Gaining weight is sure easy. But, losing and keeping if off sometimes seems impossible. Who knows how many weight loss diets are out there. Even Wikipedia does not know for sure. What we do know is that most weight loss diets do not work. It’s not that you can’t lose weight – it’s that it’s not easy to maintain the weight loss once coming off the diet. Even those who successfully lose weight from a dieting frequently regain the weight they lost within 2 years (up to 90% regain the weight they lost). Here’s one reason why weight loss diets many times fail their faithful followers.
Weight Loss Diets and Brain Function
A recent study from the Oregon Research Institute concluded that the volunteer restricting of calorie intake increases the reward value of food especially food that are high in calories. It seems the more we starve our guts the more our brains crave unhealthy foods. The paradox is those who are most successful at restricting calories find greater difficulty maintaining calorie restriction.
Now this study was done on adolescents and the results may not carry over to those of us with more advance age. The adolescents in the study underwent brain imaging. In those participants who were restricting their calories the parts of the brain associated with reward valuation were activated to a greater degree than those participants in the control group when presented with pictures of palatable and unpalatable foods.
The researchers also studied the participants’ neural responses to the consumption of chocolate milkshake and a calorie-free tasteless solution. Lead researcher, Eric Stice, PhD concluded, “The implications of this imaging study are crystal clear. If people want to lose excess weight, it would be more effective to consume healthy, low-fat/low sugar foods during regular meals, rather than go for long periods of time without any caloric intake.”
Why Some Weight Loss Diets Do Work
Now that we know one reason why weight loss diets do not work, why do some of them work? The key to weight loss diets is not what foods are permitted to eat in the diet. The key is the foods absent from the diet. Successful weight loss diets, whether they be low-fat, low calorie, or low carb work because they invariably exclude high-glycemic foods – or foods that cause excessive spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. A major key to weight loss diets is to consume low glycemic foods, and that’s what the successful diets have in common.