How to stop the yo-yo weight loss.

Plus: All you need to know about fiber.


How To Stop The Yo-Yo Weight Loss

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Losing weight can feel like a victory, but the real challenge often comes with trying to keep it off. We’ve all been there—we lose some weight and then gain it all back. So we white-knuckle it through another diet and lose the weight again, just to see the number on the scale creep back up over the next few months. Luckily, recent research may have just found the answer to why so many people struggle to keep the weight off after losing it. It turns out the secret to maintaining weight loss may have a lot to do with your muscles. 

When people decide to lose weight, they usually start by changing their diet. Some add cardio, while others might include resistance or strength training. Scientists were curious about how these different approaches affect not just weight loss but also weight maintenance. So, they conducted a study (READ THE STUDY) where participants were divided into three groups: those who only dieted, those who dieted and did cardio, and those who dieted and engaged in resistance training (lifting weights).

The results were revealing. The group that only focused on dieting lost a significant amount of muscle—about 21 pounds. The diet and cardio group did better, losing only about 5 pounds of muscle. Surprisingly, the group that included resistance training with their diet didn’t just lose fat; they actually gained muscle, about 8 pounds, even as they lost weight.

Winner winner! 

Fast forward a year later, and the results get even more compelling. It’s clear that the battle against weight regain is tough. All three groups put back on some of the pounds they had shed. 

However, the group that had lifted weights came out on top again; they were less likely to gain back as much weight as the others. What does that mean? It means that muscle plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight. If you diet to lose weight but don’t lift any weights to build or, at the very least, maintain the muscle you have, you are setting yourself up for failure. Losing muscle not only weakens the body but also triggers an increase in hunger and appetite. 

This biological response makes sense when you think about it; your body is trying to get back to its previous weight, and feeling hungrier makes you eat more, which directly counteracts weight loss efforts.

But muscle loss isn’t the whole story when it comes to regaining weight. It’s a significant factor, but not the only one. To make weight loss stick, the study points to several strategies beyond just focusing on the scales. 

Strength training is essential, not just for building muscle but for maintaining it, which in turn helps manage appetite and hunger. Beyond that, you should develop healthier eating habits, reduce stress, get enough sleep, choose more satisfying foods (like those high in protein and fiber), and foster a positive self-image in order to make weight loss stick for the long term.

The key takeaway? Successful weight maintenance is about more than just losing pounds; it’s about changing your lifestyle with small, sustainable habits that will last you a lifetime. It’s about building and keeping muscle not just for its own sake but as a way to help regulate your body’s natural tendencies that make weight regain so common. 

So, if you’re on a weight loss journey, remember to give your muscles the attention they deserve. Pumping iron mightt just be the key to keeping those pounds off for good.


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