Losing Weight Isn’t the Same for Everyone

kale chips

At this point, most people realize the mechanics of weight loss—consume fewer calories than you burn. It’s a pretty simple formula, but it’s much more complicated than that for many people. Those of us who have struggled with losing and maintaining a lower weight will understand how difficult it can be when you truly feel like you are fighting against your biology.

I recently came across this article from the Washington Post where the author describes some of the biological barriers that make weight loss much harder from some people.

The author describes some reasons why the rate of long-term weight loss success is only around five or ten percent. He asserts that the biology of overweight and obese people is set up in a way that makes failure likely, and that surgery or medicines may be a good option to help people who haven’t been successful losing weight on their own.

I have seen people criticized or shamed for using surgery or medication to aid in weight loss. Some people seem to think it’s cheating or a short cut. But the reality is, it might be the only way for some people to reach a healthier weight. Obese folks have likely tried dozens of diets and when nothing has worked it might make sense to see a doctor who can help them evaluate their particular needs.



15 thoughts on “Losing Weight Isn’t the Same for Everyone

  1. Anon

    5-10% success rate…has anyone ever stopped to consider that the advice given is wrong? And not that people just aren’t following the advice given.
    “Consume fewer calories than you burn” is a gross under simplification of the problem.
    Obesity is not a calorie problem, it’s an insulin problem.

    1. Anon

      Obesity is not a calorie problem?? Then why aren’t there obese people in starving countries? If it’s not a calorie problem then there would be obese people despite that they are starving. Your making an excuse for obesity. Insulin is a diabetes problem, not an obesity problem.

      1. Bethany

        Did you read the article she linked? Have you researched into the subject? She isn’t making excuses, she’s raising awareness. There are psychological, hormonal, and biological barriers to weight loss. (To your point about “No obese people in 3rd world nations” I offer this: if it’s ONLY calories in/calories out, with no complicating factors, why aren’t those diet plans solving the obesity problem at a greater rate? [i’m paraphrasing the Institute for the Psycholog of Eating here]).

        It sounds like you’re confusing “barriers to weight loss” with “permission to give up.” When that’s not Andie’s point or anyone’s. The point, actually, is don’t give up…. when diet number 12 doesn’t work, when it doesn’t get easier, when you don’t see results… the point is that it is harder for some people, and asks more of them. But that is just a call to press on.

        Thanks Andie for being so great.

    2. Chris

      I totally agree! I think you hit the nail on the head. If the rate of success is so small, it most likely is not the person but the advice given. We need a change now!

  2. Corey

    I’m one of those people who has struggled maintaining any kind of weight loss. I exercise and follow what I consider healthy eating plans, and yet fall off the wagon every time.

    Until July of 2017. Someone suggested hypnosis. I laughed. I am the most skeptical person I know, especially when it comes to, what I call, hocus pocus nonsense. But I really didn’t want to do surgery or medication and felt what’s the worst that can happen? 6 months in, ive gone from a size 26 to a size 14, and I’m still losing. My goal is a size 8. When I reach it, I will follow the instructions for maintenance. I feel hopeful.

    For people who suffer from obesity, I truly believe it’s 90% psychological and 10% biology. It’s not that my body was incapable of losing weight. Its that my mind made me believe I would die without eating (aka binging.) Once that barrier was lifted, the weight started melting off.

    1. Lucia

      That’s a very interesting concept! How did you go about your hypnosis? Is there a specialty area in overeating? How does one even begin to entertain this method and where to go?

      1. Corey

        Lucia: Key hypnosis in Westfield MA. Julie Ann kibe is the hypnotist and she is by referral only. She does groups of 75/80 people at a time and there is a 5 month waiting list. But if you put your name on the waiting list and check the website daily- you can call to get into a class sooner as soon as a date is posted. I only waited 2 weeks to get in.

  3. Anne F.

    Just a thought on finding a person qualified to administer hypnosis. I would ask a licensed clinical psychologist OR a reputable psychiatrist. Best qualified people to help with messing with your mind. Good luck! I want to hear about it if you follow through doing it. Curious. af

    1. Melanie

      Kristen, I wouldn’t normally use a platform like this to pitch a product but I hope you will forgive me because I have no other way to contact you. Your mention of the gut microbiome jumped out at me. I have tried many high-dollar probiotics but the problem with most is that they are so fragile they don’t make it past your stomach acid and into the gut where you need it! There is now one on the market though that is AMAZING and has helped change my life physically. It is a prebiotic and 7 strains of probiotic. It has a patented coating that ACTUALLY gets it past your stomach and into the gut before it starts to dissolve. And it is created in layers in a sphere shape so that each of the different strains comes off in the right section of the gut where it belongs. it is truly mind blowing science. :) Please contact me if you would like more information.

      and THANK YOU, ANDIE for this excellent perspective. I love your work!

  4. Vince

    This is such an important point. As humans, we tend to assume that experiences tend to be the same – and that everyone can get through challenges in roughly the same way. But, that’s not true at all. There are so many differences between individuals, many more than we’re aware of.

    To me, it seems that the best solution will naturally be different depending on the person. Weight loss attempts often seem to fail because people are trying to brute force a particular strategy, one that doesn’t suit them.

  5. Rennie

    This is such an important point. As humans, we tend to assume that experiences tend to be the same and that everyone can get through challenges in roughly the same way. But, that’s not true at all. There are so many differences between individuals, many more than we’re aware of.
    you guys have to try this, an easy delicious meal that helps you to lose weight, trust me when I say it actually works.


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