If you’re like a lot of Americans who went on a diet in the new year, you may frustrated with your results. Despite your effort, you barely lost a pound or two, but you quickly gained it back.

Well it turns out you may have a couple of things working against you. Two recent studies have revealed how our body works against us when it comes to losing weight.

Late Night Eating

If you have a problem fighting off late night eating binges, a recent study finds satiety hormones may be lower during evening hours, with hunger hormones rising toward nightfall. Overweight binge eaters may be particularly susceptible to the influence of fluctuations in these appetite-regulating hormones, the researchers found.

“There’s more opportunity to eat in the evening, but this study is showing that hormonal responses are setting them up to do this,” said Susan Carnell, in a New York Times article. Carnell is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and first author of the study.

It’s not clear whether these hormonal patterns precede and cause the binge eating behaviors or are they conditioned by an individual’s eating habits, Dr. Carnell said. But either way, “you can get stuck in the cycle.” a first author of the study along

The study is an important reminder that myriad factors contribute to weight gain, and that shaming and blaming people for their weight problems is inappropriate, said Kelly Costello Allison, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved in either study.

The new findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity in December, and build on a previous study that said hunger peaks in the evening and that appetite is lowest in the morning. That research helped explain why so many people skip breakfast, even as evidence mounts that consuming most of one’s calories at the beginning of the day is optimal for weight control and a healthy metabolism.

Solutions? She suggested that people who know they tend to overeat in the evening and at night make sure to set aside time to eat properly during the day and adopt an “eating curfew,” a set time in the evening when they stop eating for the day.

She and other experts note that hormone levels are responsive to eating patterns and can potentially be reconditioned if people change their eating behaviors. But even if that’s true, “they face a higher hurdle, because they have to change their eating habits first, and wait for their hunger hormones to catch up,” said Carnell.

Overloaded Fat Tissue

Researchers from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom have found that the fat cells of overweight people become distressed, inflamed and scarred. Meaning they don’t respond and work in the same way as healthy fat cells, so people who are already overweight or obese may struggle to lose weight no matter how much they diet.

The report says fat cells can cease to cope as they increase in size and become suffocated of oxygen. As fat cells become destressed and struggle for oxygen, inflammation is triggered in the cells, which scar the fat. Dr Katarina Kos, the University of Exeter Medical School, found fat tissue is also stiffer and more rigid, and increased levels of scarring can make it harder to lose weight.

Luckily though, the team believe they have made a breakthrough which could put a stop to the process and help obese people with their weight loss journey.

Published in the journal Metabolism, the academics say they discovered a molecule called Lysyl oxidase (LOX), which was more prevalent in people who were obese with scarred fat.

As a result, they believe that developing a drug to prevent this molecule from developing could be the answer.

However, until said drug is developed Kos insists that overweight or obese people should continue to try and control their intake of surplus calories and burn them off when possible.

“Something as simple as going for a walk after meals could help to burn off calories without overburdening the fat tissue and which may prevent it from scarring,” added Kos.

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