Maintenance and metabolism
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Last episode I looked at the mental component of why some people tend to regain after 5 or 6 months. My sister who is a doctor attended a presentation by Dr. Kevin Hall about modeling calorie expenditure looking at data rather than the equations we are used to such as Harris Benedict. I mean, he winds up with equations but they are freaky long and complicated things.
One of the interesting things he said in his presentation is that it takes some time for metabolism to catch up with weight loss, especially when switching to maintenance. It may have a lot to do with lean mass (he calls it fat free mass). When you're obese, you're carrying around lots of extra weight. I carried around 50 extra pounds for a long time, something I would contemplate sometimes when I bought flour at costco or moved a lot of heavy boxes. Plenty of people carry more extra weight than that, and it means they need more muscle and even bone mass just to get through a regular day.
So when I hit goal it probably took some time for my body to sort out a balance of lean and fat mass. I don't know that it would take several months but I could see it contributing to frustration with maintenance. And there's other factors to metabolism than lean mass. The point is that even without me weaning the toddler and different physical training I'm involved in, my metabolism would be in flux. I imagine that's why self-monitoring is pretty important. I still track my food and my fitbit data and compare it against my weight a couple times a week.