Weight loss is hard, but maintaining that loss is usually harder. However, a new study from the University of Copenhagen shows that weight loss maintenance is easier after a year.
Signe Sorensen Torekov, a University of Copenhagen biomedical sciences associate professor says that the most recent study shows that the body “accepts” the new weight, making it easier to maintain. The body is less likely to fight against it, as it would do during a “calorie-deficit state.”
The study has been published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, and goes on to state that two appetite inhibiting hormones increase in levels after a year of successful maintenance. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone also returns to a normal level, after increasing immediately after successfully losing weight. These levels become the new normal, making it easier to keep the pounds off for the long term.
The study involved 20 obese individuals, who were otherwise healthy. They followed an 8-week diet, using a low-calorie powder, and lost 13 percent of their body weight on average. After this, they followed a 52-week maintenance program, regularly meeting with a clinical dietitian to track the diet and suggest changes to the lifestyle to keep the weight off. Those who did start to gain weight, would replace up to two meals each day with the diet product.
Blood tests were taken after fasting at the start, middle and end of the maintenance program to see the change. Study lead author PhD student Eva Winning Lepsen said that the study showed great news for dieters. It is much easier to maintain a weight loss for the long term, once getting over that initial stage.
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