Do you tend to gain back the weight you lost?

Because that is the position of this Cracked article. See also this SD poll here. My first reaction is that, while said thesis might contain a germ of truth, a goodly percentage of people who do take off the weight will keep it off (most of it at least). But other factors may be in play-I simply let myself go after having a normal weight for most of my adult life, and only took action once it became obvious that I would weigh 300 before too long if I didn’t do anything (got up to 243)-have gotten myself down to 186 and intend to maintain my current exercise and dietary habits (which aren’t all that stringent-20 to 30 min of hard pedaling on the exercise bike and sticking to 1600 calories or so a day).

But perhaps others who have always been overweight need to take more drastic action, their metabolisms are much slower or something and thus it is much easier to backslide and put them back on. Doctors also say that this kind of yo-yo dieting can be dangerous. Poll is coming.

I always did until about ten years ago. I would lose weight, then little by little put it back on because I’d think, “I just lost all this weight, I can have ice cream,” or “It’s only three pounds, and I’m going out to eat with friends, I will make up for it tomorrow.”

Then I’d be up 20 or 30 lbs and think, why didn’t I stop when I was just up three pounds? So last time I did. This goes against all advice, but I weigh myself a lot. I have a maximum morning weight and a maximum evening weight, and if I’m over I don’t care who I am eating with that night. I take care of it.

I don’t exercise as much as I should, and I’m not active, so I am subsisting on fewer calories than is probably good for me, but I’ve kept it all off for ten years. It’s funny that people I’ve just met in the past ten years think of me as thin or even skinny, when in my head I’m one bite away from obese.

One thing that I don’t understand is why someone would be surprised when their weight returns after ending a diet, and then using this as an excuse for why diets don’t work. Do people mean by “diets don’t work” that even while on the diet, they don’t lose weight or gain it all back? Because that would indeed suck, and I could understand being surprised. Otherwise, I don’t get it.

I voted “other” because I don’t tend to do the big diet thing.

I put on a lot of weight with my first pregnancy, didn’t take it off before my second, and was about 60 pounds overweight by the time I turned 40. I resolved to do something about that, so I started to count calories, learned something about nutrition, and joined the Y. After about a year of working out regularly and eating sensibly, I’d lost the 60 pounds and was incredibly fit. I maintained that fitness level for five years, even becoming an instructor for five classes a week. Then I got a full-time desk job and quit exercising regularly. Flash forward to today, after four years of sitting for 40 hours a week. I’ve regained about 30 pounds and I find myself avoiding unnecessary trips upstairs. Now I’m kicking myself for not maintaining a reasonable level of activity and letting my diet (in the sense of “eating reasonable amounts of nutritious foods”, not “limiting calories to lose weight”) slide and I’m trying to figure out how to fit in reasonable work-out sessions during a full-time workweek.

So that’s not really yo-yo dieting, per se. It’s yo-yo fitness, if anything.

(I’m wearing my YMCA “Fitness Member of the Month” t-shirt right now. I’m so ashamed.)

I voted “other” because while I have lost weight and gained weight, my gains have, in the past, generally been due to some traumatic event. I have lost weight and kept it off…until something happens.

I gained a bunch of weight when I left my long time job. It was a very emotional situation. I worked hard and lost most of it. I was doing a great job maintaining my weightloss, when my dad got cancer and died. My grandmother died less than a year later. During that 2 year period, I fell into a terrible depression and returned to my emotional eating state. I gained 60+ lbs. I have worked really hard mentally and emotionally to overcome this aspect of my weight problems. I have lost all of the weight I gained during the death years and I’m looking forward to losing another 20 or so pounds to be at optimal weight. I believe I will keep it off this time.

I yoyo so much I can do Walk the Dog and Around the World with my weight.

I voted ‘other’ because I’ve never tried to lose weight. It stayed the same, minus the monthly-5 up/down tango, for 20 years. Then within a few month’s span, I gained 30 pounds, for no discernible reason. Doc said ‘You’re just old now’, and it’s been the same for the last 7 years.
Well, not really; 10 have dropped off on their own along the way, and I can’t imagine it going back up again. But then, I never expected my metabolism to betray me at 38, either. :dubious:

How long before it counts as “kept”? I mean, if someone loses 30 lbs and keeps it off 20 years, is that really a failure? That’s 20 years of their heart not straining, joints not compressing, sugar processing normally.

Statistically, very few people are successful in keeping weight off. And by ‘‘very few’’ I mean like 5%.

Pretty much every part of society conspires against the average dieter for them to fail. Food is ubiquitous, and many have deeply ingrained, sometimes lifetime habits they are trying to undo. This means that in moments of stress their neurons take the path of least resistance and reward them for eating.

