People who lose weight often wonder why they end up regaining the weight back after all that hard work. A new study sheds light on how weight loss can accidentally increase your appetite therefore causing you to regain weight.
According to researchers, individuals who lose weight get really hungry and could eat up to 100 more calories for every two pounds lost. This means the more weight you lose, the more calories you consume causing you to gain more weight than before.
“That’s the very first time that number has been quantified. We never knew how big that number was before the study,” says researcher Kevin Hall, PhD, who studies how the body responds to weight loss at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD.
He says it’s the strong increase in appetite, rather than the reduction in metabolism, people have after weight loss that causes weight regain. I can agree that after an intense workout I do become extremely hungry and I end up eating more than I may need to satisfy my appetite.
The effect of appetite is 3 times stronger than for reducing metabolism. The two combined will assure that lost weight will sneak right back, Hall says.
This study will be published in the November issue of the journal Obesity and independent experts say it will change how physicians treat patients who have lost weight.
In the trial, data was analyzed for people who had type 2 diabetes and could eat without restriction for a year. Of the 242 participants, 153 received canagliflozin, a drug that caused a substantial surge in the amount of glucose excreted in their urine.
The funny thing about it was that the group taking the drug had not lost more weight. Hall developed an equation in his lab to find out why the patients’ weight loss came to a stop. The formula measured the number of calories a person would need to eat to have weight changes over time.
He found out that even though the people did not know how much calories the drug was burning, their bodies were fighting against the weight loss, making them eat more to make up for the loss.
This study sheds light on how not achieving weight loss is not all your fault. Your body actually fights against the long-term maintenance of that weight, says Scott Kahan, MD, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
However, this study did have limitations. Researchers studied people with type 2 diabetes so the results in appetite changes might be different for healthy people, Hall says. Different amounts of weight loss could also cause different changes in appetite.
I believe if further researcher support these findings, it aims at a new way doctors can help their patients lose weight.
Source: Kevin Hall, PhD, section chief, Integrative Physiology Section, Laboratory of Biological Modeling, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD. Obesity. November 2016
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