Gaining Weight Back: Biggest Loser Show Offers Insight
We’ve all seen people lose pound after pound only to regain it all back. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen to everybody. And new research may have some insight on why.
Remember the TV show, The Biggest Loser? Millions of viewers tuned in every week to watch contestants eat healthy meals, work out intensely and lose weight. Contestants would lose more than 100 pounds each. Their results were dramatic.
What was witnessed less often was how many of the participants regained a substantial amount of weight after the program was over. But not all of them put the weight back on.
A research team from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that six years after the show ended for participants, their ultimate weight loss varied significantly. The researchers followed 14 contestants, studying how physical activity and food intake played a role in weight maintenance.
They found that after six years, seven of the 14 participants in the study kept an average weight loss of about 25 percent of their starting weight. The other seven gained nearly all their weight back.
Prevent Gaining Weight Back
So, what did people do differently? It was how they exercised – the level of physical activity. Those who kept the pounds off bumped up their exercise by an average of 160 percent from before the competition began. Those who gained their weight back also exercised. However, they only increased their activity about 34 percent.
To maintain weight loss, researchers found that contestants exercised for about 80 minutes per day at a moderate intensity. If they exercised vigorously, they could get away with 35 minutes per day. Both amounts are much higher than current daily exercise guidelines.
If you’re wondering how much time you should spend exercising, make sure to consult a weight-loss specialist and your health provider. The best way to keep the weight off is to work with experienced health professionals who can tailor a weight-loss program to your individual needs.