If you feel you have doubled or even tripled your efforts to weight loss to little or no desired result, then it could be because you have a lot of stored fat in the body.
Indeed, weight loss is not as simple or straightforward as achieving a calorie deficit or burning more calories and taking less. According to the researchers from UK's University of Cambridge and Japan's Toho University, fat cells, specifically brown fat, encourages thermogenesis, or a process of creating heat that helps "melt" the fat away. However, certain fat cells can also produce a protein known as sLR11, which works in an opposite manner as the brown fat. It resists weight loss by inhibiting thermogenesis.
Further, they learned that the amount of protein a person can have depends on how much fat is being stored. Simply put, the more fat a person has, the more protein he has and the harder it is to drop the weight off.
A study conducted with lab mice showed that mice that didn't have the protein were able to burn more fats faster and keep the lean weight off longer. On the other hand, the protein attaches itself to the receptors of fat cells, encouraging the cells to store as much fat as possible although in a more efficient way.
The research is valuable for two reasons. The team believes that by discovering the protein and how it works in relation to fat cells, there can now be a way to effectively increase a fat person's ability to burn more fat and make the weight loss process more smooth sailing. But the same fat storage mechanism can also be helpful for people who need to keep fat such as those who have eating disorders.
In recent studies, it's believed that the gut microbes also have a direct impact on a person's weight loss and obesity.
The study is now available in Nature Communications.