I know the mistake they made: The biggest losers just stopped exercising

That’s where they went wrong.

They didn’t lose muscle and not fat. Nope.

They didn’t mistakenly lose the weight too quickly. Nope.

The next line of response to the Biggest Loser study I hear is this: I bet the mistake they made was slipping back into their old habits. I bet they didn’t keep up the exercise without personal trainers to yell at them everyday.

You might think that. But you’d be wrong. As Savita points out in her analysis of the Biggest Loser study, “the subjects maintained their high levels of physical activity.” She goes on to say that “these subjects clearly showed that they had a tremendous amount of discipline in maintaining their exercise regimen, probably because they were under intense public scrutiny.”

(It’s true that some of them kept some weight off. I’m going to write about that later.)

Can you imagine the discipline required to continue exercising while regaining weight even though weight loss was your main reason for exercising in the first place? I can. I’ve been there. Not about exercise. That I do because I love it. It’s my idea of fun. But eating less than I’d like isn’t easy for me. At times in my life I’ve been carefully tracking food and watching what I eat while the numbers on the scale climb. It’s not easy.

The biggest losers didn’t make a mistake.

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