Another Reason Why Dieting Doesn’t Work: Your Brains Cells Eat Themselves!


Dieting sucks. Credit: We Love Costa Rica

You know how we always say that diet is a four-letter word? Well, turns out that’s not just a cute saying. According to new weight-loss research, when you let yourself get too hungry, your brain cells start eating themselves. EATING THEMSELVES! They become like little creepy, hungry cannibals.

The report in the August issue of the journal Cell Metabolism says that when we don’t eat, hunger-inducing neurons in the brain start eating bits of themselves, which—get this—then makes us more hungry. So, in a nutshell, our brain cells go all cannibalistic and then we become so hungry that we feel like eating our own arm (maybe that’s where that expression comes from!). Or an entire cow. Or a tub of ice cream. You know, whatever your vice is.

So what does this new research tell us? Don’t starve yourself. Honor that hunger and nourish your body and your brain with healthy foods every few hours. Your brain is at stake, people! —Jenn


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  1. Metroknow says:

    The big question is how long it takes for this to kick in – if it’s when starvation begins, that means you’d have to go much longer than 24 hours before the effect started (many suggest as long as 72 hours without food before metabolic processes in healthy humans are affected). If it’s just the sensation of feeling a little snackish, then I’m in deep, deep, deep trouble 🙂

  2. Our brain starts eating itself?? Are you serious?? That sounds … horrible. I value my brain cells. They’re all I have! Without them I couldn’t find my car keys, file my taxes, or post comments on blogs.

  3. Gordon says:

    Cutting calories reducing your thyroid function which is your metabolism. This makes you gain weight. A calorie is not a calorie. People need to stop thinking this. It’s just wrong.

  4. Heather says:

    Wow, that is just creepy and really good to know about how your brain reacts to hunger…

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