The Brain circuits eating for hunger or pleasure

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Alot of times clients tell me they eat, not because they’re hungry, but because of social pressures or because the food is so appetising, that, even when full, they’ll go for another bite. Overeating, whether it is guided by hunger or pleasure, typically leads to obesity, which affects about 67% of Australians who are overweight or obese.

Looking to contribute to the development of effective treatments for obesity, an international team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine investigated in an animal model how the brain regulates feeding triggered by hunger or other factors. Dr. Yong Xu, professor of pediatrics — nutrition and molecular and cellular biology identified two distinct brain circuits formed by serotonin-producing neurons in the midbrain. One of the circuits extends to the hypothalamus, while the other projects into another region of the midbrain. These circuits play very distinct roles in regulating feeding.

“We discovered that the circuit that projects to the hypothalamus primarily regulates hunger-driven feeding, but does not influence the non-hunger driven feeding behavior,” Xu said. “The other circuit that projects into the midbrain regulates primarily the non-hunger driven feeding, but not the feeding behavior triggered by hunger. This indicates that, at the circuit level, the brain wires the two types of feeding behavior differently.”

The other significant contribution of this work refers to the identification of potential molecular targets associated with the circuits that could be used to treat overeating and ion channels associated with them.

“One potential target is serotonin receptors, which are molecules that mediate the functions of the neurotransmitter serotonin produced by the neurons,” Xu explained. “Our data suggests that combining compounds directed at both receptors might produce a synergistic benefit by suppressing feeding, [in addition] the GABA A receptor, a chloride channel, [was] found to be important in regulating serotonin circuits during hunger-driven feeding, but not during non-hunger driven feeding,”.

Many times we eat, not because we are hungry, but because of social pressures or because the food is so appetizing, that, even though we are full, we just want another bite.

So can you lose weight without dieting? You wouldn’t need to get a gastric sleeve to help with this, just smart thinking and good habits:

Trim Your Portions

If you want to avoid most diets but still want to cut down on how much you eat, you should consider trimming your portions. Doing so by 10% or 20% could be more than recommended. In many cases, your meals could be bigger than you’d need.

Cutting down on this will naturally help you lose weight. Picking up measuring cups and smaller plates could be one of the more effective ways of assisting you with this. You’ll need to stay committed to this, however, and avoid snacking during the day.

Have Protein Every Time You Eat

You shouldn’t need to cut down on your eating to lose weight. You also wouldn’t need to switch entirely to only healthy food. Instead, you could simply switch up some of the food that you eat by a little bit.

Adding some protein to each of your meals could be more than enough to help you start losing weight. Doing so will fill you up more than alternatives would. As a result, you’ll have fewer cravings during the day, so you’ll naturally want to eat less.

That should help kickstart your weight loss.

Add Some More Steps

You wouldn’t be able to lose weight without some exercising or dieting. If you’re unable to diet, then getting some exercise will be vital. You wouldn’t need to spend hours in the gym every week, however. Spending more time walking every day could do more for you than you’d think. It’s worth picking up a pedometer to keep an eye on how much walking you do every day. Should you go this route, it’s recommended that you get to 10,000 steps a day. As large of a number as that seems, it’s quite achievable. Parking further from home or work every day could be enough to bump up your number.

Wrapping Up

When many people consider how to lose weight without dieting, they assume that they’ll have to spend a lot of time in the gym. That shouldn’t have to be the case. Making a few small adjustments to your life will make more of an impact than you’d expect.

You’ll need to stick with these, however. Coupled with that, the more weight loss tips and tricks you use, the more likely you are to use weight. It’ll also start dropping off much faster and more noticeably if you do so.

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