January 05, 2012You've lost that 20 pounds -- more than once! Even though you've done everything right, pounds keep sneaking back onto your waistline! The struggle to keep weight off can be frustrating, but it's important not to give up! A recent study sheds light on the unique problems inherent in attempt to maintain weight-loss after you've reached your goals. A popular study of obesity from Australia recently demonstrated that after substantial weight loss, metabolism slows and hormonal changes increase the appetite, it's believe that this explains why weight maintenance after dieting can be so difficult, even when adhering to a diet designed to support and maintain weight levels. The combination of slowed metabolism and hormone levels offer a possible explanation. Leptin, a hormone that tells the brain how much body fat is present, decreased by two-thirds immediately after the subjects lost weight, causing increased appetite and slower metabolism. While levels increased over the year following the weight loss, they were still one-third lower than hormone levels prior to the weight loss. At the same time, ghrelin, an amino acid peptide and hormone that stimulates hunger increased, creating stronger appetites than before weight loss. Sounds daunting, but knowledge is power and! What we can learn from this study isn't that it's really hard to keep that weight off - we already know that! What we can learn is how to modify our weight maintenance program for success! So, let's look at metabolism first. Your metabolic rate is the level your body burns energy or calories, which depends on the amount of body fat you have compared to the amount of lean mass you have, which means that decreasing body fat levels increases your metabolic rate. Three great ways to increase your metabolism are:
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