People should stick to a diet for one year to keep weight off permanently, according to a recent study.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found that the body’s own survival mechanism can be overcome after a year of dieting, the Daily Mail reported.
The human body has evolved to be resistant to losing weight, which would have helped survival in times of food scarcity, but can be an issue now food is readily available.
Researcher Signe Sorensen Torekov told BBC Radio 4 that the huge increase in the availability of food in the past few decades had influenced weight gain around the world.
In the study, the team put 20 obese people on a precise diet for an eight-week period to help them lose an average of 28lbs.
After following a strict diet for the next 12 months, their bodies were found to produce less of the hunger-inducing hormone Ghrelin and more of the hormone GLP-1, which suppresses appetite.
The study appears in the International Journal of Obesity.