I’m on an amazing diet because I don’t want to lose weight, I want to gain it! Is this a trick question?
What if I said your enthusiasm, will power and diet program will shed pounds…but only for a few months. Furthermore, what if I said after you gain all of the weight that you lost back, more than likely you’ll gain more weight than when you started the diet.
January is a critical month for many people looking to lose weight because the holiday season ended and New Year’s resolutions are at the top of our agendas. Each year is no different, new diet books hit the market, gyms fill to capacity and lines in health stores lengthen.
In the past 20 years, the field of neuroplasticity states dieting produces functional changes in the brain. In fact, studies show dieting is one of the best ways to gain weight. The TED Talk by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., a Johns Hopkins University biophysicist explains in a personal perspective of why dieting is detrimental to weight loss.
Another source on this topic, “The Thin Woman’s Brain,” documents scores of studies showing chronic dieting as measurable brain differences between a normal and “obese” brain. It also makes the case dieting restructures the brain to become food-obsessed.
So, if you’re serious about losing weight and dieting is a counter-productive option, what are your options? Are you condemned to lifelong obesity?
Mindful eating seems to be an emerging topic on weight-loss without dieting, and scores of books detailing this process are out there. The Thin Woman’s Brain proposes brain plasticity-the science behind rewiring the brain. Also called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a food-obsessed woman’s brain is restored to the brain of a thin woman. This book includes scores of scientific studies and juxtaposes them with personal experiences, leading the author to countless, “Aha…” moments.
As a species, we find ourselves at an interesting juncture. After three generations of dieting and a $61 billion a year diet industry supported by the 2nd fattest population on the planet, it might be a good time to consider, “Are diets helping or exacerbating the weight loss problem?” Besides dieting what other meaningful weight loss options are there?