Why Is Weight Loss Maintenance Difficult?

Trying to maintain a healthy weight can be frustrating, especially when you’ve struggled to lose those extra pounds to begin with. Despite the difficulty, weight loss is still one of the best ways to completely transform your life and health. 

So how can you find long-term success managing your waistline?

At Murphy Medical Associates, our team offers medically supervised weight loss programs that guarantee exceptional results. Plus, we understand the challenges you face when it comes to weight loss — and that keeping the weight off can be even harder. Here’s what you need to know.

Your body works against you

One way to shed excess pounds is by decreasing the calories you consume on a daily basis. This encourages your body to burn up stored energy, or fat.  

Unfortunately, your system is also hardwired to regain this weight. Why? Because as fat deposits in your body decrease, a hormone in your body called leptin kicks into action. Fat cells make leptin and control when you need to start (or stop) eating. 

However, when you lose weight, leptin also signals your brain that your fat stores are falling.

Once leptin signals start firing, your brain responds by activating your body to put the weight back on. One of these ways is by telling your muscles to become more efficient, or burn less energy. As a result, you need fewer calories than expected based on your weight alone. 

This complex process also affects certain areas of your brain, especially those associated with feelings of reward and restraint when eating. That's why you often experience an increased appetite that's difficult to control when you lose weight.

You have to stay active

While following a healthy diet plays an important role in weight loss, one constant in successful long-term success is daily exercise. Your metabolism starts to slow down with weight loss, so regular exercise not only burns calories, but it keeps your metabolism humming, even when at rest. 

Guidelines published in the November 2018 Journal of the American Medical Association recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for adults — or 75 minutes of vigorous activity — each week. However, those who are obese or have significant weight to lose should be even more active, exercising at least 30-60 minutes each day. 

On top of regular cardio to maintain your weight loss, you should also include at least two days of strength training each week. These exercises not only increase your muscle mass, which can give your metabolism an extra boost, but they also support your joint health and leave you looking and feeling more sleek and fit.

Your genes can make things harder

If you feel like you fight your weight no matter what you do, it could be your genes. That’s because more than diet and exercise come into play when it comes to weight management.

At least half of the population has an inherited predisposition that supports increased body weight. In fact, researchers know of approximately 100 gene variants associated with obesity. Fortunately, only 1% of obese people have the gene variant causing obesity that makes it impossible to lose excessive body weight. 

So, while you could be genetically predisposed to weight gain, you should still be able to shed those extra pounds, but it could be harder to achieve success.

Your environment plays a role, too

In addition to your genes, your environment can also come into play — especially poverty and stress. 

Each time you experience stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline, and glucose gets released into your bloodstream to fuel your body. When the threat subsides, your blood sugar drops and the adrenaline wears off, but your cortisol kicks in to restore your energy supply. 

You can thank cortisol for those sugar cravings and that unwanted belly fat that can be so hard to lose. It also slows your metabolism, which makes it even harder to lose weight.

Your environment can also lead to unhealthy habits, including:

It’s also easy to miss out on daily exercise because of your environment.

Fortunately, our personalized weight loss approach can help you find success in your weight loss journey and maintain your results well into the future. That’s because you're guided every step of the way by medical professionals who understand how to help you embrace a new approach to food, eating, and exercise.

To learn more, contact one of our convenient locations in Greenwich, Stamford, or Stratford, Connecticut, by calling or sending the team a message online today.

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