Reality TVs Biggest Losers fail to maintain weight loss. Here’s why….
I am sure you’ve seen the 05-02-16 New York Times article discussing the failure of the contestants on the “Biggest Loser” reality TV show to maintain almost ANY weight loss. Dr. David Ludwig, who I podcasted with recently is quoted in the NYT article. I emailed him for additional thoughts. Not surprisingly, he notes that food composition is linked to the failure or success of lasting weight loss. Here’s what he had to say:
“The main issue is that we know metabolic rate plummets with weight loss. That fall, together with a rise in hunger, sets the stage for weight gain. But humans aren’t destined to battle metabolism permanently. The NYT piece neglected the role of diet composition. In the figure below from our JAMA 2012 study, total calorie expenditure dropped precipitously with weight loss on a low fat diet, but did not fall at all on a low carb diet. This difference, about 325 calories per day, could make all the difference between constant struggle and successful weight loss maintenance.”
BL = baseline, LF = low fat diet, LGI = low glycemic index diet, VLC = very low carbohydrate diet
Check out the study published on the Biggest Loser’s weight gain. Look at the table of changes to different biomarkers. There is a severe plummet in leptin, an associated rise in adiponectin among other changes. I believe this profoundly underscores the need to lose weight using the correct diet strategy. And that diet appears to be for most of us: lower carb/sugar with higher fat.