Stick To Your Diet For At Least A Year For Potentially Lasting Weight Loss

Stick to Your Diet for at Least a Year for Potentially Lasting Weight Loss

If you've ever dieted before, you know how hard it is to keep the weight off for good. New research suggests that if you maintain your weight loss for at least 52 weeks, it will be easier to maintain that weight in the long run. Photo by Nogwater.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen put 20 obese people on an eight-week low-kilojoule diet. After that period, they put the participants on a 52-week weight maintenance track, which included meetings with a dietician and diet tracking. The researchers measured the participants' levels of hormones associated with hunger, including ghrelin, which increases hunger, and GLP-1 and peptide YY, which suppress or regulate hunger. They took these measurements before the diet, shortly after and at 52 weeks.

After weight loss, the participants' appetite-regulating hormone levels increased by 40 per cent and rose even more to 65 per cent at week 52. The hunger-inducing ghrelin levels, on the other hand, increased 23 per cent after the weight loss. (Dieting can make you feel hungrier!) But after sticking to the maintenance plan for the rest of the year, those hunger-related hormone levels fell back to their before-weight-loss levels.

In other words, the diet and long-term focus helped the participants adapt and overcome the surge in hunger that dieting usually causes. They got over the "critical point" for rebounding after weight loss.

It's a small study, but if you're looking to lose weight, this might be more inspiration for you to stick to your diet plan longer. You don't necessarily need to deprive yourself, either. Just eat more vegetables.

Successful weight loss maintenance includes long-term increased meal responses of GLP-1 and PYY 3-36 [International Journal of Obesity via The Independent]


    Sticking to your diet for 1 year is WAY too long and difficult for any person to do. You should only be cutting for 3 months max, at 1-2lb/week. I completely understand why losing weight slow would make it hard to gain it back. The reason is when we lose weight slow, we tend to maintain our metabolism so it doesn't dip too much. With a good metabolism (and higher BMR), its easier to maintain our new weight.
    However, there are better ways to do this. Make sure you are on a high protein diet and you weight lift. The reason is because when you lose weight you want to maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss, and the above can help with that. Muscle burns calories which maintains metabolism so you can keep off the weight you lost!
    I have to say, as a vegan with celiac disease its difficult to get protein. I suggest 1-2g/kg body weight a day to my clients. I did find VOOLUU organic vegan protein ([email protected] to be useful though, i get about 50% of my protein with it!

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