Dieting Forces Brain To Eat Itself

NIA human brain drawingIt’s pretty much common sense that starvation diets are bad for you, but when your brain starts eating itself you know it’s time to stop! Nick Collins reports for the Telegraph:

Like other parts of the body, brain cells begin to eat themselves as a last-ditch source of energy to ward off starvation, a study found.

The body responds by producing fatty acids, which turn up the hunger signal in the brain and increase our impulse to eat.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York said the findings could lead to new scientifically proven weight loss treatments.

Tests on mice found that stopping the brain cells from eating themselves – a process known as autophagy – prevented levels of hunger from rising in response to starvation.

The chemical change in their brains caused the mice to become lighter and slimmer after a period of fasting, the researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Dr Rajat Singh, who led the study, said: “A pathway that is really important for every cell to turn over components in a kind of housekeeping process is also required to regulate appetite.

“Treatments aimed at the pathway might make you less hungry and burn more fat, a good way to maintain energy balance in a world where calories are cheap and plentiful.”…

[continues in the Telegraph]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

Latest posts by majestic (see all)

41 Comments on "Dieting Forces Brain To Eat Itself"

  1. Yourannoying | Aug 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    Thats why hot chicks are sooo dumb but they look sooo good… lol

  2. Yourannoying | Aug 3, 2011 at 8:26 am |

    Thats why hot chicks are sooo dumb but they look sooo good… lol

  3. So the solution is to stop the brain from eating itself….so the rest of your body can continue to starve itself…so you lose weight? 

    You couldn’t just…say….start eating healthier instead of starving yourself?

  4. So the solution is to stop the brain from eating itself….so the rest of your body can continue to starve itself…so you lose weight? 

    You couldn’t just…say….start eating healthier instead of starving yourself?

    • Linsang811 | Aug 3, 2011 at 9:13 am |

       What are we supposed to do when eating healthy and exercising isn’t enough. I eat healthy and exercise 1/5 hrs every single day but I can’t lose weight ~except~ through limiting myself to 500 cal a day. :

      • I’ve found that there’s a point below which your body switches into “starvation mode” where it doesn’t burn energy as quickly. The trick is to take in enough calories to get your body out of that and then be active enough to burn those calories off immediately. My normal eating habits (I don’t diet, that’s just when I feel full) puts me at taking in about 900 calories a day. But in order to get the body out of this low energy burning state, you actually need to take in about 1200 calories a day for the average person. (For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, 2000 is considered a normal healthy daily average for maintenance (because that’s what a healthy metabolism burns in a day at rest), 1500 is a
        healthy average if you’re trying to lose one pound a week). I had hit a serious plateau in my weight loss until I realized that the problem was I needed to eat _more_. So now I force myself to eat everything on my plate and look for high density snacks like almonds and walnuts, and then make sure to get at least 600 to a 1000 calories of additional activity every day, and I’ve started losing weight again. Once your metabolism is working at full steam again, it’s about net calories (consumed minus used), not about how many you take in. The kind of calories and the nutrients you take in make a big difference too, as well as whether or not you’re drinking 8 cups of water, which also play a role in how much energy is burned vs stored.

        I’m no doctor, but this is something I’ve done a lot of research on and struggled with for more than a decade. I was very sick about 15 years ago and my body nearly totally shut down, to the point where I was incapable of digesting solid food and even at one point was being fed by IV, but still somehow managed to put on over a hundred extra pounds because absolutely all nutrition going into my body in this “starvation mode” was stored, not burned. This effect is similar to the early stages of anorexia when the metabolism is shutting down and you cease to feel hungry and hardly eat and yet still don’t lose weight. Talk to your doctor, because that amount of intake is different for everyone, but please, don’t starve yourself. You’ve got the right idea in keeping your calories down but you should be doing it by burning them off after eating them, not by not eating them. Every person’s specific amounts are different based on a number of factors but you might want to try experimenting with gradually increasing both the amount you’re taking in and the amount you’re burning — and remember, every thing you do other than sitting counts toward what you’ve burned, so that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with a longer exercise routine, just that you need to be more active. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you privately if you want 🙂

        • heh, I just reread this and it’s like a litany of all the things your mum ever told you. Make sure you get enough sleep. Make sure you drink your water. Make sure you get enough calcium. Eat your veggies! Are you sure you’re eating enough dear, here have seconds. Get off that couch and go play outside! My my, you need some sun! Don’t forget to put on your jacket!

          Well ok, maybe not that last one 😉

      • when you work out, increase the time or step up the weights/activity weekly so that your body doesn’t get use to the same ol same ol

  5. Markov Cheney | Aug 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

    that is hilarious

  6. Linsang811 | Aug 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm |

     What are we supposed to do when eating healthy and exercising isn’t enough. I eat healthy and exercise 1/5 hrs every single day but I can’t lose weight ~except~ through limiting myself to 500 cal a day. :

  7. justagirl | Aug 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm |

    when the carniverous brain cell eats the other brain cell it just gets smarter.  it all equals out.  no big deal.

  8. justagirl | Aug 3, 2011 at 10:24 am |

    when the carniverous brain cell eats the other brain cell it just gets smarter.  it all equals out.  no big deal.

