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Your Genes really are the Predictor for Weight Loss

Posted Oct 30 2008 10:45am

There is a lot of misinformation out there in the fitness industry. Most recited by personal trainers touting that they know it all, when in fact most know nothing other than the spin that there certifications ingrain upon there one them.

The real truth about weight loss is difficult to swallow for most fitness pros for fear they will be out of a job. Fear that there burn 3600 calorie sermon to their clients will be label a hoax.

The reality of failing weight loss has been researched since 1959 by Dr Hirsch a research physician at Rockefeller University. He knew obese individual had huge overstuffed fat cells that shrunk when people lost weight, why he did not know which launched his formal research . He found eight people who have been fat since childhood, hospitalized them for eight months, kept them on a 600 calorie liquid diet until they lost 100 pounds. These individual were later put on a maintenance diet for 4 weeks to lock them into their new weight.

Astonishingly, all subjects regained their weight within a matter of weeks which triggered the question, what went wrong?

Before their diets began the fats subjects metabolism was normal. The number of calories burned per square meter of the body surface was no different than normal people who are not fat. But when they lost weight they were burning as much as 24 percent fewer calories per square meter on their surface area than the calories consumed by those who were naturally thin!

The Rockefeller researchers explained their observation in one of their papers: Weight reduction, instead of resulting in a normal state for obese patients, resulted in an abnormal state resembling extreme starvation in normal non obese individuals.

The studies continued for many years and after hundreds were tested the same results appeared time after time.

Following this study they ran numerous weight gain studies on thin emaciated prisoners. The end result was an increase in metabolism of 50% with only a 25lb increase in body weight. When the study ended the prisoners had no problem returning to their normal body weight.

The implications were clear. There is a reason that fat people cannot stay thin after they diet and that thin people cannot stay fat when forced to gain weight. The body’s metabolism speeds up or slows down to keep weight within a narrow range. Gain weight and the metabolism can as much as double. Lose weight and it can slow to half its original speed.

Finally scientist began to focus their attention on the ramification of bad genes on obesity in individuals and if genes where a primary cause for obesity. It was in the 80s that Dr Albert Stunkard of the University of Pennsylvania began studying a Danish registry of adoptess. He looked at the adoptees and the Biological parents meticulously analyzing the the height and weight of the adoptess, the biological parents and the adoptive parents. He looked at 540 adults whose average age was 40. They were all adopted in the first year of life. His conclusions as published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1986 was equivocal. All adoptess were as fat as their biological parents and how fat had no relationship to how fat the adoptive parents were! In other words genetic influences are important determinants of body fatness, and family environment had little or no effect on their fatness.

This message is so at odds with the popular conception of weight loss- the mantra that all a person has to do is eat less and exercise more. In my business I have encountered many individuals who have reached weight loss plateaus and had to alter dietary intake and workout routines to jump start the weight loss cycle. Generally I have found if a client can stay committed to diet and exercise for one year they can minimize the effects of weight regain. Unfortunately most individuals achieve their weight loss goals, get over confident and soon lapse into weight gain.

In summary what you can learn from this article is that there is more to weight loss than diet and exercise. Some individuals lose faster than others. be patient, diligent and dedicated to the cause. Get moral support from a personal trainer who knows what they are doing, and can carefully watch all aspects of your weight loss program is absolutely integral to success.

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