After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

I have been really frustrated with weight loss lately. My eating has been good, my workouts have been great and I’ve been making progress. But it’s slow, and it’s hard to trust in the system when the metrics you have aren’t foolproof. 

The New York Times and several other outlets have been publishing stories like this on the contestants of the Biggest Loser, and oddly enough it makes me feel better.

The conclusion seems to be that the bodies of contestants actively fight such weight loss. A majority of the contestants had, after as long as 6 years after the show, gained the weight back.

The article focuses more on the body’s slower metabolism, but this article and a few others also lightly touch on behavioral changes. It’s the latter that I tend to concentrate on, whether it’s as applicable or not.

To me, radical changes, especially in dieting, don’t seem to cross over to long term change. I had a lot of success with eating earlier in this project, but ultimately even close to a year of behaviors weren’t enough to stick.

The goal for me isn’t short term, and short term can be years. The goal is permanent behavioral change, and that can sometimes take a long, long time. Which is exactly why I’m taking my time introducing change in this recent identity-based approach to eating.

As at many points in this project, it feels horrible. You see other people succeeding in all sorts of different directions quickly, and the urge to just do it all out is difficult to ignore. But I know I’m not like these guys, who showed immense willpower both during and after the show.

“This is a subset of the most successful” dieters, he [Dr. David Ludwig] said. “If they don’t show a return to normal in metabolism, what hope is there for the rest of us?”

The answer for me: None. I’m hoping that the excruciatingly slow approach is the answer. There really isn’t an option for me, not while maintaining other behaviors. And that is oddly uplifting because it forces me to trust this system I’m creating.

Will it work? Only time will tell.