Personally, the lowest weight I’ve ever been as an adult is about 150 lbs and the highest 210. I’ve never returned to 210 but I’m about 180 now, which is BMI of about 30 for me. I have been down to 150 many times, and I always seem to come back up. I can eat right and exercise generally about four months straight before the weight loss ceases to be sufficient motivation, or I’ll hit a bout of particularly bad depression and then what’s the point?

I’m beginning to suspect this whole weight loss thing is just a scam to make money anyway. Eat well, yes. Exercise, yes. But I’m increasingly cynical about the importance or possibility of actually keeping weight off. As I age, it becomes more and more a struggle of not putting more on.

Huh? I lost 30 lbs in 2008 and none of it came back. Then I recently (a monthish ago) decided to get back to my playing weight, and take off another 10, maybe 15 if I’m feeling ambitious, and currently 7 are gone. I’m absolutely certain that they won’t be coming back, because I don’t go on any ridiculous diets. I just make reasonable, healthier changes and stick to them.

I dunno, maybe it’s different for me because weight hasn’t been much of a problem in my life. I briefly gained waaaaay too much marriage comfort weight, but then cut myself off before I wound up buying my dresses at the tent store. The weight is gone, and I’ve never heard from it again.

I’m pretty up and down, though I’ve never returned to my highest point of 233. I got up to 200 while pregnant and have been as low as 125. Right now I’m lactating off the pregnancy weight and have lost 31 of the 44 pounds I gained. My goal is to get down to and maintain at around 150. To be at my ideal weight of 130 I have to eat about 1500 calories a day always and run 5 miles 5 times a week. That is such a difficult lifestyle, especially now that I have a baby. I really wish I could do it but I spend more time beating myself up and agonizing over every little thing than enjoying my thinness.

Also, not to be cynical, but I am married and my husband didn’t seem to like me any more at 130 than 150, so I’m not really sure what’s the point. I do know that I like myself more at 150 than 170, so to me that’s a worthwile goal.

What is this “losing” weight? I can’t even briefly misplace it.

I’ve never lost more than ten pounds at a time, and it has always come back. To answer monstro’s question from earlier in the thread, there is a difference between losing weight and maintaining weight. People know that, so when they’re done losing they start to eat more. People just underestimate the difference between maintaining weight and gaining weight. It’s a narrow path to tread, for a lot of us.

I go up and down, but it all correlates pretty logically with my lifestyle at any given time. Stressed out, eating and drinking too much to deal with that? Up. Time to work out every day and environment to restrict excess food? Down. There’s a certain upper limit to what I’m comfortable with; when I hit that number (once a year or so - post-holidays is a popular time!), I spend the next two or three months getting things in order and dropping 8-10 pounds. Then I get to go back to doing things that are fun again.

I really dread the day that I know is coming in five or ten years where it’s not as easy to lose a pound or two a week just by cutting down to a 1800 calorie diet.

I voted “other,” because I used to yo-yo and don’t anymore.

I’ve never been terribly overweight, at my heaviest I was a pudgy size 8, but I lost the same 10 pounds several times, which was frustrating, and I felt like I was always thinking about food.

About a year and a half ago, I cut out wheat and sugar, and lost 15 lbs. My health and skin and everything, really, has improved so much that I find this diet ridiculously simple to stay on, and would not even consider going back to “normal” eating. I got rid of all my fat clothes for the first time, because I know I’ll never need them again.

It remains to be seen!

Basically my whole life I’ve gone up and up, just pounds at a time. I think I was around 220# as a 16-year-old. I got to 310# in my early 20s and then lost down to 220#. Then I stopped caring about what I ate or exercising and focused more on money. Over the last 10 years, then, I’ve gone back up to like 330#.

I lost a ton of weight and slowly over a long time put it back on plus a few more. So really I’ve only lost weight once.

Well, twice now. I’ve lost 50# since January 1. So it remains to be seen whether or not I will gain back the weight I lost. I’m hoping not but who knows? I specifically remember myself saying I’ll never get back up to where I was after I lost 80 lbs and here I am! :slight_smile:

I voted other, since I have never had any reason to loose weight.

I am a yo-yo dieter. I exercise regularly but I also like eating and drinking. I tend to gain about 7-8 lbs every year, so I go on an annual diet to get back to my “floor” weight. The best time of year for a short diet seems to be between the Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day. I can bookend the diet with some serious beer drinking.

I would be interested in hearing more about this. By cutting out sugar do you mean all sweets, products with added sugar like sauces, etc?

I have been dieting since I was 13. My weight has been a rollercoaster.

I finally had it under control (good eating habits, exercise) when I was 25 but then I started trying to have kids (and miscarrying) and I sort of gave up. Then we adopted kids and I ‘didn’t have time.’

My husband has now given me carte blanche (well, within reason) to go to the gym and to buy expensive food (well, not that much more expensive since I am not snacking as much).

I want to be able to look back on this post in a year and have kept it off but who knows.