A recent study completed in has determined that the body resists attempts to lose weight. The study comes on the heels of news that obesity in is still on the rise despite efforts to reduce the recent epidemic. The study covering the body’s high resistance is set to be reviewed by obesity experts at the Queensland University of Technology.
Contrast of mechanisms
One doctor associated with the project from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation has states that the body has very few processes to prevent weight gain, but very strong processes to prevent weight loss. The study showed a long known effect whereby weight loss effectively stops or is drastically reduced once it reaches a certain level.
A plateau effect
The long known plateau effect was demonstrated in this study. The plateau effect marks a point where exercise and reduced calories no longer lead to significant weight loss. In the study, two sets of data were used. The first set involved obese men and women exercising five times a week, but did not regulate the amount of food which they were able to consume. The second survey group tracked was those which utilized both diet and exercise, but it was up to them how much of each they completed.
The first group lost an average of 3kg a week for the first seven weeks but in the eight week, the average net weight loss was only .7kg, a staggering drop. This stoppage of weight loss is evidence of the mechanisms the body has in place to prevent it from losing further weight, or at least from losing it as fast as it had been.
The second group had a wide array of weight losses, mainly due to the fact that the exercise program and diet had been left up to each individual. Despite the difference in total results, most of those surveyed displayed the previously mentioned plateau and major slowdown in weight loss.
The next steps
Despite the conclusive results of the study, much more research will be required. This study established that there are indeed mechanisms in place in the human body that prevents it from losing weight. Much more research is on the horizon and it will focus on several different aspects not specifically focused upon in this study.
One branch of research will most likely focus on just why the body has the mechanisms in place that it does. Some feel that they are in place so that in times of famine, the body will retain as much weight as possible so it can sustain itself for longer. Other theories feel that the body has this measure in place to make sure weight is lost at a healthy rate so as not to harm the body by losing weight too fast.
A second branch will focus on the brain’s function in the entire process of weight loss particularly whether the function can safely be shut off. In a time where obesity is continuing to rise despite our best efforts, an effective shut down of such mechanisms may be a very useful tool in reducing the obesity rate. If the famine theory is correct, the mechanisms are no longer needed in a time when food is over abundant.
Continued research in this area of studies could eventually aid millions in effective and extensive weight loss. It may also extend the life expectancy of many more by allowing them to remain healthier throughout their lives by effectively controlling their weight.