Can Dieting Reduce Your Feelings of Hunger?
One struggle dieters frequently combat when trying to lose weight is an increased feeling of hunger that is often so strong it can derail even the most motivated person. However, a new study suggests that if you stick to a dieting plan long-term, those hunger pangs will eventually subside. Plus, the study found that if you maintain your weight loss for at least 52 weeks, it’ll be easier to maintain that weight loss long term.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen put 20 obese people on an 8-week low-calorie diet. After that period, they put the participants on a 52-week weight maintenance track, which included meetings with a dietician and diet tracking. The researchers measured the participants’ levels of hormones associated with hunger, including ghrelin, which increases hunger, and GLP-1 and peptide YY, which suppress or regulate hunger. They took these measurements before the diet, shortly after, and at 52 weeks. After weight loss, the participants’ appetite-regulating hormone levels increased by 40% and rose even more to 65% at week 52. The hunger-inducing ghrelin levels, on the other hand, increased 23% after the weight loss. (Dieting can make you feel hungrier!) But after sticking to the maintenance plan for the rest of the year, those hunger-related hormone levels fell back to their before-weight-loss levels.
In other words, the diet and long-term focus helped the participants adapt and overcome the surge in hunger that dieting usually causes. Participants got over the “critical point” for rebounding after weight loss!
This is good news but how do you accomplish just such a feat? This study cries out for Dr. Gullo’s strategies of behavioral nutrition.