The New York Times reported on a new study in the journal Obesity that looked at the metabolism of contestants from the reality TV show “The Biggest Loser.” The study was interested in finding out how the contestants faired after competing on the show. And what they found was that most of the contestants gained back the weight that they had lost. In studying the contestants’ metabolisms the researchers found that the weight gain might have to do with “resting metabolism, which determines how many calories a person burns when at rest.”
The study found that “when the show began, the contestants, though hugely overweight, had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. When it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes.”
The study helps researchers better understand why people who lose weight have difficulty keeping the weight off.