is the amount of hard exercise these people are doing while burning off the fat for the show, changing their resting metabolism more than others who lose large amounts of weight over a longer period of time, and so after such a loss in such a short period of time, they are forever changed?

    2.If they ARE forever changed...How are they eating after? Are they eating similar to the way they were when they lost the weight? did they change habits to reflect the changes their body needs now...are they eating to efficiently with proper macros for fuelling? The weight is lost usually low carb low fat from what i can tell from the few shows i watched. So then...they are carb fuelling a fat burning body, with a LOT less fat now, and not taking in proper fats to stay satiated and fat fuelled in the their new lower resting metabolism rate, and lower fat body they have?

    3.Are they following the "healthy whole grain" low fat SAD, and now with having a fat fuelled body, they are carb fuelling, so the body is running inefficiently and gains fat back.

    4.If they didn't exercise so hard and lost the weight same weight, coupled with eating low carb and low fat... would they make the same gains back after if they stayed low carb low fat, and didn't exercise as hard...would the same results happen? is exercise an actual causation or just correlation here.

    I want to see the full study and info of the people in more depth. I think they ate low carb low fat, lost the body fat, and didn't add in healthy fats to stay fueled in diet, and did not compensate for the new metabolism they have.

    Saying "your body fights hard to stay fat" is a crappy analogy in this article, and will push obese diabetic people to not bother changing the way they eat to get healthy, cause the "who cares, since I'm gonna get fat again anyway." mentality kicks in.

    I'd love to see Mark dig into this one and pry it apart.

  • #2
    The dietdoctor recently had a post about this saying that the key is basal metabolic rate.
    "On a snow covered mountain time stands still and clarity enters the mind"
    "I want to find out what happens if I don't give up"


    • #3
      People explaining the biggest loser weight gain post show and what it really means.

      As i guessed...the internet and news media is now a buzz about how dieting and low carb is dangerous. Oi!

      Glad there are others explaining the actual science behind this and looking at the actual findings... not basing info off of how the study was intrepretted and shown to the world.


      • #4
        Originally posted by DavidA View Post
        The dietdoctor recently had a post about this saying that the key is basal metabolic rate.
        Thanks David for the link. I've been readong up in this stuff a lot lately to gather understanding.

        We are such complex biological machines.

        Now I'm wondering what kind of damage I may have done all my life to my BMR with 30 some odd years of crap advice on healthy eating and weight loss info. And calorie deficiet diets.



        • #5
          I think those links are a typical situation of people choosing sides at the extremes while reality is in the middle.

          a. metabolic slowdown during weight loss is a fact. Beyond the slowdown mandated by the loss of weight itself.
          b. BL protocol probably makes it as bad as possible
          c. doing things right can moderate it but never eliminate it
          d. The health establishment and the weight loss industry have nothing to gain by telling the truth about the issue