Research finds long-term weight loss is nearly impossible

Cory Doctorow blogs about research showing weight loss comes back in 5-10 year.

Sobering news for me — I’m only three years into my own weight loss success. I went from a peak weight of about 276 in 2003, to 266 in 2008, then down to 176 in January, 2011, and finally lost another 10 pounds this year. As of Monday I was in the high 160s.

I tend to put on weight when I travel, which is a problem because I’m traveling more this year. I eat a lot of crap when I travel: Candy from hotel minibars,  pastries from the snacks they put out at conferences, fried food, desserts, the same stuff that made me fat to begin with.

Cory describes how he lost 80 pounds 2002-3, and kept it off. Our methods are similar in that we require constant vigilance. I log everything I eat, and weigh and measure it when possible. Corywent for a low-carb diet where I’m counting calories (and probably reducing carbs as a side-effect — I don’t keep track of that).

It’s not a huge deal, but it limits choices. For one thing, Julie and I almost never eat out anymore, which is a shame. I miss going out to eat with Julie. One recent weekend morning Julie suggested spontaneously that we go out for breakfast, and I had to say no. My meals are almost always planned in advance, and the prospect of changing those plans was overwhelming (particularly on an empty stomach, ironically enough).

I’m curious how Cory manages his weight when he travels, which he does a heck of a lot more than I do.

Long-term weight loss considered nearly impossible – Boing Boing.

13 thoughts on “Research finds long-term weight loss is nearly impossible

  1. Pingback: Long-term weight loss ‘nearly impossible’? Pfui! – Like I Was Saying

  2. Mitch Wagner Post author

    Mike Jenkinson: I saw this report yesterday and was so very depressed by it because people will now just give up even more on trying to be healthier and lose weight because they remember hearing on the news that it’s “impossible” to lose weight, so why even try.And for the record, 15 years ago, I was 230 lbs. I’m now 172 lbs., and the heaviest I’ve been in that interim is about 186. I’ve basically lost 50 lbs., plus or minus, and kept it off for more than a decade.via

  3. Mitch Wagner Post author

    Flavio Carrillo: Speaking for myself, this is entirely under my control. It boils down to whether or not I keep exercising. If I slack off, the weight will come back. If I keep pounding away at the rowing machine it will stay off. Diet isn’t as important (although it matters.) I can eat crappy up to a point and still keep the weight off if need be so long as the exercise is happening. The other way around? Not so much.I like exercising, happily. Although my tastes have changed over the years, back in my 20s I was a gym rat and into some fairly serious free weights. Now it’s push ups and rowing. My metabolism isn’t what it used to be and requires a more cardio intensive routine. My target weight is higher than yours, though, 205-210 (almost there now at 216.) I let myself blow up to 250 at one point and that’s when I bought the rowing machine and got serious. Getting under 200 pounds isn’t gonna happen to me, am not built that way and never was. (The BMI people claim I should weigh around 190. They lie. I have never weighed that as an adult even in my best gym rat days.)It seems difficult to believe in your own case that you’ll go back and put on 90 pounds. If you do slide, surely not that far?via

  4. Mitch Wagner Post author

    Flavio Carrillo: +Mitch Wagner Hey, the smoking curbs his appetite.But it’s hard to believe that anybody could drink that much and stay slim. Would need a superhuman metabolism. Yeah, it’s mostly hard liquor and not beer but still. (Did people really drink that much back then? And yet they weren’t as obese as now. What’s up with that? A milder version of the French paradox.)Hamm himself quit smoking in real life when he was 24. Presumably he drinks sensibly off screen and is faithful to his gal. He actually seems like a pretty normal guy.via

  5. Mitch Wagner Post author

    Flavio Carrillo: +Mitch Wagner Interestingly, Jon Hamm weighs in at 200 and he’s my height (and near my age) and also claims that getting under that isn’t gonna happen for him either. Whoever comes up with these BMI indexes isn’t accounting for variations in builds. You have to understand your own body.Good enough for Don Draper, good enough for me.via

  6. Mitch Wagner Post author

    Wolfgang Karsch: I have most of my adult life had to struggle with weight being a musician and then going to a desk job. 2 years ago I damaged the cartilage in my knees and was fairly immobilised reaching a max weight of 133kg this year. I have had two lots of knee surgery in the last two years and have since March lost 10kg. I have been successfully down the calorie counting path before but I hate the way it reduces spontaneity and find I find myself constantly thinking about what’s next on the menu. Instead I now have a large fruit and veg smoothie with added chia spirulina and a teaspoon of olive oil for breakfast some canned flavoured chicken and corn crackers for lunch (because I am addicted to the flavour of them presently). I go for a vigorous walk in my lunch hour and when I get back to work I have a banana or high protein snack. For dinner I have some pan fried chicken fillets  or steak cooked in a generous splash of extra virgin olive with either steamed veg or salad. I find that I no longer think of food and feel the best I have in years.  I guess you could say it was predominantly a higher protein, low carb diet. On weekends apart from the smoothie for breakfast it is open slather I eat what whatever is going plus I don’t go out of my way to exercise. I don’t really eat much more on the weekend as I just don’t seem to crave much of anything and I do more physical things anyway because I feel more active. I truly believe the problem with todays diet is that it has far to much sugar and carbohydrates. If you told me 10 years ago I would loose weight  using the amount of olive oil I use now I would have said that you had rocks in your head as we were brain washed by the nutritionists back then to believe that fats and oils were bad for us.via


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