Originally Posted by ATL_Gator
Hmm.. you know what that sounds like? Starvation mode! So you buy into that now?
No, not in the sense that your metabolism 'grinds to a standstill' as the nutritionists like to fret. I'm guessing the reason for the confusion is because REE decreases to the point where the calorie deficit is washed out.
That said, I suspect it is accurate to say that the body perceives dieting as starvation (in a sense, dieting is programmed starvation).
For one thing, we know that when you lose significant amounts of weight the metabolism slows for reasons other than decreased activity and less body-mass. It appears to be a survival mechanism.
More insidiously for the dieter, when you lose a significant amount of weight ... your body wants it back. It will increase hunger and decrease satiety to get the weight back. And it will even increase baseline weight to safeguard against future starvation.
So, I no longer believe that dieters gain their weight back simply because they 'slide back into old habits' or 'take their eyes off the ball.' I think it has more to do with the body's biological safeguards. I cannot blame them for gaining their weight back. I can only blame them now if they keep dieting hoping for a happier result.
My neighbor who lost 75 pounds on his quack, er, doctor-directed Opti-Fast diet ? He's already gained back 15 in a matter of weeks. Evidently, his body prefers real food. Go figure.