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Why is it so hard to lose excess weight and keep it off? You’ve already done the hard part, right? All that calorie restriction, clean eating, and increased physical activity. Now all you have to do is maintain. Should be easier, surely.
But somehow it isn’t. Nine out of ten people who achieve their weight loss goal gain it all back within two years. A substantial number gain back even more.
But why? The truth is, even though you’re looking great and probably even feeling great in the aftermath of your weight loss adventure, your body is in great distress.
First of all, your metabolism has slowed to a crawl. Your body perceives sudden, strict reduction of calorie intake as famine. Faced with starvation, your body conserves its resources, fiercely defending fat reserves (which are metabolically easier to sustain) by reducing fat burning, chewing up muscle for fuel instead, and generally dimming the lights by slowing down blood pressure and heart rate until you're in a quasi-permanent low-energy funk. This is a gift to us from thousands of years of evolution.
You may think that this is a temporary state of affairs, but recent science suggests it may last longer than you think. In a study recently published in the scientific journal Obesity (1 Fothergill E), researchers investigated the long-term effects of weight loss upon fourteen participants in the network weight-loss reality show "The Biggest Loser."
Subjects began their regimens weighing an average of 328 pounds and ended the 30-week program at an average of 200 pounds. Their average body fat percentage started at 49% and declined to 28%. Six years later, researchers found that the subjects' average weight had rebounded to 290 pounds and their body fat percentage had returned to 45%.
What happened? Participants in the program began with resting metabolisms that burned 2,607 calories per day and ended the program burning 2,000 calories per day at rest. Six years later, the program participants' metabolisms had slowed even further, falling to a burn rate of 1,900 calories per day. In effect, the Biggest Loser dieters had permanently reset their metabolisms.
At your new goal weight, you've lost a good portion of excess fat. Congratulations! You've also lost a lot of muscle. In fact, the general medical consensus tells us that the weight you lost during dieting was somewhere between 25% and 35% muscle mass.
This is unfortunate because muscle is the engine that burns excess fat. That lost muscle mass isn't helping you any in the gym either, where the double whammy of reduced strength and lowered energy is curtailing your workout productivity.
Weight (And Excess Fat) Regain is NOT Inevitable
So you're faced with a dilemma. You look great in a mirror and you certainly feel lighter. But your body is looking for every opportunity to return to homeostasis, which in your body's opinion is your old chunky, hefty self.
However, knowledge is power. Once you know your body's ulterior motives, you can work to circumvent them. For instance, now is not the time to relax your commitment to clean eating and proper portion sizes. Clean food is healthy food that will power the bodily processes -- digestion, energy production, fat mobilization, muscle maintenance -- you're counting on to sustain your newly acquired physique.
If you're not already documenting your daily meal intake -- yes, in writing -- now is the time to start. Writing down your meal intake gives you a chance to root out empty food sources like processed carbs (sugar and white flour), dairy products (especially butter and cheese) and fried foods.
Support your metabolism! You can do this by exercising regularly and varying your training regimen to keep your body from acclimating to it. This can mean cardio, but it can also mean signing up for an exercise class or yoga, or joining a basketball or volleyball league. Resistance training supports metabolism too. Consider wearing a heart-rate monitor during resistance training. You should be trying to eliminate excessive rests between sets and maintaining a heart rate that's around 50% of your maximum heart rate.
Also consider adding a superior-quality, advanced thermogenic formula to keep your transformation peaking. Energy-support catalysts will help you hit your performance benchmarks during your workout and help you avoid the late-day energy slumps that can open the door to ill-advised snacking on empty junk foods.
Protein is Your Dietary Best Friend
When it comes to maintaining your ideal physique, extra dietary protein does everything you need it to do. It's naturally thermogenic because it requires extra energy to digest. It also efficiently promotes satiety (or that feeling of fullness), thus shutting down counter-productive cravings. And it provides the essential aminos required to stimulate protein synthesis in muscle tissue, helping you to maintain the muscle you have while gaining even more for a a rock-hard, muscular physique.
The RDA for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass each day, but many studies indicate that higher intakes of protein (as much as 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day) is effective at limiting the loss of muscle while restricting calories. That's a lot of protein, so supplementing with a high-quality protein formula just makes sense for your ripped and rock-hard future.
ProSource Vectron® Takes Fat Loss to A Higher Level
If a superior-quality protein supplement is your friend; ProSource Vectron® is your BFF. The whey protein isolate in Vectron® will help support muscle even when you may be in a caloric deficit. And that's really only the beginning of Vectron's transformative power.
Vectron® contains an elite fractionated protein complex called Prolibra®, a specialized bioactive whey peptide matrix combined with a special whey mineral complex designed to precisely target essential mechanisms of body transformation. These patented protein peptide fragments found in Prolibra® are designed to enhance satiety by helping to stimulate the release of the hormone CCK. CCK is a hormone that is sent from your digestive tract to your brain letting your brain know that it needs to turn down the hunger signals.
Prolibra® also contains milk mineral complexes aimed at optimizing calcium levels within fat cells to yield maximum efficiency with regard to weight-loss support. These mechanisms, working in tandem, can produce remarkable results, as documented in an independent clinical study.
Prolibra® Validated in a Landmark Clinical Study
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2 Frestedt JL) examined the effects of 12 weeks of Prolibra® supplementation on changes in body composition. Two groups were randomly assigned to ingest Prolibra® or an isocaloric ready-to-mix beverage 20 minutes prior to breakfast and dinner. Subjects were also instructed to reduce their overall caloric intake by 500 calories to promote weight loss.
At the study's conclusion, researchers found that subjects supplemented with 24.4 grams of Prolibra® experienced a greater improvement in the ratio of lean mass to fat mass when compared to an isocaloric control. Indeed, the subjects taking Prolibra® retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Specifically, subjects consuming the Prolibra® beverage lost more body fat (6% of fat mass) and lost a smaller amount of lean mass throughout the 12-week period.
Maintaining muscle mass and supporting metabolic activity in the normal range are your keys to sustaining your new lean physique. Fortunately, these two outcomes correlate together. The better you are at maintaining lean muscle while dieting, the more calories you will burn throughout the day, as lean muscle mass is associated with resting energy expenditure. So more muscle equals a higher resting energy expenditure, which directly counteracts the potential reduction in metabolic activity often experienced by those successful dieters who are restricting calories.
1 Fothergill E, Guo J, Howard L, Kerns JC, Knuth ND, Brychta R, Chen KY, Skarulis MC, Walter M, Walter PJ, Hall KD. Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after "The Biggest Loser" competition. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Aug;24(8):1612-9. doi: 10.1002/oby.21538. Epub 2016 May 2.
2 Frestedt JL, Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA, Ward LS, Bastian ED. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Mar 27;5:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-8.
Prolibra® is a registered trademark of Glanbia®, PLC.
Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.