There’s a Good Reason You Can’t Lose Weight: Your Hormones Won’t Let You

obesity leptin ghrelinObesity is a major health crisis all over the world now, and it’s clear both to patients and to doctors that losing weight — and keeping it off — is incredibly difficult. Unfortunately there’s growing evidence why this is so: when you diet, your body’s hormones go into a permanent “fasting” state which never really reset after the ideal weight is achieved. The balance of hormones leptin and ghrelin basically make a dieter feel permanently hungry, and over 90% of dieters regain the weight they had shed, returning to their “new normal”. What this means for most people is twofold:

  • they shouldn’t beat themselves up for not losing weight because it’s biologically difficult;
  • it’s so much better never to be obese in the first place, as once you’ve gained the weight you’ll have major troubles losing it.

This provocative idea now has some serious research,  including one study covered here by one of Gina Kolata’s many excellent articles on obesity in the New York Times. She also had an outstanding, moving article called The Fat Trap last year which I highly recommend for anyone concerned about their weight. I discuss this concept on my March 8th radio discussion on EZFM; you can click on the links below to listen.

In this podcast we also discuss a Xinhua article discussing yet another study linking air pollution to cancers; this large study focused on diesel fumes causing lung cancers in miners in the US. Diesel pollution is a major issue here in China as well, so the health implications are all too relevant for us.

Click on the arrow below to listen to this podcast, or click here.

More Podcast Information

You can listen to all my previous podcasts at my podcast archive. You can always listen live to my radio interview each Wednesday around 7:35am Beijing time, on the Beijing Hour program on EZFM 91.5, which is broadcast from 7-8am every weekday by host Paul James. EZFM is the popular bilingual radio station on the China Radio International network, broadcasting here in Beijing and on multiple stations all over the world, as well as live online.

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One thought on “There’s a Good Reason You Can’t Lose Weight: Your Hormones Won’t Let You”

  1. BPA, Bisphenol-A is a contributor to weight gain as well

    google:       NCBI BPA weight     

    and some studies will pop up to explain why

    We all have detectable levels of BPA in our blood (including newborns, too- once again, google ncbi bpa neonate /add the word cord for more specific) 

    BPA is entrenched in our food supply chains.  It is in the plastics lining the interior of canned foods (Brits call ’em Tins), and BPA leaches slowly, and continuously, from the ubiquitous clear plastic water bottles.  Small and large are the same: that 18L kind they deliver to your house has BPA too. 

    We got an Aquasana countertop water filter (installed at the kitchen sink) and checked that the connector tubes are BPA free.  It’s a good feeling to be reducing my and my kids’ intake of BPA so drastically. 

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