I have talked for a long time about how some overweight people are hardwired to overeat and that some of us are genetically predisposed to to obesity. But, just because I have genes that make it easy for me to gain weight, does not mean that I have to be overweight. I still have a choice as to what I eat and how much I eat. I still have the choice to exercise. Thanks to weight loss hypnosis, I choose to be Slender For Life™!

How Does Your Brain Respond to Food?

WebMD, August 1, 2011: Willpower alone usually is not enough for lasting weight loss; instead, to counter obesity, some experts now recommend focusing on the ways in which the brain responds to food rather than solely on personal choice.

This, the researchers say, is especially important because the brains of at least some obese and overweight people may be hardwired to overeat. Such an approach to weight loss may be more successful over the long term, and it may also help counter the stigma that overweight people often feel when unable to control their urge to eat. Even highly motivated and nutritionally informed patients struggle to refrain from highly palatable foods that are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.

In the paper, the researchers present three brain processes that are associated with both overeating and obesity: food reward, inhibitory control, and time discounting.

Food reward, which includes both the pleasure of eating and the motivation to eat, has been linked to the same brain processes that control our urges for sex, gambling, and substance use. People with a greater reward sensitivity will likely have stronger food cravings, particularly for fatty and sweet foods, the researchers write.

Inhibitory control, or the ability to eat in moderation, is influenced by the part of the brain strongly associated with self-control and planning, the researchers write.
Time discounting is the tendency to prefer short-term rewards over long-term rewards. In the case of obesity, it amounts to choosing the immediate pleasure of eating tasty foods as opposed to the health benefits of abstaining.

These three brain processes, when coupled with an environment in which highly tempting high-calorie, low-nutrition foods are readily available, contribute to overweight and obesity. Understanding those processes and controlling such environments, the researchers conclude, may contribute more to successful and sustained weight loss than focusing solely on personal choice.

They recommend the following strategies:

  • Eliminate high fat-foods from your home and your workplace.
  • Stick to a shopping list of healthy foods when at the supermarket, or shop online so you don’t have to confront tempting foods.
  • Reduce stress, a frequent trigger of overeating.
  • Stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets and restaurants that promote overindulgence.
  • Focus on short-term goals, especially at the beginning of a weight loss program

Read How Does Your Brain Respond to Food?

You can lose weight and keep it off even if you are genetically per-disposed to obesity. With hypnosis for weight loss you can too can choose to be Slender For Life™.

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