Are All Diets Meant to Fail?

A new study has found that, no matter how hard we try, the pounds we so painstakingly lose, just about all the time, come back.

Researchers have discovered that "the way the stomach detects and tells our brains how full we are becomes damaged in obese people but does not return to normal once they lose weight, according to new research from the University of Adelaide."

I don't know about you but when I'm trying to lose weight (just about always), I have to work really hard to make sure I stop eating when I'm full.  I have a variety of methods.  I put my fork down between bites.  I try to drink a lot of water.  And when I've truly had enough, I don't decide to go back for seconds because hey, they just look so good.

I suppose eating in front of the TV, or while standing up, doing chores, probably doesn't help.

But the study discovered that "researchers believe this could be a key reason why most people who lose weight on a diet eventually put that weight back on."

We just don't listen to our stomachs well enough.

I've reached my goal weight three times in my life ( become what Weight Watchers calls a "lifetime member" three times and now am back for my fourth) but it seems I'm like just about everyone else.  I keep eating long past when my stomach tells me to stop.

The only person I know who's ever kept the weight off is a friend from Weight Watchers, who actually stays 10 pounds below his goal weight (and has, for over three years), just to make sure he doesn't go back.

In the study, scientists investigated the "impact of a high-fat diet on the gut's ability to signal fullness, and whether those changes revert back to normal by losing weight, and the results show that "the nerves in the stomach that signal fullness to the brain appear to be desensitized after long-term consumption of a high-fat diet.

"The stomach's nerve response does not return to normal upon return to a normal diet. This means you would need to eat more food before you felt the same degree of fullness as a healthy individual," quotes study leader Associate Professor Amanda Page from the University's Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory.

"A hormone in the body, leptin, known to regulate food intake, can also change the sensitivity of the nerves in the stomach that signal fullness," she goes on. "In normal conditions, leptin acts to stop food intake. However, in the stomach in high-fat diet-induced obesity, leptin further desensitizes the nerves that detect fullness. These two mechanisms combined mean that obese people need to eat more to feel full, which in turn continues their cycle of obesity."

Associate Professor Page tells the results have "very strong implications for obese people, those trying to lose weight, and those who are trying to maintain their weight loss. Unfortunately, our results show that the nerves in the stomach remain desensitized to fullness after weight loss has been achieved," she says.

So what does this mean for us?  That probably, we can lose all the weight we want, but it's most likely going to come back.


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