How Do the Brain and Body Respond to your Diet? [Video]

  • When it comes to losing weight, people have many options on how to do it — from exercise, meal planning to healthy eating.
  • Although people put a lot of effort into losing weight, the body and brain can sometimes go against it.
  • Knowing more about how the body and brain work during a diet can help you lose weight effectively.

Losing weight takes a lot of discipline and planning. It would help if you chose the most effective exercise and diet that works best for you. But sometimes you may feel that you are doing all you can but are not getting your desired results. It may be due to your body and brain’s natural way of fighting against losing weight.

To better understand how your body and brain works when you are on a diet, read on what experts have to say regarding this matter.

SetPoint Weight

Cropped image of woman feet standing on weigh scales, on gray background. A tape measure in the foreground

A setpoint weight is a weight range wherein the body can work at its best. It is also a point where the body has to fight to maintain in that weight range. Setpoint weight will also include the number of fats the body can keep to work at its optimal. Dara Dirhan, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, explains that with the setpoint weight, your brain has already set the amount of fat it needs. She further explains that the following hormones regulate the set point weight:

  • Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) – when brain energy is low, it gets secreted which makes you crave for glucose
  • Leptin( satiety hormone) – it sends signals to your brain that your energy level is back to normal
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So when you start on your planned diet, you may feel depression, fatigue, headaches, and hunger because your body and brain is adjusting to your new eating pattern. But according to David Prologo, an obesity doctor, your brain and body can adapt to the new set point after a few weeks.

Neurologist Jason McKeown also shares that if the body has already set a new set point, then there will be fewer cravings and smaller appetite. Following your diet plan for a longer time will also help the brain adapt to the lower weight.

The Quality of Diet

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Choosing the kind of foods in your diet can also influence the health of your brain and body. Instead of processed and refined foods, opt for low-calorie foods such as fish, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, fruit, and vegetables. Dirhan shares that eating mindfully and following a whole-food diet not only makes you lose weight but also makes the brain healthy.

Weight management and weight loss specialist,Farrah Fauke, emphasizes the importance of choosing the right foods to avoid binge eating. Foods that have high fat and sugar content prompts our brain to release “feel-good chemicals.” One of these “feel-good chemicals” is dopamine. Eating junk foods will activate the dopamine neurons, which in turn makes you eat more because of the pleasure you feel while eating it.

Instead of junk foods, Dr. Hauke suggests choosing vegetables and poultry. These kinds of products that we usually include in our diet-food do not stimulate the feel-good chemicals and so eating them will not keep you off-track on your diet plan. With the right food, your diet will be useful and less hard to follow.

In conclusion, these experts recommend that exercise, knowing your hunger cues, and choosing the right foods can all help your brain and body adapt to weight loss.

Source: The Healthy

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