Hungrier After Weight Loss3 years, 9 months ago
Posted on Feb 25, 2018, 7 p.m.
Most individuals will find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet after losing weight in the long term due to feelings of increased hunger. A study has been conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to investigate why.
The American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism has published the findings of this study that involved 34 morbidly obese patients that had received the gold standard in obesity treatments over a 2 year time frame. At the onset of treatment the participants weighed an average of 125 kg. For a 3 week period the participants received treatment at a center which specialized in obesity. Participants regularly exercised, received nutritional education, had psychologist consultations and underwent various testing, a format which was repeated at approximately every 6 months.
At the conclusion of the study the participants has lost an average of 11 kg, with all of the participants reporting that the were hungrier than when they were before starting treatment. Most obese people are able to lose weight on their own even without any support, but studies reflect that only 20% of people who attempt to lose weight will be able to manage to maintain their new healthy weight, according to the researchers. When people lose weight the stomach will release increased amounts of ghrelin which is the hunger hormone, this increased level will not adjust over time unfortunately. Participants of this study maintained high levels of ghrelin throughout the entire 2 years. These higher levels of ghrelin mean that people who have lost weight after being overweight will need to be able to cope with feelings of hunger for the rest of their lives. The other mechanism at play after weight loss is the body’s ability to conserve energy, as people who have just lost weight will not require as much energy in order to maintain their lighter bodies, yet they feel hungrier than they were when they were overweight because the body is trying to gain back all the weight that they have lost.
The researchers are suggest that obesity should be treated and managed just as a chronic disease, as an example as would be in the case for type 2 diabetes in which people would receive help and close follow up over time. Obesity really is a daily struggle for the rest of one’s life, even after weight loss. Obesity needs to be stop being treated as a short term condition by giving some support and help then just letting patients fend for themselves.
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