Your Hormones Don't Want Your Diet to Work

Study shows why it's hard to maintain weight loss
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2011 5:36 PM CDT
It may be hard to lose weight, but it could be harder to keep it off.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's a pattern familiar to many trying to slim down: Go on a diet, shed some pounds, then gain it all back and then some over time. Don't blame weak willpower: A new study shows that hormones in the body throw a temper tantrum of sorts in reaction to weight loss and send an unrelenting message to the brain: We need food. Worse, the hormones keep sending that message for a long time—the Australian study found elevated levels in dieters after a full year, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers a "really discouraging" view of just how effectively the body fights back against weight loss, says an endocrinologist with the University of Colorado. As a result, "the high rate of relapse after dieting is not surprising," the study concludes.

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