Posted by: Chris Maloney | March 10, 2012

Grizzly Weight Loss: Natural Weight Fluctuation.

Female grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Pa...

Image via Wikipedia

Here in Maine, we’re starting to peek out at the possibility of spring.  Like all the other animals, people are moving around more, kicking the leaves out of the bedroom, and taking off the layers of fake fur we all bundle up in.

But what we aren’t doing is dropping body fat.  No real surprise there.  The battle of the bulge is epidemic these days.  And doesn’t it always seem that women have a tougher time losing weight than men?  It’s that testosterone, just makes it easier.  But hold on a moment.

Like Mainers, grizzly bears hunker down for winter.  They get cozy and snuggle up, waiting out the winter months without too much change.  By the time they wake up, they’ve dropped body weight and start binge eating all summer just to stay even for the winter.  The important thing is that, while the males lose and gain weight, the females lose and gain more.  That’s right, it’s easier for the female grizzly to change weight than for the giant, testosterone ridden male.

Oh, but that’s about having children, right?  Nope, the fluctuation in weight increases throughout the female grizzly’s life until she is fluctuating not 50%, but 70% of her body weight every year!  Do some simple math.  A 200 lb person fluctuating seventy percent of his or her weight would be fluctuating by as much as 140 lb every year!

I’m not suggesting that you all take sedatives and sleep out the winter, though it might be less dangerous than some of the surgeries currently being considered.  But I am looking at the female/male fluctuation and thinking that female humans might do much better if they matched their weight loss planning to seasonal variations.  In other words, our current fixation on weight loss starting January 1st is probably why so many women cannot figure out how to lose any weight.  We need to look at the weather outside before we decide to make sudden changes in how we eat.  Despite all our bravado, we still live in animal bodies.


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