Science Library: The Physics of Weight Loss

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Genes and Weight
It's certainly true that genes have an impact on body weight. Learn more below.

Weight-Loss Recommendations for New Moms
Many new moms are eager to shed excess pounds soon after their babies are born, but there are important weight-loss guidelines these mothers should follow.

Menstrual Cycle and Weight
While there may be minor changes in metabolism, food intake and cravings throughout the menstrual cycle in addition to possible water retention, these will not impact weight-loss success.

Weight Cycling ("Yo-Yo Dieting")
Weight cycling is linked to a great deal of confusion surrounding its effect on metabolism, weight and overall health.

Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Recommendations regarding the amount of weight women should gain during pregnancy have changed over the past century. Here is a summary of the most recent update.

The Starvation Myth
The idea that "not eating enough" causes the body to stop losing weight because it goes into "starvation mode" is a popular myth among dieters.

Gender Differences in Metabolism
Biological differences between men and women affect metabolism and weight loss.

Weight-Loss Recommendations for Children
Current recommendations for weight loss in children have two goals: to ensure that the child grows and develops normally and to help the child reach a healthy weight.

Aging and Metabolism
Weight gain is a common occurrence as people get older because the body's metabolism slows as we age. Thankfully, exercise can help mitigate this weight gain.

Menopause and Weight
Menopausal women tend to gain weight overall and around their waist, which is a health concern because both weight gain in general and increased abdominal fat in particular are linked to increased cardiovascular health risks.1

Weight-Loss Plateaus
Plateaus, which happen when the scale is at a standstill for several weeks, are a common part of the weight-loss process.

Medications That May Contribute to Weight Gain
Several medications can work against weight loss, slowing the rate of weight loss or contributing to a plateau.

Metabolism and Body Weight
Understanding the energy content of food, metabolic rates and the law of thermodynamics.

Weight-Loss Medications
Prescription weight-loss drugs do not guarantee success, but physicians are prescribing them under certain circumstances.

Increasing Metabolism
How metabolism can be boosted, and the effect of the body's muscle mass and heart rate on the burning of calories.

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