A new research has revealed that losing weight can be successfully achieved by self-control and that higher-level brain functions have a major role in losing weight.
Over the past years, there has been a dramatic increase in the way people try to reduce their weight to maintain healthy lifestyle or for shape.
People want to lose weight for many reasons, including improving their quality of life, improving their health or regaining a sense of control.
Some people receive a trigger that propels them into taking action toward losing weight. This might be a conversation with a loved one, a realization that their weight is impeding their lifestyle or an appeal from a doctor.
The results of the study published in Cell Metabolism, Thursday, stated that among 24 participants at a weight-loss clinic, those who achieved greatest success in terms of weight loss demonstrated more activity in the brain regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex associated with self-control.
One of the researchers, Alain Dagher of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital in Canada said what they found is that in humans, the control of body weight is dependent largely on the areas of the brain involved in self-control and self-regulation.
He said, 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 shed. Everybody who loses weight sees this change in leptin and ghrelin. It is just that some people, for reasons we do not know, are able to maintain their self-regulation in the face of that signal,” he said.
To assess the roles these hormones and self-control have in achieving weight loss, the researchers studied 24 subjects from a weight-loss clinic. Subjects were shown pictures of appetizing foods as well as control pictures of scenery. The researchers compared the brain activity response to the food pictures, particularly the high-calorie food pictures, for each subject at baseline, one month, and three months.
During the study, researchers noted that at one month and three months, the signal from the ventral prefrontal cortex went down, and it declined the most in people who were more successful at losing weight. Additionally, the lateral prefrontal cortex signal involved in self-control increased throughout the study.