As almost anyone who has gone on a hardcore diet will tell you, losing the weight isn’t the hardest part. 

The hardest part is keeping the weight off

In a roundabout way, dieting is the biggest predictor of future weight gain

Essentially, if you chose to go on a restrictive diet, it’s more likely you’ll end up bigger than you were in the first place. Dieticians have told us this time and time again, but exactly why this happens has been a bit murky. 

Is it the metabolism slowing? Is it because we tend to go hog-wild at the buffet once we’re happier with our bodies? Is it ’cause diets friggen suck and food is loiiiiiiife?

The answer, according to a new study, is appetite. 

Why You Find It So Bloody Hard To Lose Weight But Regain It So Easily

Those who successfully lose weight get hungry. Real hungry. For every kilogram shed, the body prompts us to eat about 100 calories more than usual.

“That’s the very first time that number has been quantified. We never knew how big that number was before the study,” says researcher Kevin Hall, PhD, who studies how the body’s response to weight loss at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

While you will experience a drop in metabolism if you lose weight, the effect of a surging appetite is three times stronger than a slowing metabolism.

While the study (to be published in full in the November issue of the Obesity Journal) has its limitations due to small sample size, the research will no doubt help doctors properly guide patients who are on the weight loss journey.

“We get patients all the time that hit these plateaus, and we’re trying to figure out, what do we do?” Ken Fujioka, MD, director of the nutrition and metabolic research center at the Scripps Clinic in Del Mar, CA. says. 

“It’s real clear to us that you really need to deal with the food intake side, the driven appetite, from this paper.”

Just how exactly they’re gonna do that? Dunno yet. Will keep you posted.

Source: Obesity Journal

Photo: Mean Girls.