If you've ever struggled to stick to a diet, then we've got some bad news for you. Researchers in Denmark have revealed that in order for a diet to properly work, you have to keep it up for a year — that's right, one whole year.
When people diet, scientists have found that they often experience a body backlash. Appetite-inducing hormones surge and cells store calories as fat, which means that when people come off their diets, many return to their old weight.
The study revealed, however, that it is possible for these bodily "defense mechanisms" to change, and that it can happen if the diet is maintained for a longer period of time, such as 12 months.
Twenty obese adults took part in the experiment, and those who lost an eighth of their body weight and kept it off for a year found they experienced changes in their appetite hormones. The hunger hormones that used to keep them hungry for longer were usurped by an increase in hunger-curbing hormones.
Signe Sorensen Torekov from the University of Copenhagen said of the study: "It's very difficult to fight the hunger. It's like a drug you're fighting against. This would have been an excellent mechanism 50 years ago, but the problem now is that we have so much food available that we can eat all the time."
"We were able to show that you shouldn't give up," Torekov continued. "If you're able to keep your weight down for a year, then it shifts and it becomes easier."
There's some hope in that, at least. And even if, in the end, all those diets don't seem to work, we're content knowing we're all gorgeous just the way we are. And with that in mind, we're off to buy a muffin.
This post was written by Edwina Langley. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.