Losing weight and keeping those pounds off is challenging for any dieter. A new diet however reveals a new way of revamping your figure: first you train the brain, then you lose the weight.
A new study by Stanford Prevention Research Center scientists says that the best way to lose weight is to train your brain. Apparently this is the best way to avoid side-stepping your diet or gain back the weight you lost. So to prevent yo-yo dieting or abandoning your diet, researchers say it’s best for you to take two months before starting the weight loss plan to teach your brain how to deal with it.
The study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology had 267 mostly obese women separated into 2 groups. The women in the first group began a weight loss program immediately, whereas those in the second group had two months to prepare for the actual diet. During that time, the women in the second group learned how to keep track of their weight, bad and healthy habits and so on.
By the end of the dieting, women in the two groups lost almost the same number of pounds: about 17. However, during the next 12 months, women in the second group only gained back 3 pounds, whereas women in the first group, who didn’t train their brains, gained back an average of 7 pounds.
“Those eight weeks were like a practice run” said Michaela Kiernan, researcher with the Stanford School of Medicine. “We found that waiting those eight weeks didn’t make the women any less successful at losing weight. But even better, women who practiced first were more successful in maintaining that loss after a year”.
According to Dr. Kiernan, training the brain for two months relaxed women’s attention to their weight, but taught them how to maintain it. “Losing a significant amount of weight requires a lot of focused attention to what you’re doing, and most people can’t keep up that intensity over the long term” the lead author explained.
“For weight maintenance, we wanted something that would make the day-to-day experience positive while not requiring overwhelming amounts of effort” the scientist added.
During the brain training, women were taught how to control their portion sizes and find healthy foods for their high-calorie favorite meals. They were informed about the hurdles of dieting and had even a vacation from the program, when they could eat anything they wanted.