"Is your brain making you fat? Blame your mind not your body for weight gain, says scientist"

by ArianeFerguson on September 5, 2016 - 8:25pm

« Is your brain making you fat? Blame your mind not your body for weight gain, says scientist” an article by Sandra Aamodt

Summary by Ariane Ferguson

In this article, Sandra Aamodt explains how our brains might be responsible for our weight gain and how dieting mostly results in even bigger weight gains and binge eating.

Firstly, Aamodt describes her experience with dieting and binge eating until she set herself the New Years resolution to stop restraining herself and to exercise every day. She then realized that this weight loss method was in fact much more effective, she even points out that 41% of dieters actually gain back more weight than they’d lost after 5 years. The reason for this weight gain would indeed be the brain taking charge to fight against a potential starvation.

Secondly, Aamodt elucidates how every brain is different and therefore has a different set body weight range which is determined by genetics and life experience. She then explains how many many external factors can influence our body weight range, for example, like the food industry which in order to maximise the income manipulate our brain’s energy-balance system which causes us to eat more than we would want or need. Therefore, we modify our brain’s intuitions and our perception of hunger and fullness.


Thirdly, she illustrates how intuitive eating is a successful weight loss method simply by eating according to your body’s signals like hunger and fullness in contrary to constantly restraining ourselves to a certain amount of calories per day. She even points out that the brain naturally knows how to balance our calorie income and outcome sometimes by increasing or decreasing the signals of hunger. Therefore, she insists on trusting our brain and body’s intuitions since they are programmed to keep us healthy.


In conclusion, Sandra Aamodt demonstrated how our brain can often be responsible for weight gain and binge eating when dieting since it takes charge of fighting a potential starvation, we all have a body weight range that can be influenced by external factors and how we can easily lose the extra weight by simply trusting our body’s intuitions.



Premise 1: After about 5 years, 41% of dieters gain back more weight than they’d initially lost because of our brain’s fight against imminent starvation.


Premise 2: Every body has a different set body weight range that can be alterated by external factors like our food industry which has a direct impact on our hunger.


Premise 3: The only successful weight loss method is through exercise and intuitive eating which simply consists of being aware of our body’s signals.


Conclusion: Therefore, our brain is responsible for weight gains and binge eating while dieting.


Here is the link to the full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3773670/Is-brain-making-FAT-Bl...


I personnally believe this article was very convincing based on the many scientific and health facts and on the few statistics shown. The article was very clear and descriptive and the many premises had a strong link with the conclusion. 


The article was nice to read and I learned that our brain can do so much more than we think, even for things we thought it was because of our body and not our brain.

A small problem in this article, at the very least the written premises, doesn't really prove the conclusion.
First of all, the 41% of dieters, how did they do their diet? If they starved themselves to lose weight, it's not a large surprise their body or rather their brain would scream for food.
Secondly, while I do agree the food industry has a control over out body's weight range, in the end we decide if we want to eat 2 big macs or eat home cooked meals.
Thus, none of the premises says how the brain is responsible for our weight gains.

To start, I was really fascinated reading that the food industry manipulates our brains into eating more than we should/need. If you compare portions from each country it's obvious that us North Americans may be eating more than we need to and it's interesting that this is because of the powers that be influencing our habits.

Anyways, I feel like the statistic in the first premise is both misleading and unreliable. It's obviously not your fault, but I checked the article for any sources and there weren't any, so afterwards I took to google to see if I could find any information that backed this claim up and it pretty much all led to quotes from Sandra Aamodt, the author of the article. There aren't enough sources to back up this statistic.

Also, I believe premise 2 and 3 contradict each other. Earlier I mentioned being intrigued by the second premise which states that our brains have been manipulated into eating more than we should, but premise 3 states that we should trust out brains' signals when it comes to diet. I feel like these two points clash because if our minds have been controlled into eating more than we should, why should we trust ourselves when it comes to portioning?

Maybe I'm reading into your points wrong, but nonetheless, this was a very interesting read.

I thought that your summary was really complete and we could really easily understand what you wanted to say. It was also a different and refreshing subject from which I learnt a lot.

However, I didn't quite catch the research method that was used. Maybe I didn't understand it but I highly question it. Firstly, it is not really clear the method of the diet, how did they do it ? We do not know if there is something that could have been done that would have changed the results. We are kind of in the dark towards the details of the experiment. It it important because it maybe could have change something if the methods would have been different. We simply don't know. That's why I don't think that the premise one is really supporting the conclusion, because it is vague and not well described. Maybe I didn't understand it correctly, but I look forward to see your response!
Thank you for your time !

I really enjoyed reading your summary on this article. It was very well written and explained a lot about the issue. This really surprised me to now that this could be true. This shows us that our brain can do so much that we didn't even now.
I feel as though your first premise does not back up your conclusion. We don't now which diet these people where on and maybe they didn't follow all the steps. i think we also ignore the fact that many people gain weight by their muscles instead, how do we now they didn't gain muscle? This is why i think that they do not support one another.
I will be very happy to hear any comments you have!

Your article was very convincing and I am convinced by the conclusion you made in this argument. The only thing that bothered me is that some of your premises were somehow contradictory. In fact, you said that it was our brain's fault if we gained weight back after a diet, but you also told us that we had to follow our brain's signals in order to lose weight. I just think these two premises were contradictory because one told us our brain is responsible of weight gain while another premise told we should listen to our brain

Thank you,

I found this topic pretty cool, because I've heard about this concept before but I've never really seen the scientific proof. You're summary was very well written and shows that you know what you are doing. the only thing i found while reading this is that premise three although its an import statement, shouldn't really be listed as a premise, because its not justified, like it has nothing to do with the conclusion. the conclusion is proving that the brain is causing you to gain weight, so the premises should really be about the study that allows you to realize this. Other than that i feel like this was very well written and you did a good job.

I really enjoyed reading this article as this is a subject that interests me greatly. You did a great job summarizing the article and pointing out the key points of it. However, I believe your third premise is a red herring. The author is trying to conclude that it is our brain that makes us fat, not what the only way to get lose weight is. I think it's irrelevant to this argument. I still think this is a great article and that you did a good job writing it.


Really nice article. The title really brings interest. Good work on the summary. The only thing that I am not really in agreement with is the conclusion. In fact, I think the premises don't prove the conclusion. The premises don't really tell us why the brain is responsible for weight gains. They are also are missing some support, making them look like statements. Except these little things, the topic is really interesting. Nice work!

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