Lose weight—not your memory

With all the focus on fad diets and fat-burning miracles, it’s easy to forget that the best weight loss strategies aren’t about getting skinny. They’re about getting healthy.

So it’s always good to get a little reminder of just how powerful shedding a few pounds can be. And the results of one recent study definitely fit that bill.

Swedish researchers assigned 20 overweight, postmenopausal women to a six-month weight loss plan. They measured BMI and body fat at the beginning and end of the study. But they also performed MRIs and episodic memory tests.

At the end of the six months, all subjects lost weight. Average BMI dropped from 32.1 to 29.2—squarely below the cutoff for obesity. But that’s not all.

Tests showed that cognitive performance improved significantly after weight loss, too. MRIs showed that subjects’ brains became more active during memory encoding. And that they were able to retrieve stored information with less effort after weight loss, as well.

Your choices here are clear: Lose the weight… or lose your memory. Pardon the pun, but this decision is a no-brainer.


Endocrine Society. “Weight loss improves memory and alters brain activity in overweight women.” ScienceDaily, 17 Jun. 2013. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.