‘We were able to show that you shouldn’t give up. If you’re able to keep your weight down for a year, then it shifts and it becomes easier.’
In the study, 20 obese adults were put on an eight-week diet of soups and powdered shakes for the experiment, losing an average of two stone each, before being held at that new weight for a further 44 weeks.
Researchers found three molecules govern how hungry people feel and how much they eat.
After a meal two hormones, called GLP-1 and PYY stop us feeling hungry, but hunger hormone Ghrelin wains as food is digested and its nutrients enter the bloodstream.
Many overweight people have a natural balance of these chemicals that makes them hungrier for longer, making it harder to cut back on food.