Home Friday Fitness Check-in To Those Discouraged By The Metabolism Article, Don’t Be.

To Those Discouraged By The Metabolism Article, Don’t Be.

by Nellie

Friday Fitness (1)

Have you guys read the New York Times article about the Biggest Loser Contestants that regained weight that sent kicked up a lot of dust and had a lot of fitness related people in the industry losing their entire minds over it?

If you haven’t you should. When I initially read the article I didn’t know how to feel–honestly I thought everyone knew that most of the contestants gained back the weight for many reasons but mainly that it is nearly impossible to keep the same kind of diet and exercise regiment that they experienced on the ranch. Somehow when I read through it a second time I realized that not only are they talking about the show contestants but they were talking about ME too. It turns out that it’s a lot deeper than not eating properly or exercising less.

Let me explain.

The article mentions that people who are obese (me, by BMI standards) can never lose weight successfully because their metabolism basically stops working at the rate it used to. While losing weight the metabolism effectively stops working and it becomes harder and harder to lose weight because your body is working against you in all of your effort.

Oh really?

I was struck by this because I am a repeat “loser”. I’ve lost the same 30 pounds for years. Twice pregnancy related, once all on my own. It was discouraging to read because I saw so much of myself in the article…1200 calorie diets…excessive amount of exercise…eating all the healthy things yet–the weight is slow to drop or worst of all I gain. I swear, nothing screwed more with my psyche than GAINING weight (10lbs+!!) during marathon training last year.

Reading about the fact that my body may not ever be able to properly lose weight was simply demoralizing. What am I working towards? If science says I’m destined to fail then what is the point?!

Where do I go from here?

I know that I can’t be discouraged because of one article. I know 1200 calories is not my magic number (or the best number) but I’m trying different calorie amounts to find my sweet spot. In addition to “just eating healthy” I need to maintain a caloric goal because honestly it keeps me accountable.

Don’t give up

I am here to encourage every person who is restarting on yet another weight loss journey or maybe even their first. It will take hard work, and a lot of sweat and tears. Whether our bodies are actually working against us or not, our minds are the most powerful weapon. Our metabolisms may be slower, and we simply may not be able to eat the way we want to. It is up to us to fight back, stay focused and win the race.

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What did you guys think about the article? How would you advise someone who feels like giving up because science is against them?


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Allie May 6, 2016 - 5:44 am

I’m so glad you wrote this!! I obviously read the article and I was amazed they didn’t really talk about the WAY all of those people lost the weight which was extreme!!!! No “real” person sheds 14 pounds a week for months – it’s unhealthy and of course it’s going to throw your body into a metabolism tailspin. Ever since that show started I have always shook my head in disbelief. They didn’t really help those people because losing weight to keep it off is slow and steady for a reason – namely so you don’t screw with your entire metabolism system! But, this article should not be used as an excuse to give up! What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve!!!! Great post Nellie.

Janine Huldie May 6, 2016 - 6:42 am

Absolutely great advice and honestly I did read and I thought it was a load of you know what. So, very glad you mentioned it here and broke it down the way you did. Because essentially you are correct and there is honestly no reason to give up whatsoever. So thank you for sharing the article and your thoughts, too.

Tamara May 6, 2016 - 4:58 pm

I hadn’t read it, but of course I will now.
I think like you said, there’s no magic number and individual results vary. I think quite importantly, if you feel good and your doctor says you’re healthy, that’s pretty important.
When there’s a will, there’s a healthy way. It just might be slower.

Nicole May 7, 2016 - 11:04 pm

My mom was telling me about this article. She lost over 60 pounds about 2 years ago and has been working hard to keep it off ever since. She’s gained a bit of it back, but was really discouraged by this article. I will for sure be sharing this post with her. Thank you!

Janice May 8, 2016 - 12:59 am

The best diet and exercise plan is one that you can maintain (lifestyle included) without bingeing or giving up. The biggest loser plan is unrealistic for almost everyone. That said, determining your nutritional needs is just as important as determining your caloric needs. Focusing on increased protein and decreased carbs as well as regular, heavy resistance training helped me lose 25lbs after menopause when I thought it was impossible to do so. Consistency and adherence will win in the end.

Nicole May 11, 2016 - 10:58 pm

Great topic, and I have so much I want to say… but I’ll try not to write a whole book! 🙂 I have a slow metabolism and can totally relate to you. Sometimes I think it’s interesting how we’ve come so far in society in so many ways, but the human body has remained the same in a lot of ways. Our bodies try their hardest to hold onto weight and fat in case of an emergency time when we can’t get food… yet that isn’t a danger for most of us. We know that we’ll have breakfast tomorrow, yet our bodies don’t. The biology of it all is very interesting, and can certainly be frustrating!

I’ve heard a lot of people say that calorie counting is disordered eating, but as a health coach, I disagree and think it depends on the person. For me, keeping track of my macros and calorie intake keeps me accountable. It’s just what works for me when I want to lose a few pounds. For other people, doing that becomes too obsessive, so it’s really about personal preference and personality.

Keep on moving forward to find your sweet spot, lady! As you know, it takes time to shed weight if you do it the healthy way.

Leslie May 13, 2016 - 10:13 am

I’m so glad I didn’t see that article, because I probably would have thrown something. Honestly, I believe a lot of these things are complete bull. The BMI is one of the worst indicators of obesity, IMHO. It fails to take into account body composition and so many other factors. It’s definitely difficult to maintain weight loss, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Thanks for encouraging all those trying to be healthy-because that’s the real end game!


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