Appetite: A desire (longing, craving) for food or drink. Having motivation to consume a food or drink that contains calories.
Americans, as a rule, are in bondage to their persistent appetites for “problem foods”. In fact, the typical American appetite is more foe than friend. Just look around to see the evidence. Americans love to eat! And the food industry capitalizes on this human weakness by offering us sweet and savory delights that are literally devastating to our health.
Why are Americans overweight?
I’ve personally interviewed thousands of overweight individuals. And, you know what? Not a single one of them wanted to become overweight. That’s right. Not a single one of them wanted to end up overweight with all the painful and costly consequences. Many of these individuals are highly intelligent, disciplined, and goal-oriented individuals who have a personal track record of excellence and success in life. So why did the unwanted weight gain happen in these high capacity individuals?
For most of them, the cause is clear.
An excessive appetite, triggered by genetic and environmental influences, is the primary reason why 2/3 of Americans are overweight.
This appetite, resulting in excessive consumption of food and drink, when we are surrounded by high calorie foods, is a recipe for a weight gain disaster!
At the Center For Nutrition, our mission is to empower people to achieve and maintain an optimum weight. The obstacle that had previously sabotaged our patients in their pursuit has been an appetite (desire) for wrong foods in wrong amounts. Let me state it clearly. The “modern” American appetite, with its very unfortunate consequences, is the single most powerful obstacle to experiencing an Optimum Weight and Outstanding Health!
Appetite can sabotage your health …
For most people, the appetite drive is a relentless force that is extremely difficult to control. While caring for patients over the past 20+ years, I have listened for clues to what has taken people down a road toward excessive weight gain, poor nutrition, fatigue, and often, weight related diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Those patients’ stories are stories of people who want to be trim, fit, and healthy, but health has been lost by eating wrong foods for the wrong reasons in wrong amounts! Most of the time, appetite is subtle, subconscious, relentless, and without compassion… a true killer! It works against us without us being aware of what is happening! And before we realize it, we’ve already eaten too much of the wrong foods!
Appetite is NOT the same for everyone…
Appetite is, by definition, the internal drive to consume calories. It takes different forms in different people at different times. Many of these appetite tendencies are the result of genetics and family tendencies. Other factors, such as stress and fatigue also affect the appetite. But the end result of appetite, as long as food or drink is available, is the oral intake of calories in to the body.
Appetite drives vary dramatically. Some people are satisfied with small portions, while others MUST always clean their plate and/or go back for seconds. Some people think about their next meal or snack constantly, while others think about eating only when the clock says its time to eat. The appetite can be for health promoting foods, or health sabotaging foods. It can be for healthful, colorful salad, topped off with extra virgin olive oil, or it can be for a triple scoop hot fudge brownie alamode.
Where your appetite lands on the spectrum will determine your health outcome on multiple levels. I am convinced that an excessive appetite for wrong foods is the primary driving force for the excess weight and poor health experienced by so many in the U.S.
Appetite Control: The key to achieving permanent weight loss and health…
Achieving your goal of being fit, trim, and healthy will only happen if your appetite is controlled. Then, maintaining a fit, trim, healthy body will only happen if appetite control is maintained forever. However, if a problem appetite again goes unmanaged and becomes unrestrained, excessive eating will again occur and weight will be regained. Indeed, appetite control is not only helpful, it is mandatory and essential for long term weight loss.
Appetite control is the only solution for achieving optimum weight and metabolic health in our overweight and sick world. Researchers of individuals on traditional self-diets have found that 53% of people cheat on a diet because they are hungry and that 31% feel they are truly “starving themselves” while dieting. Such internal feelings are a recipe for failure.
Unless appetite is controlled from the very beginning of weight loss, the chance of successfully reaching one’s weight loss goal and maintaining that weight is not good. Our medical approach to appetite control and weight loss is unique compared to typical diets. Our goal is to understand and manage your appetite from the first day of weight loss. We believe this approach is a key to our patients enjoying outstanding long-term success.
Appetite typically controls eating behaviors. Eating behaviors obviously will determine our food and nutritional intake. Nutritional intake determines our body composition and metabolism, which determine our health. In brief, we are what our appetite tells us to eat! Appetite must be controlled!
Controlling appetite, especially in those with weight gain tendencies, requires a multi-dimensional approach that must be individualized. Lifestyle and medical strategies, including an individualized appetite-suppressing medication plan, are often necessary for lasting success.
Remember…. appetite is the primary enemy of dieters. It is often subtle, relentless, and distracting, but typically very controllable with proper strategies! Let us know if you are struggling. We have many options for appetite management, including appetite suppressing medications, throughout all phases of weight loss. Typically, a special meal plan is needed. For many, the timing of meals and snacks needs modified. Other adjustments, such as a newer medication strategies, may be necessary as needs change.
Don’t let your appetite take your health in a direction you don’t want it to go. If you find weight control and hunger or food cravings a struggle, let us help you control your appetite to control your eating, because when eating is controlled, Optimum Health and Weight Loss is finally possible!
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.