Constant Hunger? The Neurological Struggle against Obesity

constant hunger the neurological struggle against obesityThe longer you struggle with obesity, the harder it becomes to overcome the disease and to sustainably lose weight. This isn’t just something noted from plenty of experience, though it is a point that many adults who have struggled with obesity most of their lives can attest to. Obesity becomes more difficult to manage the longer it impacts you. Countless studies have looked at the long-term impact of obesity on the body, and it is found that the more overweight you are, and the longer you remain overweight, the more difficult it becomes to lose the weight.

There are several reasons given for this association. First, people who struggle with obesity long-term are more likely to develop obesity related diseases. This is actually quite the catch-22. Obesity related diseases make it more important than ever that you begin to address your excess weight and improve your health, while simultaneously making it even more difficult to do the actions that it takes to successfully lose weight. Basically, if you thought developing an exercise routine was difficult while you were only slightly overweight and otherwise healthy, it becomes much more challenging when you are obese and struggling with heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

But the reasons why losing weight becomes even more difficult goes way beyond the physical nature of the situation. Habit has something to do with it, but habits can be changed and improved. Most people who have struggled with their weight long-term will attest to the fact that there is a mental block—something that makes it nearly impossible to make the dietary changes that are necessary for long-term weight loss. Recently, researchers at the University of Texas have found that this mental block is actually much more neurological than originally believed.

Essentially, it is found that women who struggle with obesity respond to food cues differently than do women who are of a healthy weight level. For an obese woman, seeing a food cue will trigger a hunger response, despite the body’s actual need for food. This makes it more difficult to cut down on snacking or oversized portions, as if the body is still saying you are hungry you are much more likely to continue eating.

For many weight loss experts, this neurological finding is further evidence that losing weight on your own by attempting to diet and exercise is just not efficient enough to correct obesity, especially for those who have struggled with their weight for some time. Weight loss surgery provides an answer to unnecessary hunger, physically limiting how much you can eat at one time so that you are better able to lose weight.

So for those who have felt that hunger is out of their control, that it doesn’t matter what you eat, you will still be hungry later and weight loss will never happen as a result, you can rest assured that there is a reason you are feeling that way—and also that there is an answer. Working with a weight loss doctor and using strategies like weight loss surgery can have a life-altering impact in your fight against obesity.