News: Obese brain hinders weight loss

There are already plenty of reasons to blame fatty, sugary foods for weight gain, but a new study has found

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There are already plenty of reasons to blame fatty, sugary foods for weight gain, but a new study has found another one.

The study, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, shows that diets high in saturated fat and refined sugar not only cause weight gain, they also cause changes in obese people’s brains that stimulate overeating.

"What I think is happening is a vicious cycle of obesity and cognitive decline," Terry Davidson, director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and lead author of the study, said in an interview. “The idea is, you eat the high fat/high calorie diet and it causes you to overeat because this inhibitory system is progressively getting fouled up.’

In other words: If you eat a lot of saturated fat and sugar, you’ll gain weight, which will lead to eating more of those unhealthy foods.

While this explains why weight loss is so challenging, it also poses a difficult question: How do you overcome the constant struggle to shed pounds when your brain is urging you to keep eating?

As evidenced by celebs like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Osbourne and Nicole Richie, it is possible. But if you watch weight loss shows, you know that even with a personal trainer, a diet plan and lots of support, it’s still extremely hard.

What do you think is the best way to lose weight? Have you successfully shed pounds? If so, how did you do it?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

Related:
"I switched to whole foods and lost 20 pounds."
"I lost 60 pounds using fitness DVDs."
"I ran a half-marathon and lost 75 pounds."

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