The human body has evolved to be resistant to losing weight, which would have helped survival in times of food scarcity, but can be an issue now food is readily available
The human body has evolved to be resistant to losing weight, which would have helped survival in times of food scarcity, but can be an issue now food is readily available

Dieting for one year can help you stay in shape for much longer, study suggests

A study has found 12 months of dieting may lead to long-term chemical changes in the body

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 14 April 2016 08:20
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People should stick to diets for a year to keep the weight off, scientists have found.

A study has found 12 months of dieting may lead to long-term chemical changes in the body, allowing it to maintain its new weight.

Previous research has found the body reacts to diets with a surge in hunger-causing hormones, while cells store more calories as fat.

However, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found the bodies own survival mechanism can be overcome after a year of dieting, The Times reported.

The human body has evolved to be resistant to losing weight, which would have helped survival in times of food scarcity, but can be an issue now food is readily available.

"It's a perfectly natural method to preserve life - if we don't eat, we die," Signe Sorensen Torekov, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Copenhagen, told BBC Radio 4. "That's why this hunger sensation is so strong."

In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, the team put 20 obese people on a precise diet for an eight-week period to help them lose an average of 28lbs.

After following a strict diet for the next 12 months, their bodies were found to produce less of the hunger-inducing hormone Ghrelin and more of the hormone GLP-1, which suppresses appetite.

Dr Torekov told Radio 4: "Most studies show when you lose a lot of weight, then your body fights fiercely against it.

"But we actually found if you are able to keep your weight down for this longer period then it seems to adapt to this new set point."

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