Weight Manager

May 2013 Issue

When Your Body Fights Weight Loss

Research suggests that as you lose weight, your body lowers its energy needs. But physical activity and diet may help win the battle in the end.

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you probably know how frustrating it is to cut back on your calorie intake only to see no weight loss reflected on the bathroom scales. But there may be a good scientific explanation for this phenomenon. It does seem clear that as people lose weight, their resting energy expenditure—the amount of calories your body needs when it’s at rest—drops due to a lower body mass. It may seem like a cruel trick, but this response is actually an ingenious strategy that humans evolved over centuries in order to withstand times of famine, according to Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., associate professor at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

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