I was listening to Nacho Mama's Podcast and the host, Margo mentioned "Hedonic Hunger." I had never heard of that, have you? Basically, it's eating for pleasure. Hedonic hunger isn't satisfied with fullness. As long as delicious foods are available, we keep eating. Hedonic hunger can be triggered by food-related cues: sight or smell of food, talking about, reading about, or even thinking about food. With all the goodies out and about for the 3+ months season of Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hannuka
h-Christmas-New-Years, there is lots of cues!
Margo suggest enjoying non-caloric dessert flavored beverages:
-Vanilla or chocolate chai tea
-Celestial Seasoning holiday teas (candy cane, gingerbread, sugar cookie, pumpkin, sugar plum)
-Mio (water flavor enhancer)
Here's a link to the podcast:
Here's a link to an article:
The article suggests that hedonic hunger is seeking a dopamine response, much like drugs, sex or gambling. And that obese people have a dampened dopamine reception, and therefore seek more highly palatable foods to feel good.
I don't think you should use this as an excuse; you should still hold yourself accountable. This is just playing with an open hand. You know what cards you're dealt, now do the best you can with them.
One strategy is to limit yourself to dessert only once a week.
Example: If I see that plate of sugar cookies in the break room at work, and no one is around, and I'm not hungry, I know this is just hedonic hunger. Am I going to eat them, and count it toward my once a week dessert? Or am I going to pass, because I'm planning to have a drink on Saturday night out with the girls, and count THAT as dessert?
Another strategy is to keep your dopamine levels high with exercise. Unhook exercise from weight loss and use it as a tool to increase your energy & improve your health.
I looked at my calendar, and my hormone pills, and low & behold! my placebo pills fall right into my Thanksgiving/Hannukah vacation when I'm driving from IL to NJ and spending time with my ex & all his family. I get really anxious & hopeless with my hormones are low, so I called my doctor to ask what I can do. I told her I was depressed when my hormones are low. And she said to skip the placebos and start the next month's pills. And I said what about next month, when I go on my cruise? And she said there's no reason to have a period, just stay on a continuous hormonal dose. Oh! Happy! Day!
I put my before and after pic up on Facebook. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea, since it makes me feel so vulnerable, but after a Saturday night of vodka drinking, I said what the heck! And since then people in real life (irl) say they knew I lost weight, but didn't realize how dramatic a change it was, they're so proud of me, and asking me how I did it. I usually say I made small incremental changes to diet & exercise over a very long time. I'm at the gym almost every day now. Sometimes I was stuck. I was at a plateau for 18 months! But I never gave up.