In this study, researchers evaluated a group of 104 obese or overweight men and women during an 8-week low-calorie diet and again 32 weeks after treatment. Researchers measured body weight as well as plasma fasting ghrelin, leptin and insulin concentrations before, during and after dieting. They found that subjects with higher plasma leptin and lower ghrelin levels before dieting were more prone to regain weight lost after dieting and that these hormone levels could be proposed as biomarkers for predicting obesity-treatment outcomes.
"We believe this research is of foremost relevance in clinical terms as it may indicate that the outcome of weight therapy may be pre-conditioned," said Crujeiras. "Furthermore, our findings may provide endocrinology and nutrition professionals a tool to identify individuals in need of specialized weight-loss programs that first target appetite hormone levels before beginning conventional dietary treatment."
Ghrelin increases appetite while leptin reduces it. Correction: So why does a person with lower ghrelin and higher leptin have a weight problem in the first place? See my update below. One possibility: Leptin insensitivity. So once they lose weight and go off their diet their appetites drive them to put on too much weight again. Ghrelin might also cause abdominal fat accumulation.
No snacks, high protein breakfast, and low carb. A high protein, low carb breakfast is pretty easily doable.
Update: As someone points out in the comments, the study subjects who regained the most weight had higher leptin levels - which one might expect would help them suppress appetite. So what gives? Leptin and ghrelin levels are hard to interpret because some people might have brain insensitivity to leptin (which reminds of type II diabetes which is characterized by insulin insensitivity and higher insulin levels). The result above might really indicate that people gain weight because leptin no longer suppresses their appetite. A high fat diet decreased mouse leptin sensitivity in one study and estrogen deficiency caused leptin sensitivity in rats. A diet that increases leptin sensitivity might be the key to weight loss.