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The “Biggest Loser” is great entertainment but not a prescription for how to lose weight, maintain that weight loss according to a recent study!

The study done through the National Institute of Health tracked the progress of 14 contestants on Biggest Loser reality show each of whom had lost an average of 200 pounds.  Six years later, of the 14 contestants only one had not regained the weight weighing on an average of 290 pounds.  What they had discovered is that their metabolism had slowed down and they were burning fewer calories daily than they had before they were contestants on the show.

“There used to be a mythology that you just exercised enough you could keep your metabolism up, but that clearly wasn’t the case, these folks were exercising an enormous amount and their metabolism was slowing down by several hundred calories per day,” said senior author Kevin D. Hall of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Obviously, the slower the metabolism, the more you have to cut calories to avoid gaining weight. The extreme exercise program along with restricted diet actually worked to slow the metabolism even more and promoted a “starvation” mode where the body held unto fat rather than burning fat.

The basic problem with the “Biggest Loser” was that it was easier to lose weight than to keep it off!

With the “Biggest Loser” contestants, the more they exercised, the more calories they required and since they did not take in the minimum requirement with a caloric-restrictive diet, they lost muscle mass as well as fat. Losing muscle mass slows the metabolism; the more they lost muscle, the slower the metabolism.

Along with losing muscle, extreme dieting  leads to nutritional deficiencies and eventually leads to a damaged metabolism and hormonal imbalances.  And, this all in an effort to protect the body from starvation!

We are learning that long term weight management will come from calorie-restriction that does not create hunger or fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and works to correct a damaged metabolism. Following an anti-inflammatory diet provides the basis to start this process – one rich in non-starchy vegetables, carbohydrate-moderate, healthy fats and with adequate amounts of healthy proteins.

At Bakke Wellness & Nutrition we recognize the importance of starting all weight programs with a comprehensive nutritional assessment which starts the process of getting your metabolism up and running.  That is the focus of our new program, “Boost Energy, Get Healthy, Get Thin”.

Weight loss and weight management is possible and sustained weight loss should be the goal. “Quick fixes” do not work.

Taking back your health is in your control!

Boost your energy, get healthy and then get thin!