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gaining weight after losing weight

It can be so frustrating when you worked hard by dieting to lose belly fat. Then you gained back the weight. When you gain back the weight, you feel disappointed or feel like a failure. Then, you’re tempted to just give up. 

But, we must think back and understand how dieting works. Many people go on a calorie restricting diet and then gain back the weight they lost or gain even more. 

This article will focus on what to do and how to plan when you gain back the weight after dieting. 

How does weight gain happen with weight-loss diets?

Let think! When we want to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we take in. When we were on a diet, we created a calorie deficit. Our body gets some of the fuel it needs from its stored fat. Then, you lose weight. However, once you’re done with the diet and start eating “normally” again, the weight comes back quickly.  

To understand your body more closely, we’ll start by talking about hormones.

Your body has two hormones that have been known to influence energy balance. The first is leptin, a mediator of long-term regulation of energy balance, suppresses food intake and induces weight loss. 

The second hormone is ghrelin, a fast-acting hormone, involves in meal initiation. Research shows that to have a consistent weight, there must be an energy balance which means energy intake equals energy expenditure. (1) In other words, the number of calories we put in our body should equal the number of calories our body burns. 

Therefore, these two hormones play into the regulation of food intake and body weight. When you lose weight, the leptin hormone levels are low which increases the level of ghrelin hormone. This leads to making you feel hungry when your body is in starvation. (2)  When this happens, you end up eating more and gaining back the weight. 

Picture this in your mind, think of these hormones as a see-saw.  One hormone levels go up and the other hormone levels go down or vice versa. 

What should you do when you gain back the weight?

Here are five things you can do if you end up gaining weight after dieting:

  1. Don’t think about the disappointment or failure that you gain back the weight
  2. Think about the success you made the dietary changes and use that success towards your advantage by considering making weekly healthy habits. These small weekly healthy habits can convert into long-term habits. Eventually, your healthy habits will stick for good.
  3. Learn to manage outside factors like sleep, exercise, and stress as these factors can contribute to weight gain
  4. Try mindfulness eating by taking the time to chew your food slowly. Most of the time, we tend to quickly eat our food as we’re rushing to do something else and never take the time to slow down to enjoy our food. By doing this, we can eat in moderation. 
  5. Need help to make those healthy habits for the long-term see a dietitian

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