It’s become an ending just as predictable as the latest Hollywood romantic comedy: weight gain after a successful run on a diet. While the most common explanation for this unhappy ending is dieting methods that will never turn into lifestyle changes, you may have hormones to blame as well.
According to a new study, the levels of appetite hormones in the body before dieting may be a predictor of weight regain after dieting.
“Treating obesity with drugs or dietary programs can be very effective in the short-term, but the long-term success of maintaining the weight lost is usually poor,” said lead study author Ana Crujeiras, PhD, of Compejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago in Spain.
“Our study sheds light on how the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin affect weight regain after weight loss. This knowledge could be used as a tool to personalize weight-loss programs that could guarantee success in keeping off the weight.”
The researchers evaluated 104 obese or overweight men and women during an eight-week low-calorie diet and again 32 weeks after treatment.
They found that people who had higher plasma leptin and lower ghrelin levels before dieting were more prone to regaining the weight they lost after dieting.
Crujeiras feels that her team’s findings could provide assistance for nutritionists in identify people who may need specialized weight-loss programs that would target appetite hormone levels before beginning a conventional diet.