When it comes to a weight management program or weight loss in general, one of the biggest issues for some people is motivation. At Dr. Simonds Weight Loss clinic, our physician supervised weight loss programs help with significant motivation areas for a variety of needs.
Here’s one additional motivator: Did you realize that excessive weight gain damages the taste buds, and can actually destroy your ability to enjoy flavor? This can create a harmful cycle, one where it takes more than the average amount of food to provide the taste buds with the same amount of pleasure – and this in turn can lead to more weight gain. Here are some basics to know in this realm, plus how to go about resetting your taste buds if this is a concern for you.
Taste Buds and Cell Regeneration
The average human has somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 taste buds, and the cells in these buds are destroyed and re-form every week. This rate slows down with age – but a recent 2018 study done on mice showed that simply being overweight had the same kind of slowing effect on this cell regeneration as aging. Overweight mice had 25 percent fewer taste buds present after eight weeks than mice who were kept at proper nutrition levels.
This study matches others that have spoken on cell regeneration. As we gain weight, the body is less able to replace destroyed sensory cells due to proteins released into the body.
A Human Example
Consider a middle-aged adult who discovers a fruit like a kiwi for the first time later in life. This person loves kiwis after never tasting them before, then begins to eat them much more often to recreate that same pleasure for the taste buds.
Over time, this may lead to weight gain if the person doesn’t make up for these additional calories. But this will cause the person to want to eat more kiwis to get that same satisfaction, and may even cause them to seek other foods that are similar in taste. This can develop into the harmful cycle we discussed above.
Resetting the Taste Buds
Through what’s called meal replacement therapy, you can help reset the taste buds if the above has happened to you. This involves limiting your number of meal choices, which can subconsciously help us consume fewer calories and enjoy the foods we do eat more.
For more on weight gain and the taste buds, or to learn about any of our weight loss programs, speak to the staff at Dr. Simonds Weight Loss today.