Why most 'Biggest Losers' put the weight back on
Super slimmers who shed vast amounts of weight are likely to put the pounds back on, a new study has found.
The study by Kevin Hall, a metabolism expert with the US's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, followed what happened to 14 contestants in 'The Biggest Loser' - a weight loss reality TV show.
The 'New York Times' reported that the results were discouraging with only one of the contestants managing to keep off the weight they shed in 2009.
One of the contestants, Sean Algaier, now weighs more than when he entered the show. His weight dropped from 31 stone 10 lbs to 20 stone 9lbs. Now he weights 32 stone 2lbs.
Daniel Cahill lost an astonishing 17 stone thanks to intensive exercise and a strict diet, bringing his weight down from 30 stone 10lbs to 13 stone 9lbs. Now he weighs 21 stone 1lb.
The reason for the weight coming back is the change in metabolism - the rate at which the human body burns off fat.
Before entering the show, the contestants had a normal metabolism.
But after losing all the weight, the contestants' metabolism slowed dramatically.
Mr Cahill, for example, now has to eat 800 calories a day less than other men of his size - anything more turns to fat.
The findings, which will be published in the journal 'Obesity', were described as "significant" by Michael Schwartz, professor of medicine at the University of Washington.
"The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can't get away from a basic biological reality," he said.
"As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back." (© Daily Telegraph London)