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Psychologic Hunger is all too Real

Can we please, please stop pretending that weight loss is just a matter of ‘Eat Less, Move More’?

Dr. Jason Fung



8 min read·2 days ago



The last blog argued that hunger is the root cause of eating ‘excess’ calories. That is, hunger (which is a hormonally mediated state) leads to eating more calories which leads to weight gain. This does not break any ‘laws of thermodynamics’ as many calorie in/ calories out aficionados claim. Instead, it simply tries to understand the problem of overeating at a deeper level, getting the root causes.

Trying to reduce calories without addressing this hunger is doomed to fail. Just as trying to cure depression by just telling somebody to ‘cheer up’ is useless. Or trying to cure alcoholism by telling somebody to just ‘drink less’. Or trying to make somebody rich by telling them to ‘just make more money’. That the level of utter uselessness of the advice to ‘Just eat less’. That’s why it has a 99% failure rate.

Hunger, the physical kind that we often think about when our stomachs growl is certainly an important consideration. But there’s an even more important reason we might overeat. We often eat when we are not physically hungry. Instead, it is a deep-rooted psychological hunger that we are trying in vain to sate. Let’s consider some of these different types of ‘psychologic’…