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poor diets cause brain changes that can make losing weight difficult


brain-based obesity

Rilson S. Avelar – Contagem/Brasil – Pixabay

“Yo-Yo dieting is really a metabolic disaster. What happens in the human body when cycles of weight loss and weight gain are repeated over and over again as is the case with so many overweight people?  Yes, Yo-Yo dieting has negative effects on future weight loss. It can lead to weight gain, not weight loss. Probably 70% or more of individuals struggling to lose weight, are caught up in the destructive cycle of Yo-Yo dieting.”  Health24, Yo-Yo Dieting = Weight Gain
I talked yesterday with a recently health-conscious woman who has started eating a GLUTEN FREE organic diet, based on fresh vegetables and real meats.  She is only eating 500 calories a day and actually gaining weight.  Although I believe that her ENDOCRINE SYSTEM is fouled up (she has THYROID PROBLEMS as well as Female Issues such as PCOS and probably ESTROGEN DOMINANCE as well), new research is showing that like many other health problems, the inability to lose weight can be and often is BRAIN BASED.

According to Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the weight loss program at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center, new research is pointing toward neurological damage to the brain caused by continual yo-yo dieting.  The part of the brain that seems to be most affected by this phenomenon?  The Hypothalamus.  In an article for MedPage Today, Dr. Aronne goes on to say that, “The evidence is quite convincing – eating fattening foods causes inflammatory cells to go into the hypothalamus.  This overloads the neurons and causes neurological damage“.  What have I told you time and time again?  When it comes to Chronic Sickness and Disease, everything is Inflammation.  Learn how to control INFLAMMATION, and you will dominate both your health and your weight —- instead of them dominating you.


In many ways, this may be the wrong question.  We should probably be trying to figure out something that the Hypothalamus doesn’t do.  The reality of the situation is that the tiny Hypothalamus controls and regulates all sorts of functions of the body.  Allow me to list a few of them.

  • The Hypothalamus controls eight major Pituitary Hormones
  • The Hypothalamus regulates body temperature
  • The Hypothalamus regulates sexuality and reproduction
  • The Hypothalamus regulates the daily cycles known as the circadian rhythm
  • The Hypothalamus mediates emotional response
  • The Hypothalamus has strong connections to the part of your brain that regulates your level of motivation or level of ‘drive’ (HERE)
  • The Hypothalamus regulates both hunger and thirst, as well as playing a large part in metabolism

Did you catch this last one?  The Hypothalamus plays a critical part in modulating your metabolism as well as your hunger levels.  Foul up the Hypothalamus, and watch what happens to your weight.


A study published in the February 2013 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition shed some new light on this topic.  My entire professional life, I heard the old axiom that said, “even though peripheral nerves (nerves in the arms, legs, etc) can regenerate and heal, nerves in the Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord) cannot.”  The gist of this thought process?  Although the brain might be able to rewire its neurological pathways, the hope of any regeneration was essentially a pipe-dream.  However, recent studies are showing that when it comes to the Hypothalamus, this is not necessarily the case. 

A study (Relationships Between Dietary Macronutrients and Adult Neruogenesis in the Regulation of Energy Metabolism) was published in last February’s edition of the British Journal of Nutrition.  Neurogenesis is simply the term used to describe the ability of the nerve system and / or brain to regenerate — something that may be of great use to those of you who have totally fouled up your metabolism via yo-yo dieting.  Listen to what researchers from the Department of Obesity and Endocrinology at the Institute of Aging and Chronic Disease, of the University of Liverpool, England have to say about the relationship between Neurogenesis and diet.

Neurogenesis, previously thought to occur only in the embryo, is now known to take place in the adult brain, dependent on numerous stimulating and inhibiting factors, including dietary components. Because of classic associations between neurogenesis and the hippocampus, in learning and cognition, this brain region has also been the focus of attention in the study of links between diet and neurogenesis. Recently, however, a more complete picture of this relationship has been building: not only has the hypothalamus been shown to satisfy the criteria for a neurogenic niche, but appetite-related mediators, including circulating hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, pro-inflammatory cytokines and the endocannabinoid intracellular messengers, are also being examined for their potential role in mediating neurogenic responses to macronutrients.
Did you catch that?  PRO-INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINES from the intake of certain foods can mediate (inhibit) neurogenic responses.  Other recent studies have shown that Neurogenesis in the Hypothalamus can be improved by things like caloric restriction (Remodeling of the Arcuate Nucleus Energy-Balance Circuit is Inhibited in Obese Mice —- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston) and higher content of good fats, including PFGO (Tanycytes of the Hypothalamic Median Eminence Form a Diet-Responsive Neurogenic Niche —- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland), actually regenerated Hypothalamuses of mice that had been messed up by purposefully-induced poor diets.


I’m not really any different than you.  If there is a hard way to do something and an easy way to do something, generally speaking I like to do things the easy way.  Probably why the TV commercials with the “Easy Button” have been so popular.   Sometimes, however, the easy things tend backfire because a solid foundation does not exist for what is build above it to stand on.  And when it comes to weight loss, everyone wants it painless and easy — even though ‘painless and easy’ probably helped cause the problem in the first place.

There are a million weight loss gimmicks out there.  I recently saw an estimation that by 2015, the global weight loss spending could eclipse $150 billion.   Besides the crazy numbers of moronic WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS on the market, you have the HCG Diet (Human Chorionc Gonaditrophin — a hormone of pregnancy used by steroid abusers to jump-start their shriveled testicles into making their own testosterone again after cycling off the roids), Bariatric Surgery (these involve all sorts of renditions of STOMACH STAPLING), a whole host of new WEIGHT LOSS MEDICATIONS, tcMRgFUS (trans-cranial magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound beams aimed at specific parts of your brain for the specific purpose of diminishing hunger signals), along with any number of others.  Please not that I am not saying that there is not a time or place for some of these.  Nor am I telling you they don’t work — at least for the short term.  But let’s be honest with each other for a minute.   Do any of the things on this list address the underlying causes of obesity or CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESS (obesity is part of this class of disease)?  Of course not.  And we haven’t even addressed the issue of side effects yet.   So………..


It’s not that tough to grasp folks.  You need to change your diet and change it immediately!  What do I recommend?  That one is easy.  I strongly recommend you go on a PALEO DIET, and HERE are the chief reasons.  Besides controlling your BLOOD SUGAR, you are cutting out the most potentially reactive (NEUROLOGICALLY REACTIVE) foods like GLUTEN.  One other recommendation.  In case you have not yet seen the research, one of the best things you can do for brain-related issues (ALZHEIMER’S for instance) is to get plenty of physical exercise / exertion.  This is because motor control of your muscles and PROPRIOCEPTION fires off more neurons in your brain than virtually anything else you could do.  For more information on WEIGHT LOSS, just click the link.  No, this is not a cure-all.  However, the same foundational principles are true for almost EVERY HEALTH PROBLEM you can name.

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