By Linda Albert
If you think that losing weight is difficult, think again – the really difficult thing is to lose weight and then keep it off. As every woman who has ever been on a weight loss program knows, maintenance of the weight loss is far more difficult than losing those 20 extra pounds or the extra inches at the waist.
95% of the weight comes back
Keeping weight off is clearly more difficult than losing it, since statistics show that very significant numbers of those who lose weight actually regain it; some estimates say that as many as 95% of those who lose weight, regain it.
The problem of course is that most of us see weight loss as a goal rather than a process. So many of us seem to think that we have to just get there to our ideal or target weight and then we can get back to being our ‘normal’ selves, eating the ‘usual’ food, and engaging in only the little physical activity that we did before we started out weight loss efforts.
Weight loss is not a short term goal but a long term process
The error here is to view one’s attempts at getting to a healthy weight as a ‘program’, and as such of a finite or limited duration. One has to understand, that if one has been at a certain weight for a long time, the body has grown accustomed to being at that weight.
Then, when fewer calories are consumed and greater amounts of calories are expended as part of a weight loss ‘program’ the body becomes bewildered and upset at this change; it may lose weight to begin with, but the body is still trying to regain the lost weight as soon as possible.
Why the human body puts on weight
The way that human beings have evolved since earlier times living in hunter gatherer societies, it involved periods of plenty and periods of scarcity. Sometimes the rains were good, and food was plentiful, whereas at others, existence itself became difficult due to scarcity of resources.
So the human body evolved in a fashion that caused it to store fat in the body during times of plenty, for a later date and for times of scarcity, when the body could sustain itself off its own reserves of energy.
Our lifestyles have changed but our metabolisms have remained the same
Mankind now typically lives in settled communities, with constant access to good nutrition with no looming scarcity and therefore no need for the body to store fat. However our bodies have not evolved accordingly yet and they continue to store fat even when they have easy access to it.
So how do we keep the weight off?
The only hope that we have to modifying our bodies so that they do not store fat for times of scarcity that modern societies are very rarely faced with, is to modify our lifestyles to eat less, to move more and keep our bodies in better working condition.
We cannot hope that our weight loss efforts, even if they are successful now, will sustain themselves in the longer run as we lapse back into bad habits of sedentary lives and unhealthy eating habits.
This is a guest post by WomenHealthZone.com, a blog specializing in womens health. The blog among others covers topics such as breast cancer, fibroids, diabetes, obesity, reproductive health, infertility, birth control, and PMS.