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Hitting below the belt

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Nothing about weight management is easy

By Kirsten Peters

If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat right and trim down, be forewarned that medical science shows your brain has it in for you and will actively promote your failure on two different fronts.
That’s not good news, of course, but you should know about it so you can strengthen your resolve as best you can.
Here’s the scoop. It’s relatively easy – particularly if you are significantly overweight – to lose a few pounds by reducing the number of calories you consume each day.
The problem is that your initial success will trigger a couple of responses in your body.
First, as you lose weight a hormone called leptin, which is produced by your fat cells, will start to drop in concentration.
That change tells your brain that your stores of fat are decreasing.
The brain responds to that report as if famine is on the way. The body makes changes to conserve its energies, and your metabolism will drop.
Metabolism – the rate at which we burn energy – is a major key to what our weight tends to be.
Your metabolism may differ from that of John or Jane. But it also will change compared to what it was before you lost weight.
The lower your metabolism, the easier it is to consume more calories than you burn in a day, triggering weight gain.


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