  9. That’s encouraging, really. After all, we’re not in the pre-neurogenesis Dark Ages anymore so no tears for dead neurons. 

    Interesting to correlate this with all the clinical studies on Grehlin, a stomach hormone associated with hunger that also increases learning retention.

  10. That’s encouraging, really. After all, we’re not in the pre-neurogenesis Dark Ages anymore so no tears for dead neurons. 

    Interesting to correlate this with all the clinical studies on Grehlin, a stomach hormone associated with hunger that also increases learning retention.

  11. Anonymous | Aug 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm |

    I’ve found that there’s a point below which your body switches into “starvation mode” where it doesn’t burn energy as quickly. The trick is to take in enough calories to get your body out of that and then be active enough to burn those calories off immediately. My normal eating habits (I don’t diet, that’s just when I feel full) puts me at taking in about 900 calories a day. But in order to get the body out of this low energy burning state, you actually need to take in about 1200 calories a day for the average person. (For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, 2000 is considered a normal healthy daily average for maintenance (because that’s what a healthy metabolism burns in a day at rest), 1500 is a
    healthy average if you’re trying to lose one pound a week). I had hit a serious plateau in my weight loss until I realized that the problem was I needed to eat _more_. So now I force myself to eat everything on my plate and look for high density snacks like almonds and walnuts, and then make sure to get at least 600 to a 1000 calories of additional activity every day, and I’ve started losing weight again. Once your metabolism is working at full steam again, it’s about net calories (consumed minus used), not about how many you take in. The kind of calories and the nutrients you take in make a big difference too, as well as whether or not you’re drinking 8 cups of water, which also play a role in how much energy is burned vs stored.

    I’m no doctor, but this is something I’ve done a lot of research on and struggled with for more than a decade. I was very sick about 15 years ago and my body nearly totally shut down, to the point where I was incapable of digesting solid food and even at one point was being fed by IV, but still somehow managed to put on over a hundred extra pounds because absolutely all nutrition going into my body in this “starvation mode” was stored, not burned. This effect is similar to the early stages of anorexia when the metabolism is shutting down and you cease to feel hungry and hardly eat and yet still don’t lose weight. Talk to your doctor, because that amount of intake is different for everyone, but please, don’t starve yourself. You’ve got the right idea in keeping your calories down but you should be doing it by burning them off after eating them, not by not eating them. Every person’s specific amounts are different based on a number of factors but you might want to try experimenting with gradually increasing both the amount you’re taking in and the amount you’re burning — and remember, every thing you do other than sitting counts toward what you’ve burned, so that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with a longer exercise routine, just that you need to be more active. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you privately if you want 🙂

  12. Anonymous | Aug 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

    heh, I just reread this and it’s like a litany of all the things your mum ever told you. Make sure you get enough sleep. Make sure you drink your water. Make sure you get enough calcium. Eat your veggies! Are you sure you’re eating enough dear, here have seconds. Get off that couch and go play outside! My my, you need some sun! Don’t forget to put on your jacket!

    Well ok, maybe not that last one 😉

  13. attention | Aug 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

    you dumb 

  14. justagirl | Aug 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm |

    aw.  that’s sweet.  but, you really don’t have to.

  15. when you work out, increase the time or step up the weights/activity weekly so that your body doesn’t get use to the same ol same ol

  16. when you work out, increase the time or step up the weights/activity weekly so that your body doesn’t get use to the same ol same ol

  17. attention | Aug 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    go eat something.

  18. Anonymous | Aug 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    …This is why I miss regular Brainsturbator updates. 

  19. justagirl | Aug 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

    no.  i’m too busy being sexy.

  20. Voidthought | Aug 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

    http://www.leangains.com – Website dedicated to fasting and bodybuilding

  21. Voidthought | Aug 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    http://www.leangains.com – Website dedicated to fasting and bodybuilding

  22. Old Soul | Aug 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

    Well, you’d think that when it’s called a starvation diet, that people would realize that “Hey! Maybe it isn’t really a great idea!”

  23. Anarchy Pony | Aug 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Well, you’d think that when it’s called a starvation diet, that people would realize that “Hey! Maybe it isn’t really a great idea!”

  24. attention | Aug 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

    too busy being stupid 

  25. justagirl | Aug 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

    thank you for your kind words.  anything else you would like to add?

  26. attention | Aug 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    yeah eat something. so the air in your head does not eat itself. but before you eat take this IQ test http://www.iqtest.com/ and then after you eat take it again and compare the results. For science and of course  for attention. 

  27. attention | Aug 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    yeah eat something. so the air in your head does not eat itself. but before you eat take this IQ test http://www.iqtest.com/ and then after you eat take it again and compare the results. For science and of course  for attention. 

  28. Room4rrainers | Aug 16, 2011 at 5:03 am |

    There are some who did not like being heavy yet they’re
    doing zilch about it because they are afraid that they might flunk and end up
    still overweight. Don’t be afraid of change. One of the most excellent
    recognized but smallest amount follow instructions is to swallow water
    frequently. Have a meal replacement everyday as well as eating.

     Physical Therapy Supplies

     

Comments are closed.