The two major circuits that make it miserable, impossible and horribly punishing to lose weight are the Food Circuit and the Body Circuit. Rewire them, transforming them into wires that activate the desire to eat healthy and the "Oh-I'm -so-excited -about-releasing-extra-weight and you have it made. Weight loss is both easy and oddly (I mean, oddly) pleasurable.
Great articles have been written on stress and weight, including a fantastic review by UCLA's Janet Tomiyama. Another was written by David Marks. However, they are accurate and important, and quite complicated, in the approach of reductionism, that if we identify all the parts, we will understand the whole. The tendency with research like this is that we identify so many causes, and the inference is that we target and change all of them, without addressing the shared, modifiable root cause.
Through the lens of brain-based health, weight loss quite simple: Get to ONE, that state of neural integration and stay there as long as you can, that is, raise your brain set point. While you're at it, get plenty stressed at times, which unlocks the synaptic connections between neuron, facilitating erasure of offending circuits, and spiral up to once, thereby encoding a fresh new circuit that enables you to more easily eat healthy and lose weight.
In a time of stress overload where we all feel like we are being pulled in all directions, simplicity is important. There are more than 100 factors that have been shown in the scientific literature to be associated with weight gain or obesity. The great news is that if we use the BBH approach, and focus on getting to Brain State 1, the optimal state of neural integration, and hanging out there more of the time, all of them quiet down or vanish when we are at Brain State 1.
Where does rewiring Stress Circuits come in? They are allostatic circuits, which means the are the crazy wires in our brain that have no shut-off valves, so the activate the Stress Triangle, the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and hypothalamus, which creates chemical surges that make us eat the drapes off the windows and have zero tolerance for an discomfort, and whatever calories we overeat go right to belly fat. Those have to go!
In The Stress Eating Solution, we rewire these two fanatical circuits and two more that feed them. One is the Mood Circuit because ever episode of overeating is triggered by an unbalanced mood. During overeating we are an unbalanced mood (way high, way low or numb) and afterwards . . . well, you get the idea. If we can rewire that triggered mood, particularly the one that activates the f=Food Circuit, we can hip the whole process in the bud. The other circuit worthy of immediate rewiring is the Love Circuit, the wire that causes distancing ("please leave me alone!") or merging ("if you leave me alone I will surely expire"), both of which miss that sweet spot of connection that being the big love bugs we are, spells stress. In addition, the surge of the major appetite suppressant oxytocin, is unfortunate.
Once those four wires are cleared, our set point goes us dramatically, Instead of the stress buzzer being stuck on and those damaging chemicals raging, we are chemically altered. It's all natural and it's easier at that point to begin to explore what foods make us healthy, how to make the needed trade-ffs between instant gratification from food and the deeper joys of eating healthy and releasing extra weight. The solution is to be at One, which takes a new brain-based health point of view when it comes to weight loss.