HomeWeight LossVisitor Submit: Causes For Weight Regain

Visitor Submit: Causes For Weight Regain

As we speak’s Visitor Submit comes from my good friend and colleague David Macklin, MD, Toronto

Not way back I obtained a message from a colleague on the lookout for assist with a affected person who was regaining weight. As I considered my response, it occurred to me that there needs to be a complete record of why this occurs, but I couldn’t bear in mind coming throughout one. The next is a extra detailed replica of the record I despatched again to my colleague that day.  I’d wish to thank Arya for suggesting that I share this record along with his readership.  

An necessary notice concerning this record:  Purpose primary is a very powerful and commonest cause for weight regain. The opposite causes could make the first cause extra difficult.


The first cause for weight regain is biology. The mind defends in opposition to weight reduction due to an previous organic play ebook.  If our ancestors misplaced weight, it was to not look good for a marriage or due to bathing go well with season. Again then, weight reduction was both due to sickness or an interrupted meals provide. Merely put, defending in opposition to weight reduction was defending in opposition to demise.  

Within the final 30 years now we have realized how the mind does this. The mind is knowledgeable at 1) recognizing fats loss, 2) defending in opposition to fats loss, and three) selling weight regain. The mind does this by:  

a) rising urge for food – the motivation for calorie consumption

b) reducing metabolic charge

Elevated urge for food appears to be extra complicit than slower metabolism in weight regain. Elevated urge for food, within the type of an elevated motivation to eat, results in elevated total calorie consumption, which in flip results in weight regain.

A reminder, the remaining causes for weight regain function by means of the primary mechanism, biology. 


The following frequent cause for weight regain pertains to weight-reduction plan.  Notice that weight-reduction plan is just not an efficient methodology of stopping weight regain. As an alternative, the three pillars to stopping weight regain are behavioural remedy, remedy, and surgical procedure. Merely put, the chance of weight achieve is bigger the extra “diet-like” the weight-loss methodology. Particularly:

a) if the weight-loss effort concerned a dedication to a diminished calorie consumption that was unsustainable.

b) if the weight-loss effort concerned a dedication to a stage and kind of effort that was unsustainable.

c) if the weight-loss effort didn’t settle for and contain a acutely aware dedication to the worth of enjoyable, meals, drink, buddies, socialization, and journey.

The best predictor of thwarting weight regain is sustained adherence to the strategy used to shed some pounds. The above strategies predict poor adherence.  In addition they predict that for somebody dropping an excessive amount of weight, going to a weight decrease than what’s sustainable, weight reduction might be overwhelmed by biology.

Thus, now we have the definition of greatest weight. One’s greatest weight is arrived at by committing to the alternative of weight-reduction plan. Finest weight is found by committing to 1) a sustainable calorie stage, 2) at a sustainable effort, 3) whereas accepting a acutely aware dedication to the worth of enjoyable, meals, drink, buddies, socialization, and journey. Finest weight is the load you softly land at when committing to a life-style that’s, by definition, sustainable.


The following and reasonably poorly understood cause for weight regain is a sustained change in a single’s total surroundings. A standard present instance of this might be somebody who was working in an workplace and is now working of their residence, or the alternative: somebody who was working at residence and now’s working at an workplace.  One other instance is somebody who, throughout weight reduction, prevented high-risk settings for the aim of weight reduction and now inevitably is re-engaging in these setting. For instance somebody who prevented social setting or eating places briefly only for the aim of weight reduction. The cues in our bodily and social environments set off the organic response of urge for food – wanting – the unconscious motivation to eat.  If the cues skilled throughout weight reduction change, weight regain can observe.


Anti-obesity drugs (AOMs) work by defending in opposition to a person’s biology. AOMs defend in opposition to elevated urge for food and dampen the unconscious motivation for calorie consumption (wanting).  If AOMs are discontinued or poorly complied with, the defence in opposition to weight regain is misplaced and the biology does the remainder.  


A extremely underestimated cause for weight regain is in a person’s response to “weight reduction setbacks.” Widespread weight reduction setbacks embody 1) the aftermath of off-track consuming and/or ingesting episodes, and a pair of) the moments after seeing a quantity on a scale not in a single’s favour. Until efficient behavioural remedy has been offered, these setbacks could typically be adopted by damaging self-critical ideas and damaging feelings together with demotivation.  But it’s exactly when one is at a decrease weight that they’re most topic to their organic drivers of weight regain and most definitely to expertise over-consuming and unfavourable scale outcomes. Screening for and treating these unhelpful cognitive responses is a vital a part of understanding and addressing weight regain. To reiterate, that is in all probability probably the most underestimated non-biological complication of weight reduction.


Weight achieve generally is a doable severe facet impact of many generally used drugs. Some drugs extra generally trigger weight achieve than others, and important inter-individual variations exist. Weight regain could also be attributable to the addition of a weight-promoting remedy and if doable, a substitution may be made for an alternate remedy that’s extra weight impartial.


Lastly, there’s a finite record of inner states that will promote weight regain.  It’s intuitive to most that stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, depressed temper, and decrease ranges of exercise could promote weight regain. For a lot of people, particularly in a state of diminished physique weight, every of those elements can enhance wanting, the motivation to eat, and reduce self-regulation abilities (restraint). If somebody is regaining weight, it’s crucial to display screen for every of those modulators and to acknowledge how a change in any of those could also be resulting in greater calorie consumption and weight regain.

For clinicians, and for individuals who battle with weight, I hope this record is useful.

David Macklin, MD

Toronto, CND

Concerning the writer: David A. Macklin, MD, is a lecturer on the College of Toronto and a College of Toronto educated household doctor. He has practiced weight problems drugs since 2004. He’s the Medical Director of the Weight Administration Program on the Toronto Medcan Clinic and co-author of the Canadian ACTION Examine and the Psychology and Behavioural Remedy Chapter of the 2020 Canadian Medical Follow Pointers for the remedy of Weight problems in adults.



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