A study is now confirming what many people have long believed: different people lose weight differently. Researchers at National Institutes of Health performed a 6 week inpatient study of 12 obese adults. Participants’ energy expenditure were calculated by whole room indirect calorimetry after fasting for one day, and then while on a diet with a 50% reduction in calories. After accounting for age, race, sex, and baseline weight, researchers found differences in how people reacted to the reduction in calories. They found that those people who lost the least weight had what they called a “thrifty” metabolism. These people who lost the least amount of weight on the reduced calorie diet were also the ones who had the largest decrease in their metabolism during the fasting period. The group who lost the most weight during the study had what researchers called a “spendthrift” metabolism, where their metabolism deceased the least during the fasting period.
While researchers did note a difference in metabolism, this study could not answer the reasons for the differences. Researchers were unable to conclude if the differences were due to genetics or if they are created by our environment, habits, or lifestyle.
“The results corroborate the idea that some people who are obese may have to work harder to lose weight due to metabolic differences,” said Martin Reinhardt, M.D., lead author of the study. “But biology is not destiny. Balanced diet and regular physical activity over a long period can be very effective for weight loss,” he added. The results of the study may highlight the need for a more personalized approach to help obese people achieve weight loss.
The above information is offered by Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, bariatric surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic surgeries including lap band, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass surgeries. Dr. Shillingford’s surgical weight loss patients come from all over South Florida including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and Port Saint Lucie.