Keep Pounds Off for the Long Run

Lasting weight loss may seem like an uphill battle, but it's possible. Here's what we know works, from research on long-time losers.
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Maintain, don't gain

by Alyssa Schaffer

If you've ever dropped pounds and then tried to maintain your lower weight, you've probably blamed yourself when the scale started creeping back up. Well, emerging research shows that faulty willpower is not the main culprit. "Multiple systems in your body conspire against you in a push to regain lost weight," explains Michael Rosenbaum, MD, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and a top obesity researcher. After you've slimmed down, your brain, muscles and hormones work together to slow down your metabolism, so you naturally burn hundreds of fewer calories each day. In fact, Rosenbaum's research reveals that people who've lost weight require about 400 fewer calories per day to keep the scale steady compared with people of the same weight who never went through a slim down.

Next: Lose the weight for good

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