by Maurice Larocque, M.D.
Surprising but true: whether you are dieting or maintaining your weight, you shouldn’t be hungry. If this isn’t the case – if you are often or always hungry – try to pinpoint the cause and fix it..
The less you eat, the less hungry you feel. This type of diet, through its natural effects on insulin, is the most powerful appetite suppressant there is.
1 – Avoid all forms of carbohydrates (sugars) (except for the amounts allowed in your diet). If you don’t, you will experience the opposite effect — constant cravings. Remember that bread and starches turn into sugar in the blood. Milk, vegetables and fruits are also sources of carbohydrates.
2 – Eat a source of protein (either as food or supplements) every four hours or earlier if hunger sets in.
Medical Food Plan
3 – A low-calorie diet (between 800 and 1500 calories), along with protein supplements, effectively controls appetite as long as you have a source of protein (as food or supplements) every four hours or earlier if hunger sets in.
Are you still hungry?
First eliminate the physical causes of hunger. Next, eliminate the psychological causes.
1 – Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is the main cause of those uncontrollable cravings. Hypoglycemia can be recognized by the presence of physical symptoms such as sweating, inner tremors, headaches, fatigue and irritability. Time is always involved; for example, four hours after a meal. All these symptoms are alleviated by the uncontrolled intake of an abundant amount of food. If, after you’ve followed the tips above, you still have uncontrollable food cravings, consult your doctor. He can help you eliminate this problem easily enough.
2 – Fatigue is a powerful hunger trigger. There is only one way to treat this problem: Get plenty of rest. Seven to eight hours of sleep is generally sufficient.
3 – Premenstrual syndrome in some women causes difficult-to-control cravings. Your doctor will be able to help you deal with this condition.
4 – Stomach upset is often a forgotten symptom of hunger. Food works as an antacid one or two hours after a meal. Your doctor will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment for your stomach.
5 – Certain drugs may also be responsible for your constant hunger. Talk to your doctor about it.
If you have eliminated the physical causes and are still hungry, look for emotional reasons. The stronger the deviation from diet or bulimia, the stronger the emotion. The loss of control over diet starts shortly after an emotional situation occurs, and ends when the situation is resolved. Many people have yet to learn to re-cognize the association between
“I am going through a stressful or disturbing situation” and “I don’t know why I’m so hungry.”
Managing Your Emotions
After thirty years as a doctor, I got fed up with hearing “This is just how I am. I can’t change it!” How sad!!! Every day, I receive testimonies from all over the world on my Web site telling me that, by heeding certain tips on my cassettes “Learn to Master Stress and Emotion”, they learned to better manage their emotions and feel happier and more serene.
Remember, we are in this together. Besides, God helps those who help themselves.
Maurice Larocque, M.D.