San Luis Obispo weight loss expert weighs in on Biggest Loser weight re-gain
– A recent study of Biggest Loser participants showed that metabolism decreases during weight loss and persists for six years. Recently, Comprehensive Weight Management, A Nursing Corporation weighed in as to why this occurred. To view her report, see below:
Dr. Kevin Hall and colleagues have gotten a lot of well-deserved attention for their work on metabolism in weight loss attempts in recent years. Our metabolism is determined by thyroid function.
Where is the thyroid and how does it affect weight?
Rowsemitt: “The thyroid gland is in the neck. The hormones from the thyroid regulate metabolism. If your metabolism is high, you burn more calories at rest than would be normal. If your metabolism is low, you burn fewer calories at rest than normal. Symptoms of low thyroid include: cold, cold hands and feet, extreme fatigue, constipation, dry skin, hair loss. And with low thyroid, it’s hard to lose weight and easy to gain weight. It’s also really hard to get out and exercise because you are exhausted.”
What causes low thyroid?
Rowsemitt: “Many different problems can cause low thyroid, including lack of iodine in the diet and eating large quantities of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprouts). However, what is less well known relates to trying to lose weight.
In 1950, a study showed that young men fed a low calorie diet decreased their metabolism. Studies have confirmed this over the years, but the concept was not well known. That same year, a researcher burned a pound of fat and found it contained 3500 kilocalories (commonly referred to as calories). The guy with the pound of fat must have had a better press agent because we’ve all been taught for years that if you eat 3500 fewer calories, you will lose a pound. But if you put the two ideas together, you get a better understanding of the real problem.”
We have a thermostat in the hypothalamus, a small portion of the brain. This thermostat sets your rate of metabolism. Eat less and your thermostat recognizes that you’re aren’t getting enough food to support your current weight; the thermostat resets to a lower rate so you’ll burn fewer calories at rest. You may be carrying an extra 100 lbs. that you’re trying to lose, but the body pays more attention to the lack of current food supply. This response results from eons of evolution so that we can survive famine. So the thyroid has decreased function ON PURPOSE. We currently have no way to convince the thyroid to make more hormone during this time.”
Is the medical community aware of this?
Rowsemitt: “We were all taught to measure just TSH, the pituitary hormone that tells the thyroid gland how much thyroid hormone to make, rather than the actual thyroid hormones. That works fine most of the time. However, when you are in the famine response, you’re burning fewer calories at rest, but TSH is perfectly normal because the thermostat has been reset lower. So if you’re dieting, doing everything you’re supposed to do to lose weight, and your thermostat is reset down, your doctor or other provider may order TSH, find it’s normal, and tell you your thyroid is fine. The active thyroid hormone, T3, is likely to be at the low end of normal and your metabolism will be low.”
Is some of this information getting out now?
Rowsemitt: “Sort of. However, most health care providers are not aware of the resetting of the thermostat and how to effectively treat the thyroid to safely eliminate low thyroid symptoms. I gave a presentation at the Obesity Medicine Association meetings in late September addressing these issues.”
Press release prepared by San Luis Obispo web designers at Access Publishing, 806 9th St. #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446. (805) 226-9890.