Could trying to lose weight actually lead to weight gain in the long-run?
Research cited by the Daily Mail seems to point to the possibility that, in general, diets don't work long term.
A study by Joseph Proietto, a professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne, took 50 overweight men and 50 overweight women and put them on a 550 calorie diet for eight weeks. Then, over the next year, participants were given counseling to encourage healthy eating habits.
Though participants typically lost weight over the eight week diet, most regained a substantial amount of it over the next year and many reported feeling hungrier and more food obsessed than before the diet.
That's because, according to the study, the participants' brains released hormones making them feel like they were starving. Their metabolisms also slowed and more of the food they ate was stored as fat.
PhysOrg reported on similar research in 2007.
In that study, Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology lead a team of researchers that looked at 31 long-term diet studies and reached the conclusion that diets can actually make people gain weight.
"You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back," Mann said, according to PhysOrg. "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people."
But there is still hope for those looking to permanently shed pounds. It just takes more than a diet.
HULIQ spoke to trainer Julie Kocher-Zinkus who said permanent weight loss requires a lifestyle change.
"Diets often fail because they typically address only one part of the equation, food," she told HULIQ. "Other important factors to successful weight loss and maintenance of ideal weight, include addressing the following: exercise, stress management, sleep cycles, hydration, and nutrient density."