Lost a Few Pounds? Here’s What You Must Do Next
A new study reveals that after losing some weight there’s a very important next step you must follow to successfully lose even more weight.
According to a news release about a published study from the University of Copenhagen, weight loss can get easier if you can just maintain that initial weight loss for about one year.
“This study shows that if an overweight person is able to maintain an initial weight loss―in this case for a year―the body will eventually ‘accept’ this new weight and thus not fight against it, as is otherwise normally the case when you are in a calorie-deficit state,” says Associate Professor Signe Sørensen Torekov from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.
According to the research, one of the problems with going on a diet is that your body reacts to a reduced calorie intake by responding with an increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin. However, there are also anti-hunger hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) in play as well which act to suppress your appetite while the body strives to find a dietary balance. The trick to achieving weight loss is when your body is able to readjust its hormone levels to where the anti-hunger hormones are higher and the hunger hormone ghrelin is relatively lower.
“We know that obese people have low levels of the appetite inhibiting hormone GLP-1. The good thing is that now we are able to show that you can actually increase the levels of this hormone as well as the appetite inhibiting hormone PYY by weight loss and that the levels are kept high (which translates into increased appetite inhibition) when you maintain your weight loss for a year,” states the study’s first author researcher Eva Winning Iepsen.
Those findings of relatively high anti-hunger hormones came from an experiment in which 20 healthy obese study participants achieved a 13 % weight loss during 8 weeks on a very low-calorie diet, after which they were subsequently enrolled in a 52-week long maintenance protocol to prevent regaining the initial lost weight.
What the researchers found was that after approximately one year of avoiding weight regain that the levels of the two appetite inhibiting hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) increased while the hunger hormone ghrelin decreased from its diet-induced raised levels back to normal pre-diet levels. The researchers determined that their data shows that the hormones GLP-1 and PYY are able to adjust to a new ‘set point’ and thus may lead the way to further weight loss.
According to the news release the researchers believe that given enough time with a maintained initial weight loss, the body will reset itself and make losing additional weight easier.
“The interesting and uplifting news in this study is 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’, and after this point, it will actually become easier for you to maintain your weight loss than is 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,” concludes Associate Professor Signe Sørensen Torekov.
For related information on how to maintain your weight lost, here are two very helpful articles that can help you reach that one-year reset goal:
University of Copenhagen news release “New research: Obese people can maintain stable weight loss”
“Successful weight loss maintenance includes long-term increased meal responses of GLP-1 and PYY 3-36” European Journal of Endocrinology, 2016, EJE-15-1116; Eva Winning Iepsen et al.
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