One Reason Why You Regain Weight Easily After Weight Loss

There has been a lot of talk about weight loss with the start of the New Year! There was even a great article written in the New York Times called The Fat Trap which referenced an article by Sumithran et al (2011) that studied the long term changes in hormones from diet induced weight loss. They stated that although dietary restrictions will often result in initial weight loss, most obese dieters will fail to maintain this weight loss.

In their study they looked at a group of 50 overweight or obese patients who were put on an extremely low energy diet (~550 kcal per day). Food intake and energy expenditure is regulated by a lot of hormones released by the body; so they decided to measure these hormones & appetite before the low energy diet, at week 10 and again at week 62.

They found that when a person diets to lose weight the body releases a lot of hormones within the body to slow down energy burn, store energy, and increase appetite; and that many of these alterations in hormones can last for 12 months after the weight loss and even after the onset of weight regain. This would suggest that there is a strong physiological response to regain that weight after you lose it…but that does not mean you are doomed to regain the weight. What it does mean is that you MUST work to create healthy habits and lifestyle changes to combat the weight regain. An interesting part of the study is that they did not include exercise in the weight loss regiment. Exercise can release many hormones to create satiety and curb that hunger. Exercise will obviously burn calories and release hormones to break up those stores of fat and energy within your body. This is why most health professionals will recommend a weight loss including exercise and diet as a regiment.

Weight loss doesn’t come easy or fast, there is no magic pill. My old college football coach has a great saying; “Hard work works.” Get in the gym, eat right and try to create health habits; and no matter what your genetic make up or hormone issues, 99% of it will be taken care of through hard work. For more information about effective weight loss habits, please contact Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway.



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