Does Dieting make you like food less or more?

    It is often thought that the pleasure for food (liking) and the motivation to eat (wanting) are responsible for weight regain after weight loss.
    On the contrary, my PhD (both experimental research and systematic review) suggests that Weight Loss could decrease the pleasure for high-energy food.
    1. Two common diets (intermittent fasting and calorie restriction) decreased the pleasure but not the motivation to eat high-fat food during a significant weight loss (>5%).
    2. Contrary to expectations, there was no effect of the specific diet on food reward, but both diets led to improved appetite-related variables during WL (decrease hunger, binge eating, cravings...)
    3. However, when individuals stopped the dietary intervention and came back to their own diet (at 1-year follow-up), the diet intervention benefits vanished, and liking came back to baseline ratings when weight was regained.
    WHY is liking decreasing during diets? The possible explanations to changes in liking might be related to the consequences of the rigorous dietary intervention rather than the WL per se (changes in habits, changes of the food environment, consequences of the energy restriction). The individual variability of the response to the diet could also explain why there is no one size fits all.
    • SO WHAT for readers: Sticking to a healthy diet is needed to keep the beneficial effects of WL in the long term (decrease in preferences for high-fat food)
    BIAS to keep in mind: small sample size and high loss to follow-up but the current study replicate the findings (decrease in liking) of my last systematic review.