The endless list of enemies of weight loss

The endless list of enemies of weight loss


Losing weight is one of the obsessions of the first world, in which a large part of the population is on a diet or will be on a diet sooner or later. However, the chances of failure are greater than the chances of success in this area. According to a study published by the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, the causes of frustration are so broad and varied that it is currently impossible to assess, in a generic way, why people do not lose weight.

The analysis was carried out by the Maharastra Institute of Nutrition and Sports Science using more than 400 medical articles. Their starting point is that even if people diet, fat losses stagnate or are reversed in 85% of cases. Only 20% of overweight people manage to control their volume in the long term.

The experts’ conclusion is that there are so many factors that affect obesity that focusing on one of them can lead to failure, so the only way to maintain an effective reduction has more to do with lifestyle than just diets. or sport. When reviewing all the phenomena that affect obesity, some of the arguments they use are common sense.

In places with extreme temperatures and constant rain, there is a reduction in physical activity, making losing weight more complicated. Alcohol, in turn, even if it is minimal intake, can unbalance any diet due to multiple factors. Likewise, they highlight that key factors such as sleeping habits or meal times are rarely taken into account. Below we summarize some of the points discussed in the study.

Genetics and anthropometry

The report believes that there are genetic issues that must be taken into account in each person. To do this, they give the example of the so-called ‘saving phenotype’ versus the ‘wasteful’ one. The second tends to naturally eliminate excess ingestion, which activates the so-called thermogenic response, that is, it eliminates excess energy in the form of heat, instead of storing it as body fat. The first, the ‘saver’, occurs in cases of fetuses developed in situations of malnutrition and tend to store fat in anticipation of food shortages. Therefore, you will have more problems losing weight.

The study also takes into account anthropometric conditions, that is, the dimensions of each human being. In this sense, it stands out that taller people or people with more muscle mass have a higher metabolism, which can facilitate weight loss. In comparison, shorter people may have a harder time losing weight.

Diet Adherence

The ability to maintain a diet is key to predicting weight loss, but it is not enough when it comes to estimating how the body will behave. A report on premenopausal women revealed that in the group of people most disciplined in restricting their diet, in two years they regained 50% of their lost weight. Those who had followed the diet the worst recovered 96.8%.

According to the study, a problem with diets is the subjective conditions, that is, how each person approaches such an effort. Thus, there are cases of people with insufficient knowledge about food or who do not know how to carry out dietary recommendations. There are also other personal conditions that affect diets such as stress, unrealistic expectations, financial difficulties in paying for healthy foods or poor motivation.

Beliefs and rhythms of life

Experts highlight that personal perceptions also influence weight loss. “Those who feel judged by those responsible for health in primary care because of their obesity achieve less weight loss, compared to those who do not perceive this judgment,” they point out. From a more objective point of view, the study also refers to everyday customs. For example, they cite another study according to which, in a group of dieters, those who slept 8.5 hours a day lost more weight than those who only rested 5.5 hours. This group also lost more muscle mass. For this reason, they advocate that any weight loss process take into account the hours of sleep.

And in that same field, circadian rhythms stand out, that is, those marked by day and night, sunlight and its absence. They cite a study carried out with women in which the group that ate more calories at breakfast than at dinner lost more weight – up to 5.1 kilos – than another group that followed an opposite eating pattern.


When it comes to showing the complexity of factors that affect diet, they collect other studies on packaging and other everyday objects. One of the data they collect is that products such as bisphenol-A or nonylphenol – which are used in the production of plastics – can interfere with weight loss since they favor the creation of adipocytes – fat deposits – and interfere with hormones. hunger and satiety, which triggers insulin resistance.

In its conclusion, the report insists that there are no magic solutions or single causes when it comes to establishing why some people find it harder to lose weight than others. The only certainty is that a healthy lifestyle is the only proposition for success.


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