Until now, the majority of studies have told us that after a restrictive diet, people tend to return to their usual weight, even when weight loss has been significant. This slightly fatalistic statement could be put in question following a recent study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. This study concludes that, if weight loss is maintained for more than a year, the body could get used to this new lower weight and be able to maintain it long term. After a year of maintenance, the body may no longer have the tendency to go back to the higher weight and could consider the new weight as the person’s “normal” weight.
This is excellent news for all those who have weight to lose and are changing their dietary habits!
Without asking you to look into your high school biology textbooks, I cannot tell you about this new study without first telling you about the particular hormones that are at play… The study demonstrated that if the weight loss is maintained for at least a year, the level of two hormones (GLP-1 and PYY), which are responsible for staving off hunger, increases compared to levels seen before the weight loss.
What’s more, levels of another hormone (ghrelin), which is responsible for stimulating appetite, diminish following the maintenance of weight loss for at least a year. This is excellent news, as we’ve already observed that levels of this hormone increase soon after losing weight, stimulating the appetite… which doesn’t really help when you’re trying to shed those pounds!
To summarize, the study observed that after a year of weight loss maintenance, there is an increase in hormones that reduce hunger and a partial reduction in those that stimulate hunger1. So, everything to help you on your way!
A side note (it’s to be expected!) with regards the study in question: the participants of the study were overseen much more closely than what could be hoped for in everyday life. Let me explain: participants were assisted for 8 weeks by a medical team to lose a maximum of weight during this period. They then regularly consulted with a dietitian for 52 weeks to change their dietary habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
None the less, the study’s results are both interesting and encouraging! It’s observed that, following the maintenance of weight loss for a long period (over a year), the body becomes your ally and helps you maintain this new healthier weight, rather than an adversary that tries to make you get back to your initial weight.
In conclusion, if you decide to lose weight, make sure you commit yourself for a period of at least a year. Your endurance will help you maintain your weight loss long-term. If you’re trying to lose weight, SOSCuisine offers services to help you reach your goals week after week over long periods. Discover our tasty weight loss meal plans, available for yearly subscription or our with our VIP Dietitian, who will help you adopt healthy dietary habits and maintain them long-term.