Why Is Weight Loss So Difficult?

Why Is Weight Loss So Difficult?

If you’ve ever felt that the harder you try to lose weight, the harder it is to lose it, you’ve experienced the sinister side of biology. 

While it’s true that to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories and burn more of them through exercise, that formula is woefully lacking some critical details. And that lack of information is what makes people abandon their weight loss efforts and makes the business of weight loss a $78 billion industry

Dr. Darrien Gaston and our team at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in Chicago, Illinois, partner with patients every day who struggle to lose weight, even though they’ve tried every diet and exercise program available. 

Here, Dr. Gaston discusses a few of the obstacles that may be standing in your way as you work toward your healthy weight, and offers some options that might help you get there.

A sluggish or slowing metabolism

You probably know that a faster metabolism burns more calories and helps with weight loss, but it’s not that simple. 

Everyone’s metabolism — the process that converts food to energy — works at a different pace. And many variables can mess with your rate, including gender, age, genetics, and how much fat and muscle your body has. Your metabolism works on three levels:

Your resting metabolic rate accounts for up to 75% of your daily energy expenditure; physical activity, about 30%; and eating and digesting only about 10%. 

Here’s the cruel twist in this biological math: when you lose weight, your metabolism slows down. That’s why it seems to come off easily at first, and then you hit a plateau and nothing seems to budge your numbers. The heavier your body is, the more calories it burns even at rest.

Your weight loss plan isn’t sustainable

If you’re a yo-yo dieter, it may be because you’ve chosen to follow a method that’s not sustainable. Here’s why extreme diets don’t work for long.

Imagine your metabolism as a spring. If you’ve eaten an unhealthy diet, led a sedentary life, and become overweight or obese, your metabolism “spring” considers this normal. But when you diet, exercise, and lose weight, you stretch the “spring” and it responds temporarily during the process.

But as soon as you cheat, the “spring” snaps back, and you gain the weight again — your metabolism constantly seeks its normal state. 

Another biological consequence of crash diets is that you may lose up to 5% of lean muscle mass, which is essential for weight loss. And if you stay in a state of starvation too long, you endanger your organs and your life. 

The only way to retrain your metabolism and find a new normal is to make changes you can maintain for life.

Hunger hormones sabotage you

There are many reasons we eat food, and most of them have nothing to do with being hungry. We eat to celebrate when we’re happy, to comfort ourselves when we’re sad, and calm ourselves when we’re angry. Sometimes we eat when the clock tells us it’s mealtime, or simply because we love the taste of food. 

Once you wade through all those food triggers, you’ll discover that your body actually calls for food when there’s a need to replenish nutrients — it’s called hunger, and it’s regulated by hormones. One of those hormones, leptin, sends hunger and fullness messages to your brain, so you know when to start and stop eating. 

But since leptin is released by fat tissue, it drops when you lose weight, so your body gets confused and thinks it’s starving. What happens next? Binging and weight gain.

How to break through your weight loss obstacles

Dr. Darrien understands all these frustrating obstacles and can help you get past them. It starts with a thorough medical exam and an honest discussion about what you’ve tried in the past. Once he gets the full picture of your weight loss journey and physical health, he recommends a medically supervised weight loss program, such as:

During your consultation, Dr. Gaston lets you know if either of these procedures is right for you. If so, you may soon join our many other thrilled patients who have lost significant amounts of weight and have kept it off with Dr. Gaston’s help. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling our friendly staff or book it online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What's Causing My Terrible Heartburn?

Do you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux? Everybody gets heartburn now and then, but the causes may differ from person to person. Find out what’s behind your heartburn and how to control it before it causes damage.

Severe Hemorrhoids? We Can Help

You’ve tried to take care of them on your own, but those creams and soaks aren’t getting rid of your hemorrhoids. It’s time to get your behind to the professionals. We can banish your painful, itchy hemorrhoids for good in less than a minute.

Living with Hepatitis

Millions of Americans are walking around with an infectious disease, and it’s not COVID-19. It’s hepatitis, a potentially life-threatening illness that is easily spread to others. Fortunately, it can be treated and managed well. Here’s how.

Signs Your Acid Reflux Is Actually GERD

Any Chicagoan who’s ever indulged in a late night slice of pizza knows what heartburn feels like. But what if it sticks around no matter what you eat? Keep reading to learn what’s going on in your gut.

5 Common Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

It’s never comfortable to talk about your bathroom business, but if you’re experiencing abnormal stools accompanied by pain and blood, it’s time to find out what’s causing it. Here are some signs it might be ulcerative colitis.

How to Prevent a Hemorrhoid Flare-up

Hemorrhoids are real pain in the … you know what. They bleed, itch, make it hard to sit, and they hurt. If you’re prone to these annoying bulging veins in your anal area, keep reading to find out how to avoid flare-ups.