Why the Placebo Effect May Help With Weight Loss

January 6, 2012 By: office 3 Comments

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, there seems to be some legitimacy for placebos and how our minds react to them.  When you think about a “placebo effect”, you assume a sugar pill works because people believe they are consuming the real thing.  We are now finding that placebos work on the mind as well.  If you believe something to be true, the brain will react accordingly.

One of the things individuals struggle with while trying to lose weight is consuming diet food and feeling full.   Ghrelin, a gut peptide, which is involved in the feeling of being satisfied and being full after eating, is directly effected by not only how many calories are being consumed, but how many calories the individual thinks are being consumed.  Ghrelin levels rise when the body needs food and falls as calories are being consumed, telling the brain that the body is no longer hungry.

One study surrounding food consumption and eating habits had two groups of people consuming a milkshake.  One group was told the milkshake was 620 calories and was “indulgent”, the other group was told the milkshake was 120 calories and “sensible.”  The Ghrelin levels fell faster in the first group and they became full and satisfied quicker than the group who thought they were only consuming 120 calories.  These results may explain why while eating diet foods, you feel unsatisfied.  Your mind is telling your body you are not getting enough calories.

In a different study around weight loss, hotel room attendants were told they were getting a good workout at their jobs, and over the course of four weeks, they showed a significant drop in blood pressure, and decrease in weight and body fat.  Other employees who did the same work, but weren’t told about the benefits of their job showed no change in weight.  Neither group of these employees changed their diet or physical activity. Again, the mind-set telling the body how to react.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we not only provide you with the latest fitness classes , nutrition education classes and serve fantastic food ,  we also address how much impact your mind-set has to do with your success in your weight loss journey through our Behavior Change Coaching groups.  Come join us for this summer to help kick start your life with a new healthy lifestyle program.

 

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