Study: Maintain Weight Loss For A Year And You Can Keep It Off For The Long Term

October 5, 2016  |  

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Many people have had success in losing large amounts of weight. However, it seems that the key to actually keeping it off is pushing past the cravings and staying around your goal weight for a year. According to a recent study put together by researchers in Denmark, if you can hold it together for at least that amount of time, it will be easier to stay at the weight you’ve worked to get to for the long term.

Twenty otherwise healthy but obese individuals were monitored for two months as they went on extremely low-calorie diets. We’re talking about 800 calories a day, folks. Participants lost an average of 13 percent of their body weight. After that, they were put on a less extreme diet for 52 weeks and found that their weight remained stable. The work they did for two months didn’t go to waste. Still, it wasn’t easy.

According to the research, the hormone ghrelin, which is known as the “hunger hormone,” increased by 23 percent after subjects initially lost weight, causing people’s cravings to go berserk. But during the 52 weeks of a monitored diet, ghrelin decreased to seven percent. Also, the hormones that help you feel fuller ended up increasing substantially over the 52 weeks.

In conclusion, the study found that extra body fat initially impacts the production of the latter hormones, but after losing some of that fat and working to keep it off, hormone production can increase to a normal rate. Basically, with time and effort (a.k.a., not giving in to all of those cravings), you will feel fuller sooner, less hungry on a daily basis, and be able to maintain your weight loss for the long term. And even though the study was relatively small, those behind it are confident the results would hold true for most people who lost a lot of weight. As someone who has done so, and managed to maintain my own weight loss for over a year, I believe it.

If you’ve lost a substantial amount of weight before, did you find that if you could stay around your goal weight for a while, it became easier to keep the pounds off?

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