Always Something There To Remind Me

Overeating for Short Period Can Have Long-Term Effects on Fat Storage

If you treat the holidays or a few weeks of vacay as "all bets are off" eating time, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise down the road. And, no, we don't mean an unpleasant surprise like that muffin top you've accrued "out of nowhere" (but your boobs are still the same size, wtf?). Even if you've become a pro at dropping the pounds you gain during periods of championship eating, a new study suggests that extra fat may still linger as an unwelcome souvenir.

A Swedish study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism asked one group of participants to steer clear of the gym and increase how much they ate by an average of 70 percent for four weeks, while a control group ate and exercised normally. At the end of the four weeks, those in the pig-out group gained an average of fourteen pounds, but eventually lost most of the weight after six months. Four weeks to gain and six months to lose is one of life's crueler jokes as it is, but it gets crueler: A year later, researchers found that this group had an increased fat mass over the control group. And after two and a half years, they had even more fat than the control group. ("More Fat Than the Control Group" would be a great album name for all you musical lady birds out there. You're welcome.)

The results of this study indicate that even a short period of falling off the healthy diet and exercise bandwagon could change your physiology, making it harder to lose fat and keep it off in the longer term. Suddenly, "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" is becoming a bit more poignant than it was when that annoying aunt from childhood would judge you and your milkshake choices.


BioMed Central Limited (2010, August 26). A moment on the lips, a year on the hips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from


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