Losing weight is hard. Keeping it off is even harder. How many people do you know who’ve lost a ton of weight to just gain it all back? How many “yo-yo” dieters do you know? I personally know three gastric bypass patients who gained a significant amount of the weight they lost back within the first year of their surgery.
“In comprehensive programs combining dietary and lifestyle interventions, one-third to two-thirds of “lost weight” is regained within 1 year and virtually all lost weight is regained within 5 years. “The discouraging conclusion from most clinical studies is that almost everyone returns to, or surpasses, their starting weight within 5 year following treatment.” 
Why is this? Why do so many people struggle to keep the weight off? I know I have struggled mightily to maintain the weight I have lost. Over the last month I have gained about 10 lbs. (OH NO!!) Sadly, there is a simple answer to my weight gain…Ive been eating like crap. I reverted back to some of my old ways; eating fried food, eating late meals, pasta, cokes, sweets etc. I was working out just as hard as before but my diet was so terrible I gained weight.
Admittidely, 10 lbs isn’t that big of deal. I’m back on my routine and will be back down to my original weight pretty soon but there is cause for concern because I did gain the weight. During my journey I thought losing 100 lbs would completely change my metabolism. That the slow tortoise type metabolism I had would eventually turn into a rabbit….Well I’m not a magician and you can’t change your genetic make up.
If you are like me and are cursed with a naturally slow metabolism there are ways to speed it up but you can’t change it completely. You may spend months, if not years speeding up your metabolism through eating right and exercise but if you let up and revert to your old ways guess what, your metabolism will follow. Just look at my own story as proof.
The other factor in why people struggle to keep the weight off is less genetic and more mental. I’m speaking of the dreaded emotional eater. Lets face it, you gained weight not because you ate right and exercised a lot. It was the exact opposite. Growing up, when something good or bad happened in my life, my family either celebrated or found comfort in food. I live in the south and there is a reason why we call it “Comfort food”. It makes us feel good. Everyone has a dish that reminds you of your child hood. Every time I eat biscuits and gravy I immediately think of my Mamaw. Chili makes me think of my dad and watching football with him. Spaghetti reminds me of Christmas Eve dinner with my entire family. Cheerios reminds me of my grandparents who passed away last summer. It’s as if something in food triggers the brain receptors that bring up past memories, good or bad.
It’s frustrating to think that I will have to be “on my game” 24/7 to keep the weight off. I wanna be one of those people who can eat whatever they want and still lose weight but sadly this isn’t EVER going to be me. My genetic make up won’t allow it. If I want to eat whatever and whenever I want, I will have to work 10x harder than other people. This isn’t fair but neither is life…I have to get over it.
To sum up, the ugly truth about weight loss is that if you want all that hard work to pay off you’ll need to understand your body and that if you revert to your unhealthy ways you will undoubtingly gain the weight back. Again, this isn’t fair but it is what is. As a good friend once told me, the more you know.