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Why do I have Unexplained Weight Gain and Weight Loss?

Abstract: Risks with, and how to avoid, alternating between slimming and gaining weight again.

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Why do I have Unexplained Weight Gain and Weight Loss?

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 17 Aug 2008.

I come from a family which has problems with overweight and I have been grossly overweight since childhood. When I was young, I once fasted for many months, on vitamin pills and water, and I went down from 115 kilo to 87 kilo. Unfortunately, I was unable to maintain this weight when I started to eat again, quick weight loss was followed by quick weight gain. I joined Weight Watchers where I managed to go down to 96 kilo. Then my father died and I was obliged to help my mother, who is unwell, and this in a way caused me to leave Weight Watchers. I now weigh 136 kilo and I don't feel at all well, with pains in my back and joints and heart problems. The doctor says I must go down in weight, but it seems that my efforts only cause me to go up. What must I do in order to go down and retain the lower weight? Why do I have Unexplained Weight Gain and Weight Loss?

Answer:

Some research has been done concerning the risk for a heart attack when the weight goes up and down in the way you describe and this shows that it increases by % compared with that for someone whit a steadier weight.The disadvantage of fasting is that no new eating habits are learnt, so that when the fast ends weight goes up again. In order to solve an overweight problem the attention must first of all be directed towards permanently improving your eating habits so that the desired weight, once achieved, can be maintained. If you think it is too difficult to change all your habits at once, then change them one at a time. It is also necessary to accept a completely new attitude towards food, i.e., you only eat the vegetables and protein your body needs and not the fat and sugar you merely long for. This new attitude will gradually feel natural and acceptable. You can plan your diet so that you gradually find it pleasant to eat wholesome food.

Scientific investigations have revealed that those with overweight eat far more fat than others and you can probably go down in weight just by drastically reducing your fat intake. The fact that you went up after finishing with Weight Watchers may have been caused by your regarding the period with them as a temporary cure. You accepted their diet plan without really being convinced. Instead of this, you must find a diet which you feel is permanently acceptable to live with. You will be surprised at the large improvements you will be able to make if you take it gradually and find changes which are acceptable to you.

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