Ed, a 35-year-old government employee, came to me for help when his weight reached 275 pounds. He had little energy or stamina and suffered from shortness of breath. He had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and realized that his eating was totally out of control. He reported a history of binge eating that went back several years.
One of Ed's eating problems was that he never felt full. Here is how he described it.
I seem to be hungry most of the time. When I eat a meal, I usually eat very rapidly. I guess that's because I'm so hungry. I usually eat a lot. I've gotten used to very large portions. But, once the meal is over, I really don't feel full. This doesn't make sense since I usually eat about twice as much as I should.
The problem that Ed has with not knowing when he is full is an important one that must be resolved. By eating rapidly, Ed is making the problem worse since it takes about 20 minutes after eating for hunger messages to be turned off by your brain. One of the key concepts in my treatment program is to make you aware of satiety (the feeling of stomach fullness) as well as real physical hunger. Ed learned to slow his eating and began to pay attention to physical sensations of fullness during and after his meal. I am pleased to say that he lost 85 pounds and has conquered his binge-eating problem.