How Much Weight Does Science Say You’ll Gain This Year? NEJM Study ANSWERS!

meme fat girls at bench

When it comes to weight loss and fitness solutions, the most important thing is to ask the right questions.  For example:

  • Why have obesity rates continued to rise over the last 10 years with Whole Foods sales skyrocketing and McDonalds sales falling?
  • Why do dieters keep finding themselves eating foods and amounts they would tell you they definitely do not want to eat?
  • Why to people ignore major studies to the contrary and keep blaming ingredients in food like gluten, sugar or chemicals for their weight and fitness problems

EET Fitness has been able to find answers to these questions and many more by carefully reading quality research and studies, and many have been covered in this blog (thank you Food Babe).  Today, we ask (and answer) an equally important question you might not have thought of that can absolutely change your life:

WE ASK: HOW MUCH WEIGHT DO PEOPLE GAIN ON AVERAGE EACH YEAR?

Why this is important:

If you can gain LESS than the average person does each year you can break out of proven behavioral patterns of obese people – this applies to all  ages over 18 but it’s especially true if you are obese and over 40 (details in the study or email us).  Science has conclusively proven that long – term weight loss is virtually impossible.  Doing all you can to make sure you have different results than participants in obesity studies that led to this conclusion can dramatically increase your chances at long-term weight management success  – a big step towards long term weight loss.

AND ANSWER:

In 2000, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) did a study on holiday eating and it’s effect on your weight.  We covered that here:

Study: Holiday Weight Gain New England Jour Medicine – RECOMMENDS TIMING  (link to the actual study below)

That study went further than just the holidays.  They tracked a large portion of the 200 participants’ weight for the entire year.  Per the study

In subjects who completed one year of observation, the weight increased by an average of 0.32 kg during the holiday period and 0.62 kg over the entire year, suggesting that the period contributing most to yearly weight change is the six-week holiday period.

.62 kg is just under 1.5 Pounds per year.  There’s your answer!

It’s important to point out the study included an incredibly broad range of people with different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.  This increases the chances that the 1.5 pound figure is accurate for the population as a whole, so you can rely on it.  However, it doesn’t account for AGE.  There are a number of young people (18-30) in that annual figure who are probably not gaining as fast as the older people.  I would speculate that the younger people gain less than 1.5 and the older people (say 40+) gain MORE than 1.5 lbs per year on average.

TAKEAWAYS

  • If you can keep your weight gain per year below .62 kg (1.5 lbs) per year, you dramatically increase your chances of finding a long-term weight LOSS solution because you will no longer be “just like everybody else”.
  • If you happen to lose weight over a year, you can feel even better about it because your weight should be GOING UP 1.5 lbs each year.  For example if you lose 10 pounds for a year, science says you should consider that 11.5 pounds lost because you were supposed to gain 1.5 lbs!
  •  Over 10 years this means if you can avoid gaining 15 pounds you are doing better than average and if you just lose 10 pounds it’s truly like losing 25 pounds!!.

This information is SO much more important than your eating and exercise strategies.  How do I know?  I asked the right questions and The New England Journal of Medicine had the answer on that one too!

Link to NEJM Study:  A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain

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  Questions?  Contact us at  eetfit@gmail.com     

disclaimer oct 2012

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