Monday, December 10, 2012

Weight Loss and the PLateau effect

Anyone who has struggled with weight agrees that it seems much easier to gain weight than to lose it. A resistance to lose weight, even when we have excess fat, is scientifically proven.Our  bodies are programmed  to gain weight when food intake increases (or exercise decreases) and resist weight loss when food seems to become scarce.
This mechanism was developed as a survival technique in times of famine. When food  intake  suddenly  diminishes,  the  body  assumes  that food supply is scarce and protects the individuals survival by resisting weight loss. The body has no way of knowing that a refrigerator full of food is just steps away. The resistance to lose weight can often increase after a couple months of dieting. A person may lose a pound per week for a couple months on a healthy diet and exercise routine but then stop seeing results while still maintaining this regimen. This leveling off of weight loss is known as the plateau effect. Health professionals rec- ommend increasing the intensity or duration of physical activ- ity to fight the bodys determination to keep that extra fat. On the other hand, the plateau effect is a great incentive not to gain too much excess weight in the first place.

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