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Why the brain struggles to adapt when you're dieting

Why does the brain have such a hard time adapting when dieting and lead to gaining weight again as soon as the diet ends or becomes less 'drastic'?

A study by the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research and published in Cell Metabolism tried to answer this question by demonstrating how brain circuits change when dieting.

Drastic and inflexible diets, which would lead to greater stress on the brain, would be mainly to blame.

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How the brain reacts when dieting
Why does the brain have such a hard time adapting when dieting and lead to gaining weight again as soon as the diet ends or becomes less 'drastic'? A study by the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research and published in Cell Metabolism tried to answer this question by demonstrating how brain circuits change when dieting. Drastic and inflexible diets, which would lead to greater stress on the brain, would be mainly to blame.
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How the does brain behave
When one starts a drastic or inflexible diet, a particular area of the hippocampus seems to be stimulated. With dieting, the incoming signals to these neurons intensify and when the diet ceases, the feeling of hunger reoccurs in a much stronger way, cancelling out, or almost cancelling out, all the efforts one has made.
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Why dieting can fail
The brain plays a crucial role in the success or otherwise of a diet. Dramatic or inflexible diets put the brain under stress: even if they seem the easiest to follow at first, over time they make the 'forbidden' foods more and more gluttonous and irresistible, eventually leading, in most cases, to the failure of the diet.
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Satisfying an emotional need
This frustration can lead to the need to satisfy an emotional need rather than a sense of hunger. Hence also the risk that a drastic and badly managed diet can then trigger compulsive bingeing and eventually lead to the so-called yo-yo effect.
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Rely on a professional
To avoid this, the main advice is to set goals at the beginning of the diet that are realistic, achievable and measurable. And, of course, have yourself followed by a professional, who can understand your real needs, present problems and draw up the most correct diet plan.
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19/04/2024
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