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Can you tell us what the driving force was behind the Weight Watchers 360° program? We’ve made some big — but simple — changes based on new, breakthrough research. Among other things, this research has uncovered that food consumption can be physiologically driven by simply seeing, thinking about or smelling highly palatable foods — that is, foods that are most often high in sugar and/or fat. That’s called “hedonic hunger,” and it helps us look at weight loss in a whole new way.
It does? Give us an example. Well, for one, the discovery of the hedonic hunger biologic system helps us to understand and explain a lot more about human eating behavior. Here’s an example: If someone’s just eaten a big meal but they love ice cream, have a desire for it and ice cream becomes available, they’ll actually have a physical reaction as if they’ve not eaten for a long time. They may start salivating, the stomach might rumble. Those are the signs that were previously denied or met with skepticism because we had been taught to think a person would only feel that way if they had been deprived of food for a period of time and had a physical need for calories. But the reality is that when your brain sees that ice cream, it sends real, hard-to-ignore signals to your body to eat it.
So, hedonic hunger is food consumption that is not driven by the need to eat after going without food for a long period of time, but rather to eat the food as a means to provide pleasure — and who doesn’t want that?! And it’s most often linked with a desire for highly palatable foods, such as those rich in sugars or fat — the ones that “call your name.” It’s not the broccoli, the carrots, the brown rice…. www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/inde x_ art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=217861&sc=3010
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