Friday, December 1, 2006

Head Hunger

Start Date: Aug 6, 2006 Lost to date: 43 lbs.

One of the hardest things about any weight-loss program, even a low-carb program, is figuring out how to cope with what I call head hunger.

Physically, I am not hungry. But my head is STARVING. It wants salty, crunchy, sweet, sour. It wants to chew mindlessly. It wants to--dare I say it--BINGE.

Here's how the ever-helpful Wikipedia defines Compulsive Eating:

"Compulsive overeating is characterised by an addiction to food. An individual suffering from compulsive overeating disorder engages in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating, or binging, during which they may feel frenzied or out of control. They will eat much more quickly than is normal, and continue to eat even past the point of being uncomfortably full. Binging in this way is generally followed by a period of intense guilt feelings and depression. Unlike individuals with bulimia, compulsive overeaters do not attempt to compensate for their binging with purging behaviours such as fasting, laxative use or vomiting. Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry, spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating alone. Compulsive overeating almost always leads to weight gain and obesity, but not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater."

Yep, that's the problem. Unlike a drug addict, a food addict can't quit cold turkey. We gotta keep eating.

This Head Hunger, which I guess is just the manifestation of a food addiction, is not like a craving really. I don't crave pizza or chips or bread or anything in particular. I crave quantity. How do you get past that?

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