Your Genes, Your Brain and Your Body Weight Are a Very Complicated Story.
Over the past century, researchers have been trying to figure out why one person is fat and another thin. For nearly that long, the best scientific understanding of weight loss was deceptively simple: try to limit your calorie intake while increasing your exercise level.
Though calorie intake and exercise expenditure are both important in determining your weight, scientists agree that they don’t account for all of the variation between individuals. There must be other factors.
Is it in your genes?
Your genes have an influence over your baseline metabolic rate, the way your body regulates appetite, and whether you’re an athletic type or more constitutionally comfortable curling up with a good novel.
But a gene – on its own – is inert. Most of the time a gene stays kinked up in your cell nucleus minding its own business. It doesn’t activate until a specific region of DNA is untwisted and decoded into proteins. Only then can the gene exert control over the cell’s chemical activity.
There’s nothing you can do about the DNA you were born with. A recent study published by NEJM shows we are however not all born with the same genes when it comes to weight loss and metabolism.
But by orchestrating how, when, and if your genes are translated into proteins, you can gain control over many of the factors that influence body weight. This is one of the key scientific principles that the Cognidiet® program builds on to guide you on the path to effective weight loss.
Genetics meets neuroscience
The Cognidiet® program starts with the brain – by changing your thinking about food. Only then can you change your diet and change your life for the better. To ensure that these changes are long-lasting, you have to “hard-wire” your brain to favor your new, beneficial habits. In the program, we teach participants to change their habits via experiments and brain games. If you play a game that entices change, you will change. You also become more attuned to your body needs and the impact foods have on your energy, brain power and well being.
In the brain, the proteins coded by your genes ultimately determine your behavior: how one nerve cell hooks up with another, what type of stimulus will trigger each neuron to fire, and the effect its firing will have along the chain of nerve connections.
Neuroscientists are discovering that as learning takes place, different genes are expressed in different proportions in your brain. As new learning becomes more strongly established, the factors that regulate gene expression reinforce the new pattern more and more (see article in Nature). Before long, your new, healthier habits are solidly entrenched.
The Cognidiet® incorporates these principles of neuroplasticity and modification of gene expression to help you make the most of your genetic endowment. Many participants discover that they continue to lose weight long after completing their 6 to 12-week program. That’s because the learning process of the Cognidiet® actually shifts your brain chemistry. That makes it easier and easier to maintain a healthy diet with each passing month.