Why do so many of us still struggle with our weight? Even if we lose a few kilos we still find it difficult to keep the weight off. In a quest for answers sponsored leading eating behaviour scientists at University of Liverpool to review the scientific literature on the effects of calorie restrictive diets*. It is recognised that controls impacting on eating behaviour at the metabolic, hormonal and physiological levels are highly complex and not completely understood. However, studies are pointing to the ‘eating hormone’ leptin as playing a significant role. During dieting, serum leptin levels have been shown to decrease thus signalling a need for increased food intake.
The resulting report examines the consequences of calorie reduction on appetite and on resultant psychological and metabolic changes. The University of Liverpool review highlights eight key dieting limitations. Over the next week we will introduce one of each of these factors. The first cause of weight loss failure is Evolution.
Avoiding starvation was a key evolutionary factor for early Homo sapiens. A review
of key scientific literature indicates that as we reduce our calorie intake our body and
brain fight back in an attempt to sustain good nutrition. In the past this enabled
storage for times of shortage but today we are unfortunately not programmed to lose
weight when food is freely and permanently available, especially when we are
sedentary with no need to expend energy in obtaining food.