We created this video to explain the deep roots of the weight loss struggle and why it is so hard to lose weight.
The three key things to take away from this presentation
- Understand that the weight loss struggle is one that a vast majority of people have to deal with.
- Understand the deep roots behind the struggle.
- Hopefully learn how to achieve meaningful results for a long time.
Our main goal is to stop the shame and blame behind weight loss.
When you look at statistics you can see that diets do not work. In one year about 54 million Americans go on a diet. That means you are in good company but like most Americans your diet most likely won’t work. In a study by Michael C. Morell, MD, showed that 95% of Americans who lose weight tend to gain weight back in two years. She also found the average dieter manages to only keep off two pounds. Even with bariatric surgery, some people regain the weight. So if you have been dieting for years or had surgery yet you keep putting the weight on, it is not your fault. The shame and blame associated with weight loss is unwarranted because the human body is not meant to lose weight. In the future, 9 out of 10 people will be obese.
Why do we struggle so much to lose weight?
In the past twenty years the science behind how our brain works against weight loss has really come to light. Losing weight 200 thousand years ago was a sign of starvation and a dangerous lifestyle. Your very survival was around gaining and retaining fat. We as humans are programmed to fight against fat loss. Basically, you are in a losing battle against yourself.
Your brain is the center house that controls everything. The brain center monitors for fat loss, the brain is sent a series of messages when you start to lose weight. It is a great system meant for a different time. You would think that we would be able to use our will power to change the way we think. But our brain is actually much more complex than you think.
There are 3 separate centers of the brain.
The Homeostatic Center (The Palace Guard) – The main purpose is to keep things the same and always look out for you. If you start to lose weight it will send out the warning bells to the rest of your body. It will monitor the level of a hormone called leptin which is made by the fat cells, so when you lose weight your leptin levels fall. Then the Homeostatic Center will slow your metabolism, increase your hunger, and decrease satisfaction. These three things will make you want to eat something high in fat or sugar to get that satisfied feeling. Basically, when you are on a diet and things don’t fill you up as much as they used to it is because your body is fighting you.
The Hedonic Center (The Benefactor) – This is the reward center where if you eat something high is fat and sugar you get the feel good hormone called dopamine. This is how we get “comfort foods” because we are rewarded when we eat fatty foods. So when you give yourself a cheat day, the food is going to taste insanely good. Tus, causing you to do more and more cheat days.
The Executive Center (The Sleepy Supervisor) – This center is in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The function of this part is to provide a filter that allows us to make reasoned decisions and our will power. But this area of the brain is much newer than the Homeostatic and Hedonic systems so it is actually the weakest part and easily overrun. This is why will power does not work all of the time. So stop beating yourself up over not having enough willpower, it isn’t supposed to win.
How to succeed in weight loss
Weight loss is a lifelong journey and needs a lifelong approach with multiple pillars. Then we need:
- Nutrition (Choosing a healthy sustainable diet)
- Activity (A reasonably amount of being active)
- Behavior (Staying focused and having a sense of accountability)
- Medication ( Working with a health care provider who knows what they are doing can give you medicine that helps you lose weight)
- Surgery (It actually works and is needed for some people)
In summary, weight loss is deep rooted in our inheritance and it works against us now. Weight loss is put into our brain as something it does not want us to do. Based on new scientific studies we have a new plan to beat the weight loss struggle.
Dr. Ife Ojugbeli