3 Brain Systems That Make Dieting Difficult

adaptation brain science dieting dopamine energy balance homeostasis prefrontal cortex reverse dieting reward reward system self control May 02, 2020

Your brain doesn’t care that you want to be shredded⁣

Your body & brain are adaptation machines with one main goal: survival.⁣

As you diet, your system will keep adapting and trying to *save* you from food *deprivation*... ⁣

ultimately making it more difficult to keep dieting over time or when your body is straight up sick of your bullshit lol⁣

With this, there’s some ✨stuff✨ going on neurologically 🧠⁣

Here I’m zeroing in on 3 different systems (see slides for deets on each)⁣

1️⃣ HOMEOSTATIC (seeks homeostasis/energy balance)⁣

2️⃣ REWARD-RELATED (desire for reward)⁣

3️⃣ INHIBITORY (self-control)⁣

In non-dieting times, the drive for eating to preserve homeostasis isn’t present (you’re not restricting energy/calories; there’s no energy imbalances to “fix”)⁣

When dieting you’re intentionally expending more energy than you’re consuming, so the homeostatic system upregulates the reward-seeking in your brain in an effort to balance energy out… ⁣

🍪 Ever notice that cookies were NEVER that enticing, until you started dieting?⁣

This upregulated reward signaling can override your inhibition, making it even more difficult to walk past the cookie jar⁣

OK BUT before you go all fixed mindset on me like,⁣

“This is why I always fall off plan. My brain makes it impossible!”⁣

No no no⁣

THIS is science. KNOWING THIS is helpful.⁣

Understand what you’re getting yourself into, so that you can prepare for the challenges and effort required to succeed.⁣

𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹: HOW you diet (and how you STOP dieting… see previous reverse dieting posts) will impact the degree to which your brain kicks these processes into high gear in attempt to *save* you.⁣

🚫Crash dieting, shakes and liquid meals, cutting out food groups, 1200 calories, #nodaysoff, extreme restriction, inflexible meal plans…⁣

(all of which are typically followed by days of over-eating)⁣

NO BUENO. 🙅‍♀️ There are more sustainable, healthier ways.⁣

It will still be a challenge, and it will require effort, but I can promise you it’ll be 1000% easier than any fad diet or severe restriction.⁣

Know your body, know yourself, & diet responsibly ✌️⁣