Dramatic calorie restrictions and extreme dieting is in no way healthy in the long run as it decreases your levels of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, while increasing ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger over time.
According to the research published in The New England Journal of Medicine on “Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss” it was observed that Weight loss (mean [±SE], 13.5±0.5 kg) led to significant reductions in levels of leptin, peptide YY, cholecystokinin, insulin (P<0.001 for all comparisons), and amylin (P=0.002) and to increases in levels of ghrelin (P<0.001), gastric inhibitory polypeptide (P=0.004), and pancreatic polypeptide (P=0.008). There was also a significant increase in subjective appetite (P<0.001). One year after the initial weight loss, there were still significant differences from baseline in the mean levels of leptin (P<0.001), peptide YY (P<0.001), cholecystokinin (P=0.04), insulin (P=0.01), ghrelin (P<0.001), gastric inhibitory polypeptide (P<0.001), and pancreatic polypeptide (P=0.002), as well as hunger (P<0.001). The team concluded that Long-term strategies to counteract this change may be needed to prevent obesity relapse.
How to Win an Upper-hand Over Your Body?
Using these science-based tips will prevent weight regain after weight loss.
1. Avoid Blame Game:
There is no denyal of the fact that gaining excess weight is caused by a complex interplay between genetics and environment. The newly emerging science of epigenetics has unmistakably shown that hundreds of obesity-prone genes can be activated by a spectrum of conditions, from childhood abuse and trauma to the nutrition status of grandparents. Stop blaming yourself and others for a lack of willpower. Rely solely on eating less and moving more which is a simplistic way to fight substantial challenges to maintain weight. Let’s strive for a holistic, integrative “wellpower strategy” that honors and works with your unique mind-body history, as well as your living and working environment.
2. Use Your Brain:
Robot cannot think but you can. In order to stay physically active and healthy you need to engage your mind. This involves psychology, as well as brain science. There are two studies which outline the fact, in first case the scientists scanned chronic dieters’ brains with functional MRIs and found that some of them are literally hard-wired to maintain their weight better than others. Peering into the brain’s white matter, the scans revealed a “super highway” between an area that perceives reward and one that provides a braking system. Successful weight maintainers showed greater connectivity, coherence and integrity between these two brain regions. In other words, their brains’ braking systems successfully say, “Hold it right there” as soon as their reward systems launch with, “I’m stressed out of my mind and want that candy now!” Not surprisingly, these master maintainers had lower body fats as well better weight maintenance. In the second study, researchers found that for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost, appetite increased enough to drive people to eat an extra 100 calories a day. There is apparently a primal biological feedback control of energy intake that kicks in when weight loss occurs.
3. Practice Meditation:
Neuroscientists have demonstrated that a consistent mindfulness practice promotes neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells), which enhances learning, memory and emotion regulation – something you may need when a bad day tempts you to reach for the chip bag. Other research shows that meditation – including transcendental meditation – can also lead to a thickening of the brain’s pathways, meaning you can improve the communication between the brain break and the runaway reward system.
4. Why the Need:
Ask yourself the reason(s) why you want to change. Go deeper than the usual “I want to be healthy” retort. Visualize your goal. Do you see yourself hiking, biking or running with your friends and family? Looking and feeling energetic and happy? Being there for your kids and grandchildren? Acing that promotion because you’re filled with confidence? Being fit and healthy enough to live your dreams? Once you identify what’s really driving you, test it out to see if it can keep you on track in the face of temptation. Ask yourself the “power why.” It will anchor you in the present, support your mindfulness practice and allow you to supervene over any biological drive to regain the original weight by encouraging you to patiently, persistently practice your healthy lifestyle habits.
5. Eat Healthy:
Just as with meditation and physical activity, a healthy diet will lead to a more effective, focused brain because it, too, promotes neurogenesis. You’ll also improve the health of your gut’s microbiome, or the 100 trillion friendly bacteria than exert a powerful influence on everything from immune function to your ability to maintain weight.
6. Stay Physically Active:
Getting more physically active isn’t just about burning calories. It’s about encouraging the growth of more brain cells to improve neural pathways, enhance vigilance and promote the optimal ability to stay on track. Both the practice of mindfulness and regular physical activity counter the body’s primal directive to regain weight. This has been demonstrated by the over 7,000 participants in the National Weight Control Registry, an ongoing prospective study of people who have maintained, on average, a 50-pound weight loss for 10 years or more. Over the past 20 years, these study participants have demonstrated that their consistent healthy lifestyle habits override alterations in appetite that could result in weight gain.
You can change your weight permanently over a long period of time.