By Eliza Cracknell
You’ve done all the hard work and lost the weight, but now it’s time to maintain it. The key to doing this? According to science, hanging in there.
Hanging in there for a year to be exact.
New Danish research suggests that if you can maintain your goal weight for 12 months, keeping the weight off will actually get easier. Which means that hunger will subside as your body adapts to its new number on the scale.
To come to this conclusion, researchers tracked the hormone levels of 20 obese people who were all on a low-calorie diet for two months, losing an average of 13 per cent their body weight. The same subjects then went on a less extreme weight-maintenance diet for a year and their weight stayed the same.
Why is this the case? Researchers found the hormone ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry, actually spiked by 23 per cent after the initial weight loss (yep, that’s your body’s survival instincts kicking in, trying to protect you from dropping the pounds), but over time, ghrelin levels dropped back down.
This is because your body needs time to adapt to the weight loss and the more it gets used to it, the more the production of your hunger hormone tapers off.
Another surprising find was that the two types of hormones that help you feel full – GLP-1 and PYY3-36 – increased steadily over the year following the subjects’ weight loss.
The takeaway? For long-term results maintenance is just as important as the initial shredding. This doesn’t mean starving yourself for a year, instead reduce portion sizes, avoid proceeded foods and have the right mixture of vegetables, proteins and carbs.
Source: Body & Soul | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide