Struggling to lose weight? Some brains are not connected for self-control

High-level brain functions play an important role in weight loss, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

In a study of 24 patients in weight loss clinic, those who achieved greater success in weight loss showed greater activity in the areas of the frontal frontal cortex brain associated with self-control.

The study's lead author, Alain Dagher, said: "What we found is that in humans weight control depends largely on brain regions involved in self-control and self-regulation. This brain area has the ability to take into account long-term information, such as the desire to be healthy, to control immediate desires. "

Two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, are known to trigger the body to eat in a weight loss setting. Previous research confirms that these hormone levels change rapidly when weight is thrown.

To evaluate the roles of these hormones and self-control in achieving weight loss, researchers studied 24 individuals from a weight loss clinic. Before starting a usual weight loss diet of 1,200 kcal / day, all participants received a functional MRI study of the brain, which evaluated areas including the anterior prefrontal cortex, which is associated with self-regulation and the abdominal middle prefrontal cortex, brain area which is involved in motivation, desire and value.

Objects presented food appetizing food as well as scenery control images. Researchers compared the response of brain activity to food images, especially high-calorie food images, for each subject at the beginning, a month and three months.

During the study, researchers noted that within a month and three months, the signal from the abdominal pre-frontal cortex collapsed and declined more to the people who were more successful in weight loss. Additionally, the lateral frontal cortex signal involved in self-control increased throughout the study.

"These results suggest that weight-loss treatments that increase self-control, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, may be useful, especially when stress is involved in preventing over-consumption of food. Anxiety disrupts the frontal cortex's lateral control mechanism, but perhaps you can train people to look for a different strategy, "says Dagher.