Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Woodland, California, USA
Bikes: Felt Z-70, GT RTS-2
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You are born with a specific number of fat cells. Think of them like water balloons. First they are small, but as you put on weight they get bigger and firmer. As you lose weight the cell shrink but have been stretched, so are somewhat looser than before. Over time they will normally shrink more and firm up. If you become obese though, then your body will actually produce new fat cells, so as you lose weight you will now have more fat cells. Fat normally is on the outside of your organs, so between your skin and organs, but if you are too fat, then fat develops behind the organs, which is also harder to lose.
As you get older your metabolism slows. As you put on weight your metabolism slows, so if you're old and fat, your metabolism is really screwed up. It takes some time for your body to get into a new metabolism, so if you stop exercising you'll gain weight back pretty quickly. Throw into that the "Caveman" mode of when your body is starving it will slow down your metabolism (diet now days), so when you start eating bad again, the body doesn't know that you won't be starving soon, so it stores all the extra food as fat, so now you have kind of a triple whammy of slowed metabolism.
I've also noticed that when you lose weight, that empty space needs to be filled at least temporarily, so you'll retain fluid, so that can also add to the soft flabby feeling. The best thing to do is stay on a good diet (try a food diary. You can find the calorie count easily on-line for any food) and you'll see how many calories you are consuming. Keep up some physical activity to keep your metabolism up and to train your body to have the higher metabolism. It's kind of a life long battle to do it, but that's what we have to do.