Why losing weight makes you crave for more food?

  • Disha
  • Friday | 9th February, 2018

If somehow we lose weight after spending strenuous hours in the gym or ‘suryanamaskar’ the mouth-watering fancy burger ads on various websites compel us to crave for more.

“Losing weight is a mind game. Change your mind to change your body. ”

The above-mentioned quote might make you feel motivated to hit the gym or yoga classes. But due to our laziness or work schedules, we end up in a cobweb of an empty stomach and fast food.

If somehow we lose weight after spending strenuous hours in the gym or ‘suryanamaskar’ the mouth-watering fancy burger ads on various websites compel us to crave for more.

So, if all this while you were browsing about an authentic reason, put a rest to all your worries, a recent study published in American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, has all the answers.

According to the study, the solution lies in the balance between hunger and satiety hormones in people who have lost a lot of weight. How?

The study participants underwent a Gold standard obesity treatment. They were feeling hungrier as they were losing weight in a span of two years.  

Let’s go through the whole treatment procedure to know the detailed analysis.

Gold standard obesity treatment

Under the Gold standard obesity treatment 34 patients weighing 125 kilograms on average were first admitted for three weeks at a treatment centre.

They had to exercise regularly and undergo different tests. This format was repeated approximately every six months. The participants lost an average of 11 kilos after two years. In the first three weeks they lost roughly five kilos.

Outcome: Two out of ten manage to keep weight down after programme

Only 20 per cent manage to maintain the new lower weight. If we go by the purely biological perspective, two factors which are significant, human evolution and the body`s ability to ensure its survival.

To study further they analyse an in-depth study of the role of hormones and body while dieting

a)    Hunger hormone increases when dieting

When we lose weight, the stomach releases greater amounts of a hormone called ghrelin. This hormone makes us feel hungry. What is more disappointing about ghrelin is that the level does not adjust over time. The study shows that the level of ghrelin in the study participants remained high throughout the two years.


b)    The body`s ability to conserve

On to the other mechanism, the body`s ability to conserve. The people who have lost weight due to dieting need less energy to maintain their new and lighter bodies.

Yet they feel hungrier, because the body is trying to get that weight back. Just to be on the safe side.

The outcome which needs to be taken into account: Obesity should be treated as a chronic disease

According to the study, the feeling of satiety after a meal also increased, but the feeling of hunger increased more. It is believed that obesity needs to be handled as a chronic disease equally with other chronic illnesses.

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