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TO YOUR HEALTH: Calories Don't Count?

from The New York Times

You'd think that, after losing 150 or 200 pounds, formerly obese people would maintain their weight loss and new-found health and vigor. But they don't. The problem is not a return to bad old habits. For the past six years, scientists have been studying the progress of "The Biggest Loser" contestants and, with few exceptions, all have regained weight; some weigh even more. Now we are learning why. It has to do principally with resting metabolism, which determines how many calories a person burns when at rest. When the "Loser" contestants began the show, they had normal metabolisms for their size. When the show ended, their metabolisms had slowed so much they were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes. What shocked the researchers was learning that, as the years went by, the contestants' metabolisms became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight. more

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