Weight loss: How can you keep those extra kilos from coming back?

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Losing weight in a steady manner is easier said than done. It is, in fact, the biggest struggle for obese people. According to a research from the University of Copenhagen, there are complex processes involved in obesity and especially weight loss in obesity. Researchers say that it is now possible to offer overweight people a clearer understanding of how to sustain weight loss.

According to researchers, if an overweight person is able to maintain an initial weight loss, say for a year, the body will eventually ‘accept’ this new weight and not fight against it, as is otherwise normally the case when you are in a calorie-deficit state. The European Journal of Endocrinology published this study.

They say that after one year of successful weight loss maintenance, the postprandial levels of two appetite inhibiting hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) increased (=appetite inhibition) from before-weight loss level — in contrast to the hunger hormone ghrelin. This increased immediately after weight loss but returned to normal levels (= low hunger) after one year. This proves that the hormones GLP-1 and PYY are able to adjust to a new ‘set point’. From this, researchers assume that this may facilitate the continuation of a new and lower body weight.

The longer you can sustain your weight loss, the lower your chances of gaining it back

For the purpose of the study, they followed 20 healthy, but obese, individuals for 8-weeks. All participants were on a low-calorie powder diet and lost on an average 13 per cent of their body weight. After the initial weight loss, the participants entered a 52-week weight maintenance protocol. They had regular meetings with a clinical dietician with instructions on lifestyle changes as well as diet calendar tracking. In case of weight gain, the participants could replace up to two meals per day with a low-calorie diet product.

During the study period the participants completed three meal tests — before weight loss, immediately after and after 52 weeks of maintenance, where blood samples were collected after fasting as well as postprandially and subsequently analysed.

Researchers saw that if you are able to maintain your weight loss for a longer period of time, it seems as if you have ‘passed the critical point’. After this point, it becomes easier for you to maintain your weight loss than it was immediately after the initial weight loss. Thus, the body is no longer fighting against you, but actually with you, which is good news for anyone trying to lose weight.

How to lose weight and keep it off

Losing weight is easy but keeping it off is not. If you want to be successful in your weight loss efforts, then you have to make some lifestyle changes. Your efforts need to be an ongoing process. And, keep reminding yourself why you need to lose weight. It will keep you on track. Be always conscious about what you eat and exercise regularly. If you feel lazy to go to the gym just walk around your house and do some simple exercises by yourself. And, last but not the least, cut yourself some slack here. Have cheat meal once in a while. This way, you will not feel deprived and it will help you to stay on course.

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