We have sad news about the Standard American Diet (SAD): It's damaging our brains, obesity expert Dr. Louis Aronne told Forbes in an interview on August 21. He cited several new studies that provide the answer as to why some people just can't lose weight, all of which point to damage to our brain signals that regulate metabolism and appetite.
Author of "The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry-The Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss Success" (click for details), Dr. Aronne explained that based on this new research, you actually change your brain, damaging the paths in the section of the brain that controls your metabolism, when you follow the typical American diet of too much fat, too much sugar and an overload of simple carbohydrates.
“The evidence is quite convincing – eating fattening foods causes inflammatory cells to go into the hypothalamus,” explained Dr. Aronne. “This overloads the neurons and causes neurological damage.” In the new research to which he refers, a team of scientists at the University of Liverpool examined different weight loss diets. The conclusion: A diet high in saturated fat and simple carbohydrates results in “metabolic dysfunction” that focuses on the hormones that regulate your appetite. And a high-carbohydrate, high fat diet causes damaging changes in your brain.
"Because of this damage, the signals don’t get through about how much fat is stored. It’s like your gas gauge points to empty all the time, whether or not the tank is full,” warned Dr. Aronne. “So you keep stopping for gas, and then eventually you start filling up gas cans and storing them in the back of your car because you’re so convinced you could run out of gas at any moment.” What should you do? Change your diet ASAP, he says. By shifting to a food plan with lean meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit and unprocessed grains, you can re-adjust those messed-up signals. For more information, see Dr. Aronne's book "The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry-The Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss Success" (click for details). Worth noting: If you have a child who shows signs of obesity, now is the time to make a healthy diet into a family affair. For help, see "Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right: The Food Solution That Lets Kids Be Kids" by pediatrician and "Biggest Loser" medical expert Joanna Dolgoff (click for details).