Anyone who has ever dieted knows that lost pounds often return, and most of us assume the reason is a lack of discipline or a failure of willpower. But Proietto suspected that there was more to it, and he decided to take a closer look at the biological state of the body after weight loss...
Levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger and increases metabolism, also remained lower than expected. A cocktail of other hormones associated with hunger and metabolism all remained significantly changed compared to pre-dieting levels. It was almost as if weight loss had put their bodies into a unique metabolic state, a sort of post-dieting syndrome that set them apart from people who hadn’t tried to lose weight in the first place.She also relates a few anecdotes about obesity and weight loss-- including her own candid story. These anecdotes include a couple who have maintained their weight loss by heroic efforts at calorie counting and exercise.
The idea that the body actively regulates body fat mass around a "setpoint", defending against changes, is something that I've written about many times on this blog. My mentor Dr. Mike Schwartz, among others, has been beating this drum for many years. I'm glad this research is gaining ground in the mainstream press.
This body fat regulatory system is something that we have to understand, and work with, if we want to effectively prevent and reverse obesity.