Why Maintaining a Healthy Weight is So Hard. Video and Test.

This video is on why it is so difficult for people who have lost weight to keep at that weight. It includes the transcript, vocabulary notes, and a grammar point.

 

Individuals losing weight are not metabolically the same as they were before they lost weight. Consider two individuals, same gender, same age, exactly the same body weight, one of whom has added that body weight as a result of, let’s say, a 10 or 15 percent weight reduction, and the other who has been at that weight for their entire adult life. The weight-reduced individual will be requiring about 20% less calories per day, relative to what somebody of that weight who has never lost weight would eat, or eat 10% less and increase their physical activity by 10% in order to keep at that body weight.

If that reduced individual goes out to lunch with their friend, and they both order the same meal, that will represent a 20% overeating for the weight reduced individual; quite normal for the individual who is not in that state. 20% may sound as a little but 20% excess caloric intake a year will account for the inexorable weight regain. As far as we know, this phenomenon does not go away, so being successful for a year or two doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to go back to eating at the rate that would be appropriate for a person who had never lost weight.

1. Individuals losing weight are not metabolically the same as they were before they lost weight.
to lose weight= to become thinner. The opposite is to gain weight, or more commonly to put on weight. ‘I need to lose some weight because I have put on five pounds this summer.’

2. The weight-reduced individual will be requiring about 20% less calories per day.
weight-reduced individual= well, I suppose you know the meaning of this compound noun. It means an individual who has lost weight, or whose weight has been reduced. It is important that you notice how compound nouns are formed in English. For example, if we talk about a teenager who is 16 years old, we could also say ‘a 16-year-old teenager’. The nouns we use before another noun in compound nouns must be linked by hyphens. And they must be singular (16-year-old boy and NOT *16-years-old boy), because they are functioning as adjectives, and adjectives have no plural form. Other examples: A well-designed house, a million-dollar house, a four-gigabyte processor, a 30-inch TV, etc.

3. If that reduced individual goes out to lunch with their friend, and they both order the same meal, that will represent a 20% overeating for the weight reduced individual.
A meal= a meal is each of the different times when we eat during the day. There are mainly three main meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
to overeat= to eat more that what is needed. The prefix over- is very common before verbs, to mean ‘to do in excess’. We can say oversleeping, overthinking, overdrinking, overreacting, etc.

4. 20% may sound as a little but 20% excess caloric intake a year will account for the inexorable weight regain.
caloric intake= intake is the amount of a substance that is eaten or drunk, so the caloric intake is the amount of calories that we take.
weight regain= this is a noun that comes from to regain weight. When you regain weight, you gain weight that you had previously lost.

5. …so being successful for a year or two doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to go back to eating at the rate that would be appropriate for a person who had never lost weight.
at the rate= at the level, at the pace

Grammar point

Look at the 3 words in bold red in the transcript, their. In these 3 examples, the word their is used in reference to one person (singular), not more than one (plural). Sometimes this use confounds students. Why do we use they, their or them when we mean one person, he or she? Well the answer is very simple, we use the plural they, their or them to refer to a singular person when we are talking generically and we don’t know if that person is he or she. Thus, in these cases the meaning of the 3rd-person plural pronoun is:

They= he or she
Their= his or her
Them= him or her

Examples:

If a person asked you for a coin at the station, would you give it to them? (=to him or her, we don’t know the gender)
Now I would like all the students to look at the person sitting next to you and ask them about their last weekend. (=ask him or her about his or her last weekend).

 

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