We all know how hard it is the moment you go on a diet – you can’t stop thinking about those chips hidden in the pantry!

According to research, new brain circuits that affect our urge to binge eat or indulge in junk food have been found. While these circuits can encourage us to seek out fatty food, new research claims that after a month of eating a low-fat diet, these behaviors can be inhibited (“New insights”, 2019).

“Craving for foods high in fat – this includes many junk foods – is an important part of obesity and binge eating…when trying to lose weight, people often strive to avoid fatty foods, which ironically increases motivation and craving for these foods and lead to overeating. Even worse, the longer someone abstains from fatty foods, the greater the cravings,” stated Jonathan Hommel, an author of the study (“New insights”, 2019).

To study this further, researchers utilized rats and placed them on a 30-day diet – they were trained to pull a lever to receive fatty treats, and were measured by how many times they’d pull the lever. Half of the rats had a procedure done on them that blocked “a brain chemical called neuromedin U receptor 2 within a region of the brain that regulates food intake (“New insights”, 2019).

It was found that the rats that underwent the procedure were much less likely to pull the lever for the fatty treat; making the conclusion that neuromedin U receptor 2 has an effect on ones cravings. The rats that didn’t have the surgery still pulled the lever often for the treat.

Reference: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2019, January 24). New insights into why we crave fatty foods when dieting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190124115339.htm