Monday, August 13, 2012

Research on obesity

Apparently, I have a distorted vision of myself.  Right after college I weighed about 55 pounds more than I do now with a BMI of 35.8 meaning I was obese.  Today, my BMI is a much lower 26.6 which places me in the overweight category.  So, I am overweight, though not by much (a healthy BMI is 18.5-29.9).  I have a few more pounds to go to not be overweight.  Sadly, the process has come to a screeching halt lately.

The other day I saw an article on obesity that made a lot of sense to me.  I always try to read articles I find that tries to explain obesity - the why's, the how's, the (hopefully) solutions.  I'm not looking for a miracle pill, just a logical explanation.

Back to the article - "The Obese Brain Fuels Overeating" by Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDaily Staff Writer.  The article claims that the Western diet is interfering with the hippocampus from functioning correctly, meaning "obesity may cause changes to the brain that actually fuels more overeating."  Huh.  So, overeating and gaining weight is in essence changing the way the brain functions.

What does this actually mean?  "if the hippocampus is impaired in obese people, they may feel it hard to suppress thoughts of food, and as a consequence, more likely to eat food when they see it..." Could this be the truth?  Could it be that it isn't always a matter of mind over matter?  Could it be that the high-fat, high-sugar diet the vast number of people indulge in (including me) could be damaging the brain to the point that getting out of the cycle of overeating is impossible?

I know it's possible to lose weight without medical assistance.  I lost 55 pounds without pills, surgery, or funking diets.  But, I can relate to the findings.  I'm struggling with the last 20 pounds I want to lose.  If my brain has been compromised, I can see why I have a hard time not eating.  Why I have a hard time seeing a food (especially sweets) and just going for it.

This is something I need to remember.  It is something I need to use to get passed this funk I'm in.  I need to make intelligent decisions and the more educated I am, I hope the better I will be at getting on track and more importantly staying on track.

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