Study: Weight Regain May Not Be Your Fault

Young man with an inch tape around his neck, standing on a weighing scalesJust ask anyone who has ever tried to shed extra pounds: Losing weight can be hard, but it’s keeping this extra weight off that is often most daunting.

Now new research in the New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light on why, and the answer is not lack of willpower. It seems that our hormones, at least those involved in appetite regulation, may be setting us up to fail.

In a new study, 50 overweight or obese people went on a low-calorie diet for 10 weeks. Researchers measured levels of several key hormones involved in appetite control before they started the diet, after they completed the diet, and then again 62 weeks later.

They found that changes in the hormonal mix tip the scale toward hunger and weight regain. Up to a year after weight loss, there are increases in the “hunger hormone” ghrelin and reductions in other hormones such as leptin that could promote weight gain.

Hormones & Eating