UCT study to find out why people lose weight only to gain it all (and more) back

Losing weight is difficult but the biggest challenge lies with maintaining the weight once you have lost it.

UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine is doing a follow-up study to its previous research on weight loss maintenance.

It wants to find out why 80% of people who lose weight put it back on again and sometimes end up even heavier than before.

Study coordinator Trinity Rudner says people gain the weight back because our bodies don't like losing weight.

Read: Breakfast isn't the answer to weight loss, study finds

Your body sees it as starvation. You are hungry and feel more tired and you are more likely to give in to your cravings, which is a problem and your body regains all the weight.

Trinity Rudner, Study coordinator

The study is a follow-up of Mind the Gap 1 which established that maintaining weight loss boils down to better self-discipline, self-control and ultimately higher executive function.

Mind the Gap 2 aims is to determine if working memory training will specifically change a person’s eating behaviour through self-control.

What we want to see is that by improving someone's executive function we can increase their likelihood of maintaining their weight loss.

Trinity Rudner, Study coordinator

The study is recruiting participants between the ages of 25 and 45 to undergo a 6-week working memory training.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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