The scientific reason weight loss is so hard.

Plus: Everything you need to know about Ashwagandha.

Thursday. Remember when kids passing notes in class was the biggest distraction teachers had to deal with? Well, today, over 2,000 U.S. schools have implemented magnetically locking pouches to keep cell phones out of the classroom. So, is it working? A Connecticut middle school that started using the pouches in December saw a reduction in smoking, fighting, and shorter bathroom breaks among students. 

-Checks notes- Wait, why are middle school-aged kids smoking at all? 

Anyway, is there a scientific reason that explains why weight loss is so difficult? Let’s dive in.

Today’s Menu 🌿

  • Our brain 🧠 is wired to make weight loss more difficult.

  • 🪴 Everything you need to know about Ashwagandha

  • In defense of vegetables 🥕.

  • Inhalers cost HOW MUCH?!

  • The Daily Recipe is a 🥡 takeout favorite, but healthy!

  • Are we prioritizing mental health the way we should be?

Read Time: 4 minutes

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Why Is Weight Loss So Hard?

Have you ever wondered why it seems so hard to keep weight off after losing it? A new study (READ THE STUDY HERE) reveals it might be because your brain is essentially wired to regain weight. That’s right—we aren’t exactly set up for success here. 

This study found that when you lose weight, your brain triggers an increase in your appetite, making you want to eat more. To put more precise numbers on it, for every 2.2 pounds you lose, your brain might make you want to eat an extra 80 to 100 calories. This response is a survival mechanism, helping to maintain fat storage and keep the body balanced.

You have to remember—we didn’t always have such an abundance and unlimited access to food. This is all new to us, and in many ways, our brains haven’t caught up to our current food environment.

The study also examined how the body and brain react differently when using modern weight loss methods like certain medications and bariatric surgery. With these treatments, the brain’s demand for extra calories after weight loss decreases significantly. For instance, with specific medications, the brain only asks for 48 extra calories for every two pounds lost, while surgery demands 58 extra calories for the same amount of weight loss. 

This helps explain why these methods can be effective at helping people lose weight and keep it off. 

Even though our brains are programmed to fight against weight loss, it's not all bad news. The study also shows that understanding this can help us find better ways to manage our weight. For example, losing weight slowly and steadily might be more effective. 

In fact, if you can keep the weight off for around a year, you might be able to avoid significant weight regain for up to three years. The key is to be aware that your hunger will likely increase as you lose weight. If you can get in front of that by developing habits like proper hydration and eating more protein and fiber to keep you satiated, you stand a chance at not regaining any weight you lost. 

Again, managing this increased hunger is crucial. Simply trying to cut more calories can be difficult and unsustainable. Instead, focusing on eating foods that are high in protein and fiber can be helpful because they help you feel fuller longer.

The type of exercise you do and how much sleep you get can also impact your appetite and help you combat your brain’s signaling for more food throughout the day. If you do high-intensity exercise, studies show that type of training can decrease appetite. Sleep quality is also crucial for keeping cravings at bay. 

The key takeaway? Our brains are wired to regain weight after we lose it, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Many people struggle with weight loss because they feel hungrier as they lose pounds, which can be discouraging. However, by understanding that this is a natural brain response and adjusting diet and other habits, achieving and maintaining weight loss becomes much more manageable. 

The journey to weight loss is complex and filled with challenges, but with the right strategies and knowledge, overcoming these hurdles and achieving lasting results is totally possible. 

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The Daily Recipe

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Tonic Shots

📓 Improve Mental Health, With A Journal
Mindfulness can be a key tool for optimizing health. Get started today with one of these journals. SEE THE LIST. 

🥦 Everything You Need In One Drink
It can be tough to get your vegetables through diet alone. This drink makes it easy and tastes great. TRY AG1.

🧠 Are Our Priorities Straight?
3 in 4 Americans feel that mental health takes a back seat to physical health. READ MORE. 

 "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson