Why is it so difficult to lose weight?

In this lecture James Stubbs discusses why it is so difficult to lose weight and keep it off. 

You will learn about:
 The obesity pandemic
 The complexities of energy balance
 The physiological and behavioural adaptations to weight loss 
 Intervention strategies to make weight loss easier
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Professor James Stubbs

Number of lectures


Video time

1 hour

Key readings




What to expect...

Professor James Stubbs is a sports nutrition expert and has been researching obesity for more than 30 years. In this lecture, James aims to answer the following questions: What makes weight loss difficult and what can we do to make it easier?

 James begins his lecture by highlighting the simple principle of  energy balance (intake - expenditure).
 Despite its simplicity, the complexities of energy intake and expenditure are outlined. 
 In the following sections, the physiological and behavioural factors influencing energy intake and expenditure are discussed.
 James then outlines that energy balance is asymmetric... That is, adaptations occur to prevent excessive weight loss, but these are not reciprocated for excessive weight gain.
 The lecture is concluded with considerations for interventions and strategies to improve weight loss and maintenance.

Watch the full lecture, or follow the step-by-step sections... 

Professor James Stubbs

Professor James Stubbs is one of the world leaders in the field of obesity research. He is a biopsychologist interested in fundamental and applied approaches to human Appetite and Energy Balance. He has a BA (Biological Anthropology) First Class Hons and a PhD (Human Appetite and Energy Balance) from the University of Cambridge. He worked at the world renown Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health leading the Human Appetite and Energy Balance programme for 13 years. Prior to taking up this post, he held joint appointments as Professor of Behaviour Change and Weight Management at the University of Derby and Senior Research Specialist in a Commercial Weight Management Company.

James has over 30 years experience leading multi-disciplinary collaborations in human behaviour, physiology and psychology of food intake, diet composition, obesity, appetite and energy balance, funded by Research Councils, Scottish Office, EU and industrial collaborations. He has also spent 10 years in industry developing the evidence base for and applied solutions to weight control in the general population, recently focusing on sustained weight loss, relapse prevention and weight maintenance strategies.
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