Saturday, April 26, 2014

How Medifast Helps Control Hedonic Hunger

Remember those old "There's always room for Jello" TV commercials?

And cheesecake, and brownies, and ice cream....
They miss the point.

People don't eat desserts because they still have room in their stomach after their meal. They eat them because desserts give them pleasure. No matter how full we are, we always have room for a slab of pie, slice of cake or any other food treat we think will make us happy.

Psychologists coined the term "hedonic hunger" to label this concept of eating for pleasure versus eating for energy. But overweight people have known about this for years.

How else do you explain eating a plate of brownies or bag of chips at one sitting?

Like sex, gambling, shopping or any other compulsive addiction, eating certain foods activates the pleasure center in our brain.

Medifast behavioral specialist Nick Frye says hedonic hunger occurs "in response to environmental cues such as a burger joint TV commercial, seeing our refrigerator, the smell of fresh baked bread, seeing cake at a birthday party, etc. We desire the food because we anticipate the pleasure it will bring us and it really feels like hunger! This is a physiological mechanism and not an emotional one."

In a fascinating experiment, Japanese scientists even proved with an MRI that people who ate a multi-course French meal created room in their stomach after seeing a big piece of cake. The Japanese have a word for this, betsubara, combining the terms for "other" and "belly" to describe the second stomach we have for desserts.

Japanese scientists discovered
our stomachs actually make room for dessert
So what's the solution?

Many people go on traditional diets to deter them from eating for pleasure. They deprive themselves for as long as they can stand it and ultimately end up feeling so miserable they eat every favorite food they can think of.

The Medifast 5&1 Plan takes a different tact. Instead of total deprivation, the program offers replacement meals that provide the pleasure associated with desserts and snacks. When I was in the process of losing weight through Medifast, my favorite night time treat was Medifast brownies (click here for creative ideas on how to prepare them). In a sense, I could have my cake and eat it, too, since I was able to lose weight while enjoying the pleasure of a sweet treat.

I credit the variety of Medifast replacement meals for helping me stay on plan. I could resist the cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts and other treats at work or at parties since I always had a substitute treat that kept me compliant.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for less cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast Custom Order - You Choose ANY 10 Boxes

More from Diet Skeptic:

Fruck You! Fructose

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast

Medifast Centers Vs. Take Shape for Life

Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

Wabi Sabi Dieting & Renee Zelwegger's New Face
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest.

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