Does anyone happen to know the science behind the fact that many people (including myself unfortunately) have lesser degrees of success with weight loss when restarting a low carb diet after a short time of falling off the wagon (not completely, in my case), keeping in mind they are again strictly following the same protocol as they did previously?
This happens to be a phenomenon I've personally encountered and have witnessed others accounts of the same on many LC messageboards as well.
This is not a matter of carb creep or calorie creep as I religiously log my dietary intake into Fitday and have for years and can see that even when restricting further (or increasing to shake things up) my body is quite content to stay near the weight I started at.
Why does the body seem to "figure out" what's going on and know to prevent the weight loss from happening again?
There are reasons above and beyond any specific diet change for why with each subsequent attempt, weight loss can get harder. Here's some tip of the iceberg stuff to check out -
As per both articles, I believe very strongly that our bodies "learn." This is also echoed in sherpamelissa's post to some degree.
Repetivie weight loss attempts (with actual wt loss and regain) through younger years especially are linked with more and more and more and more resistance by the body to attempts at weight loss and more what I would call "push-back" when weight IS lost as the body reacts and adapts and "pushes-back" toward high weight set point.
This doesn't mean that you cannot be successful and that low carb will not work for you. But, you may need to be more patient and perhaps more rigorous with things like water intake, elimination of sugar subs etc. This can also include, and has for a number of folks, the need to cut carbs to the bone and/or do a form of cycling where they cycle down to zero or near zero carb for a few days at a time and them up again to 20 -50 whatever and do this for extended periods of time. Each person is different.
Dr. Eades has two posts on his site re: restarting.
One thing I'd say is: take the yo-yo stuff SERIOUSLY.
Only between 3-5% of all weight losers MAINTAIN that weight loss. Some 95-97% go on to not only regain all that they lost, but also gain additional weight, also with additional brain/body resistance to weight loss.
i've had this happen before too when i went lc several years ago. diminishing rate of return is a common phenonenon. i think that the body is adapted to leptin levels dropping from low-carbing and therefore when you reinstitute it, the levels drop even quicker causing you to plateau quicker each time you do it. you can trick the body once or twice but if you don't fix the underlying problems and work with the mechanisms(cycling carbs is great for leptin sensitivity from my experience) then it can be a frustrating ride for many people.
I think there are certain set points along the way and as you reach each one and your body adjusts it takes something different to push past it. To me, it's as though you have to fix a different problem with each set point. First for me it was as simple as calories, then protein, then carbs. I'm sure I was resetting/fixing metabolic damage, leptin and cortisol along the way, I just didn't know it at the time.