Objective: To quantify the feedback control of energy intake in response to long-term covert manipulation of energy balance in free-living humans.
Methods: A validated mathematical method was used to calculate energy intake changes during a 52-week placebo-controlled trial in 153 patients treated with canagliflozin, a sodium glucose co-transporter inhibitor that increases urinary glucose excretion, thereby resulting in weight loss without patients being directly aware of the energy deficit. The relationship between the body weight time course and the calculated energy intake changes was analyzed using principles from engineering control theory.
Results: It was discovered that weight loss leads to a proportional increase in appetite resulting in eating above baseline by ∼100 kcal/day per kilogram of lost weight-an amount more than threefold larger than the corresponding energy expenditure adaptations.
Conclusions: While energy expenditure adaptations have often been considered the main reason for slowing of weight loss and subsequent regain, feedback control of energy intake plays an even larger role and helps explain why long-term maintenance of a reduced body weight is so difficult.
© 2016 The Obesity Society.