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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Why Our Brains Make Us Over-Eat

With so many people dealing with weight issues, scientists have done exhaustive studies on why people tend to overeat.  Most pin it on the ancient conditions that humans had to endure.  For most of our history, people could not be sure where their next meal was coming from and much of what we ate was low in calories.  The body’s response was to make sure we felt hungry until we received a clear signal from our stomach that it was full.
Today, our situation is very difficult.  We live a sedentary lifestyle so we don’t burn as many calories as in the past.  In addition, today’s diet is much higher in calories.  The result is ugly – we still have the urge to eat until we are full but we end up consuming far more calories than we need to maintain our optimal body weight.
Few  wonder why  strategies that call for us to simply eat less tend not to work. How  could  they if they leave our stomach feeling half empty and our brain begging for more.
How to trick the brain
Scientists were intrigued by an accidental discovery; people who lost their sense of smell - due to illness or accident – tended to experience rapid weight gain.  Apparently, our sense of smell has a powerful impact on the satiety center of the brain, from which feelings of hunger originate.
These scientists then set out to see if they could find particular scents  that could trick the brain into thinking the stomach was full.  The result was a combination of crystals which help to speed up the sensation of being full.
Over a six month period the scientists asked more than a thousand test subjects to sprinkle the crystals onto everything they ate.  The results were astonishing. On average, test participants lost 30.5 pounds - nearly 15% of their total body weight. Participants achieved these results without following any special exercise regime or diet.

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