During the 19th century, a diet called “Fletcherism” became popular. Introduced by American Horace Fletcher (“the Great Masticator”), the diet promoted chewing a mouthful of food at least 32 times or until it was turned into liquid. He argued his method of eating could help people avoid disease and lose weight.
Elvis Presley was famously a fan of the “Sleeping Beauty Diet,” or a diet where a person is sedated for days at time. The reasoning behind the diet was that a sleeping person wouldn’t eat.
Losing weight alters brain activity. For example, after following a weight loss program for 6 months, women scored better on memory tests. Research has also linked obesity to poor memory, especially in overweight pear-shaped women.
A fat cell lives for about 7 years. When a fat cell dies, a new one grows to replace it. The body keeps track of how many fat cells it has as well as the amount of fat in each cell. If fat cells are removed by liposuction, for example, the body compensates by growing new fat cells in other areas of the body.
Obesity has been linked to several types of cancer. Specifically, being overweight causes inflammation that causes cell changes in the body. However, just by losing 5% of your body weight can significantly lower dangerous levels of inflammation.
According to a University of Minnesota study, people in disorganized workspaces are more likely to choose unhealthy snacks.
After undergoing bariatric surgery, approximately 87% of patients said their taste buds had changed. Almost half of them said food didn’t taste as good, so they didn’t eat as much. Additionally, people had less of a preference for salty foods.
Losing weight can reduce arthritis symptoms.
A recent study found that eating dark chocolate in moderate amounts is associated with lower levels of abdominal fat. Scientists speculate that the antioxidants may help fight inflammation and improve metabolic functioning.
Scientists believe there are as many as 100 different types of “fat genes,” or genes that increase the likelihood of someone developing type 2 diabetes and becoming obese. However, scientists note that obesity-promoting genes can be offset by regular exercise and a healthy diet.
In the first half of the 20th century, cigarette makers regularly touted their products as a weight loss aid. One 1929 advertisement proclaimed, “Light a Lucky and you’ll never miss a sweet that makes you fat.”
Studies of twiveal that fat cells in a heavier twin underwent metabolic changes that made it harder for them to burn fat. Even gaining as little as 11 pounds slows a person's metabolism—which, it turn, leads to even more weight gain.
The “Byron Diet” is named after Victorian poet Lord Byron who would eat bizarre foods such as potatoes drenched in vinegar in an effort to look fashionably thin and pale.
Stress can make it difficult to lose weight. Stress can trigger cravings for carb-rich snack foods which tend to calm stress hormones. Stress hormones can also increase fat storage. In addition to physical exercise, relaxation techniques can help control weight.
Sleep deprivation can make it harder to lose weight. Inadequate sleep upsets a person’s hormone balance, which decreases leptin (a hormone that makes a person feel full) and increases ghrelin (which triggers hunger). Scientists argue that getting enough sleep is the cheapest and easiest obesity medicine there is.