Sesquipedalian: noun. one who uses large words
When trying to read about what the latest research in weight loss, one can become irascible, disjointed, even constipated by all the big, bloated words in these f#$%^ studies!
Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats
So, a big one was published yesterday. Huge. It basically found that fatty food can cause the same type of addictive behaviors that we find in drug addicts. THE SAME. So, naturally, I want to know everything about this study. Here are key points I have decoded so far:
1. The brain releases a chemical, dopamine, when we do something that satisfies us. This chemical releases when we laugh, exercise, have sex, all kinds of natural things. This chemical can overload with the use of some drugs, causing people to crave that dopamine fix. Suddenly, that satisfaction feeling is not as easy to get and therefore drastic measures need to be taken in order to feel that ‘good’ feeling or just to feel ‘normal’. Thus, my friends: ADDICTION.
2. Your brain has a regulator for this chemical, called a receptor. Not only does this help us release the dopamine, but it also helps us determine that we have had enough and don’t need anything else to satisfy us. This receptor becomes dull/ less sensitive in addicts. This is why addicts need more and more and more, despite the fact they are overloaded, leading to possible overdose.
3. So, to do this study, they used rats. They fed the rats fatty food with the equivalent nutritional value of our typical fast foods. The rats got fat. They also started to eat all the time, ignoring when they were full. Later, they gave the rats options to eat the fatty diet or a healthier one. They went straight for the fatty foods.
4. Then, they took away the fatty chow and only offered the healthy food. At first, the rats did not eat, but eventually caved and started to eat the healthy chow. However, once they started, they just kept on eating. In order to keep eating, the rats put themselves in uncomfortable, cramped positions. They even subjected themselves to bright lights; something rats hate, all to eat.
5. Then, they killed the rats so they could look at their brains. (PETA< don’t start). Their brains showed the same atrophy and compulsion factors as those addicted to cocaine or heroin. BRAIN DAMAGE.
So, here is what they didn’t do: they didn’t see if they could break the rats of the habit. This is something I would like to know. Is this brain damage permanent? Once you become a compulsive-eating rat, is there no hope for you, other than removing the bad options? Maybe so. So, now, looking at us, how many of you are these rats? I know I am. I don’t have a cage to regulate myself. I need to use self-control, which apparently is not so easy for me, because like these rats, I have something in my brain that is preventing me. Now, thankfully, I am not a rat and have free-will. This means that I can make good choices, even when I don’t want to. But this study kind of confirms what I suspected: I am not like everyone else. I have a problem that is not easy to fix. I have to have discipline. I have to work harder than the masses. I need to force myself to do the right thing, to make the right choices. If not, I will be the fat rat, stuffed in the corner, with a hot-lamp burning my eyes out.
So, today starts week 12 of my journey. I am going to recommit myself to another 12 weeks after this. I will dedicate these next 12 weeks as the Fat-Rat Challenge. I will spend this week talking about what it means for me in more detail, but basically it means dedicating 12 weeks to healthy food, healthy exercise, healthy choices. I will leave the bad food, the bad energy and all the triggers to my addiction out of my rat cage.
firstname.lastname@example.org I will come up with some sort of reward for doing this together. Unlike Pavlov's dog's, we all need a little reward, and not just a bell rung for us.