For the last two days I was working. Running my hypnotherapy training diploma, having a ball. I had a lovely evening in with my wife last night and we finished off the Easter chocolate… Rather ironic that I had been teaching many varying approaches to using hypnotherapy for weight reduction at one stage of the weekend!

People wanting to reduce weight come out with some great lines…

Oh, I’ve got a sweet tooth
… Ha! That’s it, blame your teeth! You’re a greedy guts. Not the most progressive thing to say, but why blame the gut? Your eyes were bigger than your tummy… You’ve got hungry eyes, nice one, it’s the eyes to blame!? Add to that lazy bones, and all those other things… We seem to blame every part of the body for making us overweight… Why don’t we say my brain is to blame? Because that is one vital organ we often tend to overlook and not consider when it comes to being overweight. Let me explain this further…

The brain. Maybe we do not blame the brain because it is not as obvious or visible. Yet the truth remains that the brain controls all complex behaviours, and that includes planning what to have for dinner, whether we satiate a craving with an instant sugar fix in the afternoon, or deciding when to put it down and step away from the biscuit tin.

What’s interesting is that if you’re obese, your brain looks different even before you start making those decisions. Not in terms of structure or size — Homer Simpson’s brain size is clearly nothing to do with his ample weight — but in terms of responses to stimuli.

In one study I’ve been reading, researchers showed lean and obese females pictures of food and scanned their brains. When the obese women were shown high calorie foods, they showed greater activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and striatum — areas associated with anticipating reward.

Whoa… Think about it, if simple pictures can trigger excitement just think about what the real world can do, with its onslaught of food smells and sensation generating bright coloured images and fast-food advertisements associating all kinds of other things to eating.

Of course the brain’s involvement doesn’t end there.

In another study I’ve been reading in relation to this people were given food rather than just looking at pictures of it. This time obese participants showed less activation in the striatum. This suggests that — although certain foods inspire high hopes for reward — when consumed they actually produce less of a thrill than expected. This creates the urge to eat greater amounts, and seek out tasty calorie-packed morsels which provide a bigger hit.

In truth, it’s a very new area of science — you have to be pretty brainy to work out what on earth’s going on up there… That is a job for the science people and other egg-heads.

So what can you do if you happen to have a fat brain? (n.b. Not a fat-head, that is an entirely different matter!)

In relation to this science… The answer is probably to avoid the triggers that set your food neurons firing. Successful dieters show greater activity in brain areas involved in inhibiting responses — so you can always look at ways to reprogramme yourself… Use hypnotherapy. best way to get reprogrammed progressively that I have encoutnered. Hypnotherapy folks!

Although if you want a slightly quicker answer… And if all else fails… There is a sure way to lose at least three pounds, although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Go get a total lobotomy.

I am off to enjoy my Bank Holiday with my wife…