Weight loss, especially for anyone who is actively trying to lose weight, starts with having the right mindset for it. You make a goal, and you work towards it like many other things in life. There is also the aspect of healthy eating, maintaining a regular physical exercise routine. However, new research suggests that weight loss might be more about the brain than we know.
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) recently discovered that the human brain has a network of connected neural regions that link the brain with the gastric basal electric frequency. The latter interestingly maps future weight loss using connectivity patterns. The study’s findings support the idea that individuals with a higher neural response to sensory stimuli such as food, smell and taste tend to overeat and thus gain weight easily. The findings from the recent study were published in the NeuroImage journal.
“To our surprise, we discovered that while higher executive functions, as measured behaviorally, were dominant factors in weight loss, this was not reflected in patterns of brain connectivity,” stated Gidon Levakov, who was the lead investigator in the study.
The discovery is an important step in understanding the brain and may unlock other discoveries
The researchers combined the sensory stimuli theory with the research findings to conclude that willpower is not the only force behind weight loss. It also depends on olfactory and visual senses. The stomach basal electric rhythm’s connection with the neural subnetwork heavily influences weight loss and weight gain. The rhythm controls the waves that cause hunger and satisfaction.
The researchers also discovered that the pericalcarine sulcus where the primary visual cortex is located in the brain is also the most active part of the discovered subnetwork. The researchers’ team discovered while observing 92 individuals as part of an 18-month lifestyle weight-loss study. The researchers concluded that the findings might be pivotal in understanding the roots of obesity and perhaps even developing therapies that may help people overcome obesity. The discovery might also play a role in understanding the mechanisms involved in dieting responses.