Scientists claim they have discovered a key protein that signals whether you will be more vulnerable to weight gain after coming off a diet.
Yo-yo dieters constantly grapple with weight issues because they tend to pile on the pounds the minute they relax their regime but the new find could end their woes.
Researchers from eight European countries, including the UK, analysed the blood of 96 dieters who had already lost weight. Half successfully kept it off, or lost even more. But the others regained the lost pounds.
Blood tests revealed levels of a substance called angiotensin-converting enzyme to be linked strongly to whether a woman’s weight yo-yoed or remained stable.
While dieting, women who later kept the pounds off tended to experience large drops in levels of the enzyme, they found.
The find could also have health implications for many because repeated rapid weight gain and loss associated with dieting can double the risk of death from heart disease, including heart attacks, and the risk of premature death in general.
“Despite what we might think, people are not bad at losing weight – where they really struggle is in keeping it off. And the reality is that most research is focused on getting that initial weight loss, rather than the strategies that people need to keep the weight off in the long-term,” the Daily Mail quoted Susan Jebb, one of the British experts on the research team, as saying.
“Yo-yo dieting is psychologically upsetting for people and repeated cycles which feel like failure breed a lack of self-confidence.”
James Stubbs, an obesity doctor at Slimming World, said, “It is very intriguing. Maintenance of weight loss is absolutely critical to success.”