Updated: Feb 27
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic shut-downs, weight loss becomes a frequent topic of conversation. One of the trickiest parts to losing weight is figuring out how to prevent weight regain after the desired amount is lost. The good news is that literature says that the struggle to maintain weight loss is not always a case of laziness or lack of effort. Some of the factors that play the largest roles in determining maintenance of weight loss are aspects that aren’t voluntarily chosen.
Factors Affecting Maintenance of Weight Loss
Genetics - Epigenetics, Nutrigenomics - Environmental
Hormonal Changes - Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Thyroid, Adrenals, Ovaries or Testes
Adaptive Thermogenesis - Autonomic System Reset
Detoxification Abilities - Lymphatic System
Neural factors - Neurotransmitters, Mind-Body Connection
A study found that after initial weight loss, levels of hormones in the body that promote weight gain can still be high, even up to a year later. Additionally, the body’s resting metabolic rate can slow as a result of less energy expenditure, leading to weight regain.
Neural levels of dopamine can increase after initial weight loss due to the lack of reward from eating less foods high in fat and sugar. This increase in dopamine then leads to an increased desire for such foods .
Despite these possible appearance of these factors, however, there are still ways to promote healthy weight maintenance.
Long-term maintenance of weight loss includes a variety of aspects—such as monitoring one’s diet, eating less fast food, including smaller but more frequent meals or snacks, and exercising consistently. However, one other important line of influence in weight maintenance involves cognitive restructuring. Learning to break free of negative thoughts and coping patterns is extremely influential in the success of weight maintenance. Having cognitive flexibility becomes key in sustaining weight loss for the long-term. Being able to move away from the “all or none” black and white thinking that may accompany the initial days of weight loss and allowing for some flexibility in daily routines is important to keep up motivation for weight maintenance .
In regards to the impact of nutrition on weight loss, studies have shown that a higher plant-protein intake over a diet rich in animal products has a stronger effect on preventing weight regain. Plant protein has the stronger impact due to the “satiating properties of plant-proteins that are also rich in phytonutrients. Many plant-protein foods also increase thermogenic effect, and their effect on fat free mass maintenance/increase” .
Exercise also contributes to weight loss and the prevention of weight gain. Longer amounts of exercise lead more to initial weight loss. Multiple studies have shown that keeping exercise as a part of one’s daily routine is important for achieving weight maintenance. Specifically, exercising more than the average recommended amount (150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise) for a healthy individual can best help with preventing weight regain. Dr. Doolittle recommends that patients follow a specific exercise protocol that allows for patients to be gentle on their joints while they have excess weight. Each plan that Dr. Doolittle creates for her patients includes a strategic plan for exercise recommendations that help to target patients weight-loss goals and particular body shaping and toning desires. Check out Dr. Doolittle's blog regarding exercise recommendations for weight loss for further detail on these exercise recommendations.
Weight loss benefits and maintenance do not solely lie with exercise itself; it is also dependent on a combination with proper diet and mental balance .
While weight loss maintenance can be challenging, the research lends evidence to the importance of combining the right diet, consistent exercise, and mental flexibility in being able to succeed in goals of weight loss and maintenance.
1. What results can you expect from a personalized weight loss plan, and how soon can you see changes in your body's physique?
You will begin to notice changes in your body soon after beginning Dr. Doolittle's personalized weight loss plan. Many patients report that they experience 5 pounds of weight loss within the first week. It is not unusual for patients to have incredible results of 30 pounds within the first month of weight loss (also dependent on how much weight they have to lose in the first place). They continue rapidly shedding pounds as long as they stay on the personalized program.
2. Are toxins released from fat cells? Is this why it is hard to keep weight off after doing fad diets?
Yes. One of the ways Dr. Doolittle gets such amazing results in helping her patients achieve their weight loss goals is because she does a specific detox program at the same time with her patients. This includes highly detoxifying food recommendations as well as work with the lymphatic system to help carry the toxins out so they will not be re-stored into the adipose (fat) cells, creating a perpetual weight loss followed by gaining the weight back as soon as the patient goes off the clean food plan regime. Additionally, Dr. Doolittle has equipment that she uses on her patients that help to lyse (break open) fat cells, releasing the oil contents into the surrounding tissue then uses a type of cupping and vacuuming method to pull the oil to the lymphatic vessels to be carried out of the body.
3. Will I have loose skin after I lose weight?
Many patient struggle with this side effect of weight loss. Their skin has been stretched in several areas to make space for the fat and when they begin to lose it, the skin sags and stays stretched out. The great thing is that Dr. Doolittle has specialized equipment that targets skin tightening and healthy collagen elasticity. Patients notice changes and tightening in their skin as soon as the first or second visits. They request locations for skin tightening such as around the abdomen, on the thighs to reduce and erase cellulite, on the back of the arms to tighten and tone, around the face to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, etc.
4. How is a personalized weight loss program created?
You are unique as an individual. Everything from your genetics to your environment to your preferred foods and eating habits make you unique. Your hormones, your neurotransmitters, your detoxification pathways, etc. all play roles in how you, individually burn or store fat. We must take into account all of these factors and finds strategic solutions for each and every one to ensure that you are able to achieve your weight loss goals of physique, body size, shape, and strength. Dr. Doolittle will take into account all of these layers of what makes you unique as an individual and will create a specific personalized weight loss program that allows you to eat plenty of healthy, delicious meals that are not depriving like other fad diets.
This is why patients trust Dr. Doolittle with their weight loss care over other weight loss programs, because she is a one stop shop that can help patients rapidly lose the weight, detox out the toxins that were in the fat cells to prevent regaining the weight back, tightens and tones skin to prevent loose and sagging skin that was stretched from the excess weight, and helps patients understand about their particular genetics and what practices they should adopt into their lifestyle to prevent weight gain in the future.
Check out what other patients are saying about the effectiveness of Dr. Doolittle's weight loss programs!
If you would like to get your personalized weight loss plan that takes into account neurological, epigenetic, healthy nutrition, enjoyment in life, and decreases your chances of returned weight gain, contact us. Request a free phone consultation directly with Dr. Leila Doolittle for you, any friends, or family members. We look forward to serving you in your health needs.
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1. Evert, Alison B, and Marion J Franz. “Why Weight Loss Maintenance Is Difficult.” Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association vol. 30,3 (2017): 153-156. doi:10.2337/ds017-0025
2. Hall, Kevin D, and Scott Kahan. “Maintenance of Lost Weight and Long-Term Management of Obesity.” The Medical clinics of North America vol. 102,1 (2018): 183-197. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2017.08.012
3. van Baak, Marlene A, and Edwin C M Mariman. “Dietary Strategies for Weight Loss Maintenance.” Nutrients vol. 11,8 1916. 15 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11081916
4. Cox, Carla E. “Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance.” Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association vol. 30,3 (2017): 157-160. doi:10.2337/ds17-0013