Diet and weight loss can be a lifelong journey, and successfully maintaining that weight loss is a struggle all its own. Many dieters find that they end up gaining back much of their initial weight loss during the first year, but University of Melbourne scientists have found that hunger hormones might be to blame, not a lack of will power.

The study consisted of 50 participants, who were either overweight or obese, who lost 10 percent of their body weight during a 10-week diet program. On average, each participant lost around 30 pounds.

The participants were given diet counseling and written advice on how to maintain their new weights, however, participants gained an average of 12 pounds back over the course of the year.

But as The Associated Press reports:

“The scientists checked the blood levels of nine hormones that influence appetite. The key finding came from comparing the hormone levels from before the weight-loss program to one year after it was over. Six hormones were still out of whack in a direction that would boost hunger. The dieters also rated themselves as feeling hungrier after meals at the one-year mark, compared to what they reported before the diet program began.”

“People who regain weight should not be harsh on themselves, as eating is our most basic instinct,” study author Joseph Proietto told the AP.

Source: USA Today

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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