How Our Brain Works Against Us When Trying To Lose Weight
I know people who are emotionally strong, competent, accomplished, high achievers who are passionate and love life. Yet in spite of all they’ve got going for them, the one thing they have not been able to do is lose weight. It’s not for lack of trying, because they’ve tried everything ever devised to shed those stubborn pounds. Maybe you know someone like this, or perhaps it’s you; it was me at one point in my life.
Why is it so dang hard to lose weight? Why do people in the U.S. spend billions of dollars each year to lose weight, and yet the percentage of our population that is overweight keeps climbing? If someone goes on a special food program and loses weight, why does it inevitably come back?
One clue is found in a 2013 Forbes article that reported a study which proved that Oreos actually activated more cells in the pleasure and addiction area of the brain than did either cocaine or morphine. Research leader Joseph Schroeder remarked that this may explain why some people can’t resist high-fat/high-sugar foods despite the fact that they know these foods are bad for them.
But it’s not just Oreos that drive us to devour a whole bag. Junk food, fast foods, even so-called ‘health foods’ can be just as addictive; for some people, vegan cookies, potato chips and dip, or fresh baked bread might trick us into eating more.
That’s why I was excited to have the opportunity to hear Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson at a recent Food Revolution Network retreat. I learned of her work last year with some educational videos she had posted, and she is everything I wrote about in that first paragraph above. But listening to her in person moved me to tears. She talked about her crack addiction as a teenager and how she knew she had to pull herself off the floor of that crack house or she would die. She told us how she got clean, put herself through school, studied the brain, and eventually became a tenured professor. She brought a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes when she told of her efforts to lose weight.
This smart, brave, accomplished, and now-svelte woman, who studied the brain, landed on what I believe is the answer to why we fail to lose weight, and how to be successful at it.
The fact is some people are more susceptible to food addictions than others. Susan has developed a 5-question Susceptibility Scale quiz to see where you stand. Take the quiz here, and be honest with your answers because after the quiz you’ll get your score and a customized Food Freedom video to help you understand what it means for your life.
You’ll also gain access to her free videos that are jam-packed with information that sheds light on why it’s such a struggle for most people to lose weight. I spoke with a number of people at the retreat who had happily and collectively lost hundreds of pounds with Susan’s help.
I am not receiving remuneration of any type by promoting Susan’s work. But it is so compelling I could not keep it to myself. If you know someone who wants to lose weight but has had trouble doing so, please forward this email with them. I’m betting they’ll thank you for it.