Suppressing the desire to honor your hunger

I must say, I don’t know what the outcome of taking Belviq will be overall for weight loss or in the long run for health as we have seen many times already with weight loss drugs (and other medications) dispute FDA approval initially.

But I can say that Belviq takes us farther away from Honoring Our Hunger, and for that reason I am not enthusiastic about its use in clinical practice.  In my practice as a Registered Dietitian, I work closely with my clients to rediscover their internal cues to eat, which they have often lost due to busy lifestyles, multitasking, chronic dieting, skipping meals, disordered eating, health conditions, etc.  To honor your hunger is to pay attention to the signs that your body is telling you it is time to eat.  On the simplest level, this is that feeling you get within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.  Or the light grumbling in your stomach as you approach your typical meal time.  Many times, as people “diet” they believe their hunger cues should be ignored, as not eating is viewed as “willpower” to cut calories for weight loss and on a more extreme level, those with eating disorders view ignoring their hunger to restrict as control and power.

However, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Or something like that in Physics….  The opposite of Hunger is Satiety.  And when you ignore your hunger, it is difficult for your body to interprets satiety.  You may overeat when you finally do eat because you are so ravenous and your body wants to feel “stuffed” in order to be satiated.  This is because your body has interpreted the lack of food for “starvation mode”.

I cannot predict how an appetite suppressant like Belviq will compensate though through satiety.  However, I will propose how Belviq can fit in a weight management plan the way I ponder many things with my clients:

  • Is this (Belviq) something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life?
  • How will this affect your ability to lead your normal life?  Positive or negative changes?
  • Is this what you consider “normal eating”?

And from there the plan is made.

 

Honor Your Hunger Exercise:

For 1 day this week, increase your mind-body connection with your hunger.  Continue to eat the same foods you normally would but before each “eating opportunity” (meal, snack, random food- think walking past a candy dish) ask yourself, “Am I hungry?”  This is a very basic exercise and will be built upon, but it is the foundation for waking up your mind to connect with your body.  I find if you can identify your hunger at times when you actually do eat, it is easier to then layer in assessing your hunger throughout the day at times when you may be ignoring your hunger.

As always I look forward to comments.

 

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