Dieting Success, Weight Loss Depends On Individual Brain Structure

Posted: Oct 26 2016, 10:23am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Dieting Success, Weight Loss Dependent on Individual Brain Structure
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  • The Will Power needed to Sustain Weight Loss may be a Built-In Feature of the Brain
 

It seems the will power needed to sustain weight loss through following a healthy diet may be a built-in feature of the brain.

The self-regulation needed to sustain a balanced body weight is something that is apparently hardwired into the human brain. Since the obesity pandemic is a global phenomenon by now and the diet industry rakes in billions of dollars, the only question that arises is: what gives?

If self-control and consistency are what is needed to lose weight why are so many losing at this game of stepping on the weighing scale. 

The weight loss journey and weight management are not easy. They require a constant struggle and amidst all the ten thousand temptations of our modern world, it is a hard thing to say no to all the highly palatable processed foods available in the market.

The connection between the executive control and reward systems in the brain are where the heart of the whole matter lies. Individual brain structure is what it all boils down to when you come to think of it. 

Dieting is a cinch to many people because they have better pathways within the white matter in their brains. As for the rest of the yoyo dieters, they are unfortunately responding to external cues as regards food with an extreme reaction.

The loss of cognitive control in such matters along with a history of consuming high fat, high sugar and salty junk foods sets them up for failure. Habits, as everyone knows, die hard. 36 chronic dieters were studied.

They had an average body fat of 29.6%. They were asked to reassess the images that were presented to them to divert their attention from the tasks at hand. Food cues and MRI scans were employed by the researchers. 

The MRI scans showed clear proof of their brain centers firing away rapidly when the food cues were shown to them. Also diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was employed by the researchers to get to the bottom of the truth.

Those people who had lower body fat levels to begin with were also adept at playing the dieting game. Yet those with reduced ability to resist temptations, due to high fat levels and brains that were addicted to food, could not keep up the ascetic lifestyle needed for successful weight loss.

There is even some proof of repetitive dieting causing an attenuation of the ability to manage one’s weight.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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