When you’re obese, trying to sustain weight loss can be a considerable struggle. There are many barriers that can stand in the way of maintaining the rate of fat loss over a period of time.
Fortunately, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have provided new insight into the way in which fat is lost from an obese body, making it possible for people who are overweight or who are obese to be able to keep up with their fat reduction efforts toward a healthier body.
According to Associate Professor Signe Sorensen Torekov from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, the research has revealed that should an overweight person be able to sustain weight loss initially, for example over the period of a year, then the body will come to “accept” that this is the new normal and will stop putting up a fight against the efforts to reduce.
Typically, the reason it can be difficult to sustain weight loss when you’re obese is that reducing calorie intake every day, causing a calorie deficit, can lead the body to try to preserve the energy (fat) it has. This is an automatic response to consuming fewer calories than are being burned, as this could present a dangerous risk of starvation if the body were too slim. However, this is problematic when the body is overweight and the goal is to reduce the excess fat. The greater the resistance of the body to burning through the fat stores, the harder it is to drop the pounds.
This research was published within the European Journal of Endocrinology. It showed that by keeping up the efforts to lose weight, two appetite inhibiting hormones were increased in production (they are known as GLP-1 and PYY), which meant that, over time, the patients experienced a reduction in their hunger levels when compared to their starting point when the research began.
At the same time, grehlin – also known as the hunger hormone – would often spike following initial weight loss but would return back to normal levels after about a year had passed. This meant that as long as obese patients could stick with their efforts, even if they were very slow and gradual, the process of losing weight becomes easier over time and the body will actually change the way its hormones are produced in order to create an environment that is more conducive to burning through stored fat.