What are the reasons that make a person gain weight again? We know many people want to know the reasons behind this question. In this article, we’re going to clear up your doubts and tell you how you can prevent putting on those dreaded pounds again after you have successfully lost them.
When you gain the same amount of weight that you lost by dieting and exercising this process is known as rebound weight gain. It depends on several factors in your body that can lead to regaining weight such as genetics, hormones, lifestyle habits/behavior, environment, or the combination of these factors.
But the good news is, you can prevent this from happening. To prevent this, you must exercise regularly and eat a high protein diet with low fat and carbs.
Reasons for rebound weight gain
There isn’t one single reason behind this, but a combination of several factors like metabolism, hormones, environment, and behavior.
Metabolism is the process by which the calories gained from food are used to provide energy to perform the necessary functions that you need to sustain your life. But when you lose weight fast, your body starts acting defensively to maintain the lost weight.
- There’s an increase in hormones such as leptin and ghrelin to increase your hunger and desire to eat and your cravings make you eat that extra bite. These extra snacks/foods are usually calorie dense and high in fats. And that way you get your old weight again.
- People think that the previous dieting cycle helped them to lose weight and they restart the diet that helped them in the past. This repeating cycle of dieting is known as yo-yo dieting. It makes your body more prone to consuming more energy, which makes changes in metabolic rate.
Also, gut bacteria (microbiome) break down dietary fiber and turn it into short-chain fatty acids that are used in cell lining, control immune function, and hormone levels (like insulin) and decrease your appetite. But these bacteria also affect the function of lipoprotein enzymes (that break down fats from fat cells to produce energy) and their activity is high during weight loss. Insulin, when available in higher amounts, suppresses lipoprotein and encourages fat storage rather than breakdown, resulting in weight regain (commonly known as insulin resistance).
Moreover, sometimes the diet you follow also has some pitfalls that lead to regaining the weight you lose:
- When you follow a high protein diet, the unused protein starts to convert into glucose which can then convert into fat.
- Low fat intake can develop vitamin deficiencies, dry skin, and dry hair.
- Avoiding carbs can cause changes in the microbiome (due to low dietary polyphenol and fiber intake). Restricting carbs also create disturbance in your sleep patterns. These disturbances in sleep patterns can disrupt some hormones such as insulin and growth hormones which can influence muscle or fat mass.
Remember that everybody has a different body structure. So, the factors that influence rebound weight gain can vary from person to person.
How to prevent it?
Some steps you can follow to avoid regaining weight that you lost, include:
- Exercise regularly (both aerobic and resistance training) because exercise is the best method to maintain your weight after weight loss. Resistance training improves your body composition by increasing lean body mass.
- Eat a high protein diet with a moderately low amount of high glycemic carbs, fibers, and fats to avoid metabolic and gut microbiome changes.
- Practice portion control.
- You can create an eating journal to keep a record of how much you eat and when.
- Manage your stress by stress relieving techniques.
- Get a good amount of sleep (around 7 to 8 hours).
Weight regain is common in many people. Even though you follow proper diet plans and exercise there are still chances to regain fat even with small mistakes. That’s why you need a nutritionist or dietitian to plan your diet while minding the steps that are mentioned above to avoid weight regain.
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