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Eating in the Absence of Hunger II

Posted Nov 15 2011 8:29pm

From the last post , I am looking at reasons why the natural weight mechanism in humans doesn't seem to be working.  There has been focus lately on "eating in the absence of hunger".  For me, this all starts from a simple premise: if someone eats when they're not hungry, whether they are eating low-carb, low-fat, high-carb, or whatever, it seems fairly obvious that this excess food intake would lead to weight gain.  You are putting food into the body when there is no "physiological need" so to speak.

From the last post , it seems that some people are in better tune with their "real" hunger than others.  A way to test this is to see how much people will eat in the absence of hunger, i.e. after a big meal.  This study from last year tested this.  They found that overweight subjects ate more in the absence of hunger than did lean subjects.

This line of research seems much more fruitful to me than counting calories.  Given that some people can regulate their body weight, even in the presence of energy-dense foods, means it's not just about the calories.

Working on a college campus, I can verify that some students eat terribly yet still maintain body weight.  I remember one girl telling me that she eats junk food all the time, yet she never gained weights.  Indeed, I would see her eating junk in class and in the cafeteria.  Clearly, she still somehow regulated her calories as she remained very lean.  (Interestingly, they say that eating in the absence of hunger increases with age, which could explain a lot if that's right.)

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